In my immediate family I have a daughter who was in the Army and a son who was in the Marines. They spent many years debating which branch was the best, and still have a friendly rivalry. Dany did not serve during an active war, but David served during Desert Storm.
My husband was in the Air Force, and, like Dany, he was lucky enough to miss conflict.
My brother served in the army in Vietnam. It was the worst two years of his life.
Going further back I am proud to say that every generation of my father’s family had men serving in the military back to the Revolutionary War. It was humbling and awe-inspiring to see all the headstones in the small graveyard in West Virginia a few years ago.
While serving in the military is something that I support and honor on a patriotic level I also agree with what Andy Rooney said last Sunday on 60 minutes. He wondered why we don’t have a day that honors not going to war.
He said, “Too many young men and women with a whole life ahead of them are getting killed before they have a chance to live it and for what?
Of all the things that men do – historically mostly men – fighting a war to kill other men is the most uncivilized.”