On Joining the Military in a time of Incompetence

Me upon entering the service

Me a few years later

By best friend Jim Wall, known as Duck

The War At Home
Posted by Becks
on 12.04.07

I recently discovered that my father has been trying to convince my youngest brother to join the military when he graduates from high school. My brother doesn't know what careers he's interested in and I think my father believes this will let him try new things and give him some time to mature and develop some direction before going to college. As you can guess, saying that my mother and I think this is the worst idea ever is a massive understatement. I need to shut this shit down over Christmas. How would you convince someone who thinks it's a good idea for their kid to enlist that it's a colossally bad idea?

I joined the U.S. Army as an infantryman, entering the service just after graduating from High School. At that time, I had an infantryman’s perspective about global conflict. As the years have gone by, my thinking has gone from the perspective of an individual grunt on the ground to that of a citizen whose military adventures about, ostensibly at my behest. I do feel that joining the military, in peace time, can be a net positive experience, but this is not such a time. Under the best of circumstances, there can be positives that would / could outweigh the negatives. But right now, at this time and circumstance of history, I feel that joining the military could be a terrible, terrible mistake.

In a world where there was justice for all, a military would not be needed, for there would be no war and no conflict. But there is war, and old men send young men (and women) to die for a cause. Were this a worthy cause, entering the military and fighting for that cause would be an honorable endeavor.

We currently find ourselves in a unique time in history. We are lead by war criminals and traitors of the finest grade who have no worthy cause with which to commit war, but have instead created not one but two wars with which to profit their friends. Worthy cause could be found in one of those wars, but we also trust the incompetent to pursue this war with due vigor and intelligence. Sadly we have been disappointed in this search. Another war has been drummed up, the rationalizations for which were at best made up, and perhaps completely fabricated. A lie. A series of lies. And lies for which people die.

Were we not led by incompetents, and were these causes worthy, we might find it within ourselves to kill and be killed, or to send our young to do the same. But this is not where we find ourselves. Instead, we find the cream of our future crippled, maimed, and killed, and for no good reason. There were no ties between Iraq and Al Queida. Iraq had no (active) weapons programs for weapons of mass destruction. There was no threat to the United States. There was no reason to invade, or to slaughter countless innocents, yet we have done so.

To join the military at this time is to enable those who would kill to enrich their friends. To be in the military at this time is to trust that those who lead you actually know what they’re doing. To trust that, were you to die, your death could somehow be found to have meaning and honor. To date, there is no evidence that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces in this country has any idea what he has unleashed on the world, or that the sacrifices of those in uniform were in any way noble. There is no evidence that the lives shattered by this senseless war can be justified by inching us any closer to “victory” or even “safety” for those at home.

When it comes down to putting your signature on a piece of paper that signs away your life, you must ask yourself if you trust that those who can command your death or dismemberment to have any sort of thought regarding the value of your sacrifice. If you feel like those in power have taken due consideration for what your loss of life or permanent disability actually costs, then you might just go ahead and sign your life away for nothing, for nothing is what the warmongers in the current administration think your life is worth. If you think that the cause for which you fight is just and honorable, you might just sign. If you feel that that joining the military is a reasonable risk to take with regards to future benefits, you might just sign. But there are those who will think you a fool, and be glad that it’s you and not them in their place. And someday, when you are guarding cars in a parking lot from the onslaught of night, or when your depression and loneliness drives you to drink, or when you look over the steaming entrails of some women and children who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you just might think of those people who tried to talk you out of signing your life away, and wonder if they were in fact right…

This page is authored and maintained by Rich Webb.You can send E-mail to me by following this link to the contact page. And feel free to contact me if you have any comments, criticisms, or suggestions. I remain, however, perfectly capable of ignoring your useless opinion...

This document was last modified on December 4, 2007, and has been viewed countless times.