We love our veterans, and we continually find ways to give them honors and tokens of appreciation. They deserve a great deal for their bravery.
Most, however, knew little about the actual conflict they were walking into, other than they needed to “fight the bad guys.”
They didn’t know the politics of the situation on either side, the history and culture of the enemy, or the impact on domestic taxes. They didn’t know the social desolation and physical anguish they would face when they returned. They didn’t know what soldiers are supposed to know in a real democracy before deciding for war.
Soldiers are supposed to know exactly what they are doing, how long they will do it, why they are doing it, and what the rules for conduct are, so they can give their whole-hearted consent. Instead, most think, “The commander in chief has ordered us into battle, so it is up to us to comply and follow our officers’ every command.”
Do wet-behind-the-ears youngsters know that Congress is supposed to study the situation, talk with their constituents and then declare the war? That doesn’t happen today. The president goes to war when he feels the need for one.
Our veterans need to become advocates for legal war, not just any war that is available.
Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah