An Obervation that Pains Me.

Before I dive into this topic, let me put it out there that, by any definition, I am a bleeding heart liberal. That’s going to matter to this post.

I have now read several memoires by US Navy SEALs. I’ve also read several non-fiction accounts about Navy SEALs. Here’s a partial list:

Fearless, by Eric Blehm. This is an account of the life and service of SEAL team 6 member Adam Brown, who was killed in action in 2010.

No Easy Day, by Mark Owen and Keven Maurer. This is an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

American Sniper, Jim DeFelice and Chris Kyle. The service of SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. An account of the mission that resulted in Luttrell being stranded in Pashtun territory.

Warrior Elite, by Dick Couch. Follows SEAL class 228

Warrior Soul, by Chuck Pfarrer, his account of his time as a SEAL and his service in Beruit and elsewhere.

I enjoyed every single one of these books, by the way. They help inform elements of my writing. (Well, yes, all my reading does this, but hey, some books are more insight-giving than others.)

But there’s a theme that gets sounded in every single one of them and it pains me.

In each of these books there is always mention (and in the case of Luttrell’s book CONSTANT mention) of how the liberal media and liberal elite hate SEALs and actively attempt to make their jobs harder. This blog post isn’t about whether there might be some people who do feel and act that way. There surely are.

What I want to say, as a bleeding heart liberal and someone whose education probably lands me in the “elite” category, is that not only do I not resent the military, I agree that a prepared military is necessary. There is evil in this world. There are governments, movements, heads of governments and heads of movements who are engaged in moral and ethical evil. I am not sorry that Osama bin Laden is dead. I regret that we live in a world where we haven’t figured out how to exist without violence, but that does not mean I don’t understand why people are moved to revolution or why a people or government have no choice but to pick up arms. I don’t advocate doing nothing when a government or movement is engaged in genocide or when the lives of women are given up to political expediency.

I think Teddy Roosevelt was right when he said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy cost the lives of millions.

I am profoundly grateful for the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women who serve in our military. They put their lives on the line every single day.

But I’m saddened by the apparent belief, as expressed in these books, that people like me don’t appreciate what Navy SEALs do. I’m even sorrier that somehow people like me have failed to make it known that we do not feel that way.

Believe me I do appreciate it. This blog is my opportunity to express my thanks and admiration to everyone in the military. Even as I wish war was unnecessary.

 

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6 Responses to “An Obervation that Pains Me.”

  1. Jill Hagerman says:

    Well said Carolyn!

  2. DawnD says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Bleeding heart liberal check. Strong military required check. Maybe both come with studying history for years.

    It further pains me that as a nation we have done so little for our recent veterans. We owe them our thanks and a great deal more. I was happy that St. Louis led the nation with a homecoming parade for our Iraq veterans, but to my knowledge no other major city has had one since.

    Ideally, our military would be fully trained, staffed and equipped. We would provide for their re-entry into society. We would care for them while they are injured, however long that takes. We would fund education and retirement. We would pay them above the minimum wage, heck, above a living wage for their service.

    I’ll stop. It all makes me just furious.

    One more thing, if any members of their military or their families should happen to read this. THANK YOU for your service.

    And thank you Carolyn for discussing.

  3. Michelle L. says:

    Military family member & fan here. Appreciate this post 100%! But wasn’t it Teddy not FDR that said that? 😉

  4. Debra Young says:

    Hi Carolyn! It’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog. Just want to say great post. I so very much agree! This country does not seem to appreciate the sacrifices military men and women make. Like DawnD, I too have studied history for years. I wish war did not exist, but I know it is indeed often necessary and a strong military is also necessary, otherwise we would be absolutely overrun with the evils of tyranny. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Debra. I actually think there’s a perception that the country doesn’t appreciate vets. In fact, I think Congress and the Senate don’t do enough for vets. We citizens are falling down in not making it known that our veterans should be a priority. The times I’ve been involved in hiring decisions, I have to say the best people we ever brought on board were veterans.