I received this from a friend and it touches my heart so deeply that I feel I must share it again.
Our troops were sent to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to counter a global threat of extremist Islam by Congress and two Presidential administrations. War bonds were not sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts. The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The volunteers. The people who swore an oath, with their right hand held high, to defend this nation.
They stood there, deployment after deployment and fought on. They’ve lost relationships, spent years of their lives in extreme conditions, years apart from kids they’ll never get back, and beaten their bodies in a way that even professional athletes don’t understand, whom America seems to idolize as “heroes”. Through the media and popular culture, sports figures and celebrities have become larger than life figures, people who are paid millions of dollars to provide entertainment . The military is paid a very modest salary, and they only complain when congress says they are being paid too much.
These veterans come home to a nation that doesn’t understand. They don’t understand that bad people exist out there that want to destroy this country. They look at military and veterans like they’re a machine, like they’re nothing – like something is wrong with them for wanting to hunt down and kill the enemy, an enemy that has seen fit to use suicide bombing and flying airplanes into buildings full of civilians as a way of “holy” war. Society will tell you that America hasn’t suffered like the rest of the world has suffered. Society will tell you that because America hasn’t suffered like Afghanistan, Palestine, and other places that have been war torn for years, that we have no right to act the way we are because we are a “young” country. Society will also tell you that America is the terrorist.
When they get out of the military, people who have never served sit in college classrooms with political science teachers that discount vet’s opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because THEY seem to know more about the “macro” issues they’ve gathered from books and their own dream world opinion. You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD, and in reality some of these vets have it, and have it bad. Chances are one of the combat seasoned vets you know has it, and yet the majority of this country has the gall to look down on them when it’s because of their sense of duty to protect this country is the reason why some of these men and women come home mentally and physically scarred.
Your Congress is debating their benefits, their retirement, and their pay (incredibly ironic when you look at the benefits package for anyone serving in the congress or senate) while they ask U.S. service members to do more. Do you want to know what the amazing thing is? Military members know ALL of this. They know their country will never pay them back for what they’ve given up. They know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what they have done for them. Hell, they know that in some circles, they will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform, in fact, demonized by some sects of American culture for ever taking a stand to terrorism and extremist Islam with a gun in their hand.
Guess what? These brave men and women do it anyway. They did what the greatest men and women of this country have done since this country was born in 1775 – THEY SERVED. Just that decision alone makes them part of an elite group. People who realize our freedom is at stake and took a stand, sacrificing in some cases, their lives, limbs, and eye sight for a country that will fully never understand their position, and they do it with a smile on their face. I am WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, AND I AM THE 0.45%!!!!!
(Written by and shared from a friend)