Monday, November 3, 2008

They Answered the Call

By Major Alexander Sutherland U.S. Army, Retired

Why support our troops? After some reflection, my first instinct was to say, "Of course everyone supports our troops, it's the American thing to do." Then I thought; this is kind of a canned answer and too simple. The population in America is the most ethnically, religiously, racially and diverse population on the planet. How could I expect everyone to agree on anything?

Growing up in Chicago in the sixties made me think back to my own family and neighborhood. Another unpopular war; young people had only had a few options, either comply with the draft and hope your number didn't come up or refuse to go and either go to jail or Canada. Today things are not so bleak; for one thing the draft went away in the 70's and was replaced with an all volunteer military. Military personnel are highly compensated with decent pay, tax exemptions, sign-up and re-enlistment bonuses and money to go to school. Ask any veteran and they will agree life in the military is much better now than then, but I digress…

Every service member has friends and family somewhere in the United States waiting for them to return safely. These men and women volunteered to do a tough and dangerous job far away from home. Sadly, not everyone will return. Many will return with mental and physical wounds that may last a life time. Visit any VA hospital and you will see what I mean. These men and women are doing what the American military has done since 1776; they were called to go and they went.

By Major Alexander Sutherland U.S. Army, Retired

- This post is part of our Why Americans Should Support Our Troops ongoing series. We encourage you to participate too. Photo credit: U.S. Army Photo by SPC Joshua E. Powell

If you've been looking for a way to support our troops, now you can. Participate in one of our many projects or register with eMOM and sign up to correspond with service members one-on-one. Learn more about our holiday project to support our troops.

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