Don’t pity the Soldier


Greg Jaffe wrote in the Washington Post:

…“They were rolled out like some sort of orphan kid,” the officer wrote in an e-mail. “I’m sure the organizers meant well. I know they did. But it wasn’t respect, really. It was pity.”…

… The troops are lavished with praise for their sacrifices. But the praise comes with a price, service members say. The public increasingly acts as if it feels sorry for those in uniform.

“We aren’t victims at all,” said Brig. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, who commanded troops in Iraq and will soon leave for Afghanistan. “But it seems that the only way that some can be supportive is to cast us in the role of hapless souls.”…

I’ve often thought about the many veteran support groups and programs and I tell you, it does feel a lot like pity sometimes and that makes me angry. I can accept the public’s view of the soldier with pity although I don’t like it or think it’s appropriate but what angers me most are the many veterans and active soldiers whining like little babies. I swear sometimes the “poor me’s” are infuriating. It’s not the majority of course.

(Now the following isn’t directed at all and there are legitimate groups that are doing great things with the wounded so this is not about not helping those that truly need it.)

We don’t need pity; we don’t need “help”. A little respect is enough. I don’t need to you to buy me a meal; I can easily afford my own. We are volunteers, we asked for what we got and I for one am damn proud of my choice. Don’t demean my profession by acting as though we are helpless and can’t find jobs when we transition. We are not. If you’re a vet don’t demean yourself by letting these people use you to make themselves feel better and usually a profit.

Most of us aren’t PTSD burn outs, we aren’t looking for handouts, and we don’t need a “jobs program” which will be BS anyway. If I apply for a job I want to be hired because I’m capable and better than that other applicant that probably can’t make it to work on time.

We will make it regardless of the challenges. That’s what we do.


6 thoughts on “Don’t pity the Soldier

  1. I’d hire you, JB. You’re the best guitar pickin, cigar smokin, scotch sippin, IM juggler, SF badass I know.

  2. They just don’t get it. Well, a lot of them on the Left are evil to begin with, with Michelle Obama somewhere around the top of the pack in power hierarchy now, offering comfort and support to “veterans group”. Just another Leftist leech seeking somebody to own as their personal slaves. Hasn’t changed since 1864.

    I think humans, in general, have lost touch with something called inner truth (virtue of honesty and purity) the more they adapted to social masks and deceptions. We need social masks and white lies to operate free of friction in a social hierarchy, but at the same time, it’s extremely detrimental to a person’s path to enlightenment.

    One of the ways of achieving enlightenment is to have experiences with death. That can end in many disastrous ways, of course, but those that survived and attempted to seek the truth by perfecting their survival skills in war (such as Miyamoto Musashi or Sun Tzu) were able to gain knowledge and understanding most normal people couldn’t even imagine. Normally, killing dozens or even hundreds of people isn’t going to teach you anything by itself, yet the experience exposes the human soul to what we once were: attune with nature and ourselves, with no reason or wish to lie about anything. It teaches the truth by killing those who failed to arrive at the truth of survival. Harsh standards, same as in war.

    That guy is a pretty good example of how clean living and purity can have interesting martial results. Most people think enlightenment is some philosophical tea sipping ceremony and ego stroking, but the benefits are quite clear. When a person has been in a war zone and see things naked with the true mind’s eye, coming back to civilian life and adopting social masks, deceptive practices, and all the other stuff that has little to do with surviving against an implacable enemy or mother nature’s fury, is jarring. It’s like taking a stick and gouging out your own eye, forcing it to close. You cannot unsee what you have seen. And more, a lot of soldiers don’t want to forget the closeness, the harmony, of war or combat. Such experiences are unique, precisely because human beings live in large groups and use lies all the time. Masks. Self deceptions. It isn’t about the truth. It isn’t about what is, but what people can make it look like it is. In war, such barriers often become meaningless. In peace time, they come back and you get all these political officers promoted because they can make their combat readiness reports look “snazzy”.

    While it is difficult, it’s not the soldiers with death defying experiences that survived that is inferior. It’s the rest of us having to live our lives lying to ourselves or to others, simply because that’s what society requires of us, or else we’ll be punished for “stepping out of line” on the social norm. Or you’ll be called a racist by the Left, shrugs.

    Humans have shut their true mind’s eye in order to live together for cooperation, comfort, and safety. It’s an amazing sacrifice, but thankfully, it’s not permanent. It can be re-opened, with enough effort and experience. Getting elected to political office, though, is probably not one of those roads to success, however.

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