A Higher Calling

In a recent comment this statement was made about me:

No, instead you chose to go into the military where you became a belligerent warmongering conservative.

This statement shows a lack of understanding of the military and the people who serve in it. At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing I will explain what military service means to me. The term soldier is used generically to represent all who serve in the Armed Forces.

There are few callings in life that fall into the category of “higher.” Most would agree that the highest calling is in the service of God. There are those who would agree that public servants have attained a higher calling. To me, one of the highest callings is the service of a nation in its Armed Forces. While many would disagree, few would question that it takes a special kind of person to lay his life on the line for people he has never known and will never meet. These are the selfless folks who rush into harm’s way so that people can sleep peacefully at night.

The Founding Fathers knew of the importance of the military and they wisely accounted for it in the Constitution. One of the things that the Constitution reads is that, “Congress shall have the power to raise and support Armies” (Article I, Section 8 ). The wise ole’ men knew that no nation can be truly free if it can not defend itself. There must be an Army, or Armed Forces, if you will, to protect that which we hold dearly. If these did not exist, neither would our nation.

People join the military to serve their nation. They give freely of themselves so that others may enjoy the rights endowed upon us by our Creator. They do not join for wealth or fame. They join to make life here a little better and to protect that which has been paid for with the blood of many brave men and women. When a person joins the military he gets trained in discipline, tradition, esprit, and team work. These folks are from all walks in life but the thing they have in common is a deep love of their country. The military does not train people to be belligerent or warmongering. The military is here to ensure the peace and lacking that, to secure our freedom.

I think that when men or women join the military they join an organization of people who have a long history of bravery and heroism in the name of brotherhood and freedom. There are few, if any, jobs in this world where a person is willing to lay down his life for those around him. There are few jobs where people serve selflessly for people who they do not know or will never meet. There are few jobs where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and that teamwork is the ultimate accomplishment in preparing for, executing, and accomplishing a mission. It was said that people sleep peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. This is very true. Without those nameless guardians we would live in constant fear.

The idea that soldiers are warmongers is patently wrong. No one prays for peace more than a soldier for it is he who must bear the burden of its alternative. There are some who actually like the sting of battle. Once you are in it you must, for survival’s sake, embrace the thousands of hours of training to ensure you are not carried off the plane in a box. Just as importantly, soldiers work to make sure their buddies do not suffer that fate. It is hard for many people to grasp this concept, that is, of placing other’s lives ahead of their own. Soldiers do that everyday for each other and for their countrymen. The flag has red in it to symbolize the blood shed for this nation. The blood of countless men and women has been shed so that those in this country as well as others may live in freedom.

An unknown author wrote:

For those who fight for it everyday, life has a special meaning the protected will never understand.

This is very true. The soldiers who have waged war know what life is about. They know how precious it is. They know that they might have to give theirs so that others may live but they also know that it is far better, as Patton said, “to make the other Son of a Bitch die for his country.” They know that they fight for everyone else’s right to talk badly about them, protest them, and spit upon them. They see elections as the result of their hard work and they feel satisfaction that they helped to ensure a way of life that is the envy of the World.

Perhaps I went off on a tangent with this one but I felt it needed to be said. I do not care what people say about me. This Dog has thick skin but to insinuate that the military produces warmongers does a disservice to all the men and women who serve this nation honorably. Perhaps the reason some people have trouble understanding this is because they are without honor themselves.



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12 Responses to “A Higher Calling”

  1. Jason Smith says:

    Thank you for your service to our country.

    It is the soldier, not the reporter,Who has given us freedom of the press.
    It is the soldier, not the poet,Who has given us freedom of speech.
    It is the soldier, not the protestor,Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
    It is the soldier, not the lawyer,Who has given us a right to a fair trial.
    It is the soldier, who salutes the flag… who serves under the flag… and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

    God Bless the United States Military.

  2. Adam says:

    If I had said “instead you chose to go into the military where they teach soliders to be belligerent warmongering conservatives” then maybe you’d have a valid point. My message was only directed at you.

    I’m assuming you’re forgetting about the thousands of Americans who join to get a job, to provide for their future. People join for all reasons. I have yet to meet a single person who has told me they joined the military to defend our country. I guess I just don’t hang out in that kind of a crowd.

    Thanks for indirectly telling everybody I have no honor.

  3. Big Dog says:

    Perhaps the reason some people have trouble understanding this is because they are without honor themselves.

    The word perhaps is the operative word. If you felt harmed by it, PERHAPS you need to reexamine yourself.

    Your statement says that I joined the military “where I became.” The direct implication is that the military caused it. You become something because of an effect upon you. The statement assumes a cause/effect relationship.

  4. Adam says:

    I constanly reexamine myself. It’s part of growing up. I still disagree about my statement though. You assume wrong.

  5. Jason Smith says:

    I’m assuming you’re forgetting about the thousands of Americans who join to get a job, to provide for their future. People join for all reasons. I have yet to meet a single person who has told me they joined the military to defend our country. I guess I just don’t hang out in that kind of a crowd.

    You accuse him of putting words in your mouth, then you turn around and do it to him. He said, “People join the military to serve their nation.” But then you responded by saying, “I have yet to meet a single person who has told me they joined the military to defend our country.” That’s not what he said, but if changing the facts helps you argue your point, have at it.

    By the way… Do you think fireman join their ranks hoping to rush into blazing buildings? Do you think policemen take their positions hoping to be at the business end of a gangster’s uzi?

    Is it why they joined? No. Is it part of their job? Yes. Is there anyone who joins any of these professions (military included) who have zero clue that at some point during their tenure they may face serious danger? Of course not. So if these brave men and women join a profession (for whatever reason) with the obvious understanding that it could involve more danger than the average pencil-pushing, report-running, white-collared would ever understand, then that is enough to call them heros.

    But I’m sure you supported someone like John Kerry who joined the military, but requested swift boat duty (which at the time was limited to domestic patrols) thinking he would take the easy road and I’m sure you begrudge someone like George W. Bush who didn’t see the combat zone, despite having request palace patrol (and not receiving it because he lacked flight time).

  6. Adam says:

    Excuse me Jason. I didn’t realize there was a major difference between the terms “serve their nation” and “defend our country”. If you want to get that nitpicky, then go ahead, you got me.

    Firefighters and police are not related to the millitary in the sense that the millitary takes in so many people who are looking for a way to get a life, and a career. How many people become a firefighter because of a signing bonus? The same is true of police officers.

    Now we’re talking about Kerry, who actually went to war, versus Bush who had his daddy bump him up into the Texas Air National Guard, only to go AWOL. Bottom line though, I supported Kerry because he was a better choice than Bush, not because of their war records.

  7. Big Dog says:

    Adam, I find it amazing you worship a man who went to war and despise one who did not.

    You are wrong about Bush going AWOL. If you ever served or were aware of the way drill attendance is recorded you would know that those in the guard routinely drill at times other than their drill dates. This is especially true for pilots because there are more of them than aircraft to fly. They come in off drill to fly when aircraft is available. The pay records show he was there for the required number of drill periods. Let us also not forget the active duty time to learn to fly.

    Bush’s father did not get him in the guard. This is pure fabrication that had been debunked a number of times. Bush volunteered to go to Vietnam and was turned down because he did not have enough flying hours.

    I am getting tired of people rehashing therse Michael Moore conspiracy theories and rumors to try to discredit the President.

    I would say that no matter what his record, he still served more time than you and Moore put together.

  8. Adam says:

    I said the bottom line was I supported Kerry because he was better than Bush, not because of their war records. There are a lot more ways to serve America than in the military. That matters to me more than a war record.

  9. Jason Smith says:

    Excuse me Jason. I didn’t realize there was a major difference between the terms “serve their nation” and “defend our country”. If you want to get that nitpicky, then go ahead, you got me.

    You didn’t? Are you saying that the only definition of serving one’s country is by defending it? Don’t you think there are ways to serve the country that don’t involve defending it?

    Firefighters and police are not related to the millitary in the sense that the millitary takes in so many people who are looking for a way to get a life, and a career. How many people become a firefighter because of a signing bonus? The same is true of police officers.

    Hmmm…. St. Petersburg, FL is offering a $3,000 signing bonus to firefighters. And, lookie here, so is the New Orleans Police Dept.

    How about you stop pulling stuff out of your butt and start arguing with some intellectual honesty. You’ve created an indefensible position just be argumentative and now you’re stuck trying to support the ridiculous. It’s lame.

  10. Adam says:

    Jason:

    How about you stop changing the argument to cover up for Big Dog’s clearly short cited entry? He first took my quote about being a “belligerent warmongering conservative” out of context to form this entry, and then he made the statement (let me quote it right this time for you):

    “People join the military to serve their nation. They give freely of themselves so that others may enjoy the rights endowed upon us by our Creator. They do not join for wealth or fame. They join to make life here a little better and to protect that which has been paid for with the blood of many brave men and women.”

    He took the risk of sounding “self-aggrandizing” and that is exactly what he ended up doing. So I reminded him that people join for more reasons than he makes it all out to be.

    This is where you come in, Jason. He makes this ridiculously short cited claim and you back him up. Then you chimed in with your nitpicky call for me to stop putting words in his mouth, over my confusion between “serving the nation” and “protecting the nation”. Then you bring up John Kerry who actually went to war and fought for this country, no matter what Republicans say, and Bush who was bumped up into the National Guard ahead of dozens of others despite scoring in the twenties on the test, out of 100 (oh that isn’t suspicious).

    And then…(big breath here)…when I suggest that few firefighters or police offices get signing bonuses, you find some exceptions (pat yourself on the back), tell me to stop pulling things out of my butt (harsh), tell me to argue with “intellectual honesty”, and then call it all lame. What exactly is this indefensible position that I’ve taken? I’d love to hear it…

  11. Big Dog says:

    I did not take anything out of context. I quoted exactly what was said and what was implied.

    I might have come off as self-aggrandizing but that certainly was not the intent.

    It is not only Republicans who question Kerry’s service, many Democrats have done the same. Funny though, when Clinton ran, service did not matter. When Kerry ran it was the most important thing in the world.

    Bush was not pushed ahead of people to get in the guard and I believe he actually scored well on the test. Of course, if you can actually produce his military records that show the score you might have a leg to stand on. Bush did release them, unlike Kerry who has still refused to sign the SF 180.

    Big Dog’s opinion: John Kerry received a dishonorable discharge for his participation in war protests while still in the Naval reserve. This was probably reviewed and overturned when Carter took office. This is probably in his records and why he does not want them released.

    All of Bush’s records that are available have been released. Kerry’s have not. NOW ISN’T THAT SUSPICIOUS

  12. Surfside says:

    Adam,
    I have to agree with you that some people join the military for reasons other than those stated by Big Dog. Case in point: John Kerry. He joined the military because he had political aspirations. Saw what it did for Kennedy. He was “in country” for only 4 months, managed to get wounded three times and sent home more decorated than a Christmas tree — although none of his wounds were serious or required hospitalization. And, amazingly enough, brought a camera to film his tour of duty. I defy you to find just one other person that left Vietnam after 4 months unless they were on a stretcher or in a body bag.

    Then he came home and trashed the very men he had supposedly bonded with in those four short months. You can tell how much he honored his service when he tossed his medals publicly. (Oh, sorry, that’s right. They were someone else’s medals.)

    You scored a point here. Big Dog was only referring to the truly dedicated men and women who pledge service to our country. I believe he was speaking to the majority, the brave souls. Please do not demean their service and sacrifice by pointing to the few “bad apples” that join for their own selfish purposes.

    And, Big Dog’s right. Clinton was, essentially, a draft dodger. He used his political connections to assure he would not be called to service. Of course, when he was running, that was OK with all you Dems. Your new DNC chairman essentially dodge the draft, too. He claimed a medical deferrment:”low back pain,” and then spent the next 10 months skiing in Colorado. Now, you’re still on Bush’s case for his guard service. Give it a rest!