National Service and the Iraq/Afghan Soldier

Last Friday we asked you to consider three questions about national service that would promote objectives that served you and your community.

1. How do we maximize the physical security of the American people in their persons, homes and communities?
2. How do we maximize the dedication, sacrifice, knowledge and experience of the Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan Wars?
3. How do we maximize the readiness of young men and women to enter the Active Duty United States Military, physically, mentally and ethically?

Of the three questions let’s focus today on the second, concerning our veterans. We start with our soldier/veterans because they are our most recent National Service volunteers and because their service, particularly, its meaning, is being deliberately erased from public consciousness by our Corporate Empire. Teaching the American people to ignore the unprecedented sacrifice of our soldiers was a goal of the Empire from the beginning of the so-called “global war on terror.” We learned the lesson well as a people, because for the next eight years, we sent our service members on unconscionable multiple tours and justified it on the basis of the “voluntary “nature of our soldiers service. We reduced our soldiers’ national service to mercenary status. And today our political leaders refuse to honor the costs of their service, a true national debt, which we consistently seek to avoid.

But, more shamefully it is our military leaders who have put our soldiers and their isolation out of mind. Glance at this front-page “Time” article then listen to this American Enterprise Institute interview with our Army Chief of Staff.

If you only have time for the response to the question by the West Point Cadet at 53.40, you will get the point.

The young men and women who engaged in the ultimate national service in these wars have been sacrificed in the greatest foreign policy blunder in American history.
No group of Americans understands this more than our soldier/veterans. For this reason, no group of American is better equipped to lead in remedying our failures.

More than any Americans, they have the capacity to understand the futility of sectarian division, the mind of the young Muslim we have chosen to fight, the elements of true nation building at home and abroad, the uses and limits of lethal technologies, the disgrace of torture, and the value and honor of service. In fact, it is likely that the only lasting remedy for the injury to them and their families is continued national service. The irony may be that your generation needs the continuing national service of our newest veterans to make yours meaningful.

On Friday we will consider the insecurities that allow the Corporate Empire to exploit us.