U.S. Military: Heroes or Paid Thugs? | Teen Ink

U.S. Military: Heroes or Paid Thugs?

May 6, 2011
By redbull706 GOLD, Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania
redbull706 GOLD, Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania
17 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.” - Henry Rollins

In the United States, our society as a whole admires the men and women of the military as heroes. In a way, they are placed on a pedestal and even considered better than the common man. Do the men and women of the military really deserve to be looked up to this way? It is my personal belief that they do not, and I’m going to explain why I feel this way.

I’m sure almost everyone will agree that serving in the military is a difficult, dangerous, and often thankless job. But does this really make it something to be looked up to? What about all the other difficult careers such as that of the garbage man? Isn’t that a job just as difficult, dangerous and thankless as serving in the military?

On a daily basis, garbage men are exposed to hazards such as diseases, chemicals, broken glass, asbestos, disposable needles, flies, cockroaches, ants, and rodents as well as having to deal with foul odors and harsh weather conditions. This is just one example of many other thankless jobs out there that are essential to ensuring our society’s order. Careers in the military are just one example of a job needed to maintain order. I believe serving in the military is a necessary job to keeping our country safe, however, I do not view it as anything anymore significant than any other job.

Some people reading this may be outraged by that statement. They will try to make a case about how the military’s purpose is to fight for our freedom. The problem with this argument is that it’s not really true. The U.S. government ships our troops out to foreign countries all over the world under the false pretense that they are fighting for freedom. If the men in women of the military really are fighting freedom, then they aren’t doing a very good job. I love the United States and I’m happy to live here, however believing that we live in a free country is an utter falsehood.

For example, drug use and prostitution among other things are illegal here. In a real free country we would be able to do whatever we wanted without government punishment. Most European countries have way more freedoms than the U.S., such as the right to civil partnerships available in the U.K. (this gives same-sex partners the same legal rights as marriage).
The United States government restricts us from having freedoms such as the right to marry for homosexuals, the right to use any substance we want, and the right do what we want with our own bodies as well as many other things. Our troops really aren’t fighting for our freedom. They are really fighting largely for our safety but also for the interests of they government; whether or not they are to our benefit.

In the United States, our society as a whole admires the men and women of the military as heroes. I disagree with this notion because there are so many other careers out there just as necessary to our survival as the military is. Serving in the military is one’s career choice. Some join because they struggle to find other jobs and they need the money. Others join because they want to fight for our so called freedom. Whatever their reason for serving, it is their personal choice. Why should we respect the men and women of the military for making the personal choice to serve anymore than we respect the men and women who make the personal choice to do other thankless necessary jobs such as garbage men?

The author's comments:
By writing this piece I am by no means intending to disrespect troops who have passed away in combat. While I do not believe they died doing anything significant, I truly do express my remorse to anyone who has lost a loved one in combat. I am by no means insulting personally anyone who is serving or has served,I'm simply stating my viewpoint. Please comment whether you agree or disagree, but do it respectfully. Thanks.

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This article has 1 comment.

on May. 26 2011 at 2:32 pm
Kelly-In-Wonderland GOLD, Westfield, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 43 comments

I believe every job is significant in our society; whether you're a garbage man, military worker, or even a writer, you can make a huge difference.

Everyone is important and unique despite their career choices in my eyes. However, that's just my opinion.