Supporting the Troops

In recent years, “Supporting the Troops” has almost become an empty platitude of our modern American life. Support for our current military excursions has become mired in lies, half-truths, and a level of political one-ups-manship that has become hard for everyday Americans to wrap their heads around. (Personally, I’m developing a rule that if the reasons for a fight cannot be easily explained, its probably best not to get into it.)

As for the American military and their families, they’ve never been more overstretched, underpaid, and all around treated like crap by our country. They’ve been asked to be abroad for years on end, to risk their lives for murkier and murkier reasons.

Personally, I’ve never been directly affected by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve only known a handful of service people personally who’ve been “over there” for any period of time. However, in the various positions I’ve held I have always tried where I can to help them out.

Tonight, answering the phones for a company I really don’t need to talk about, my last call was a serviceman currently in serving oversees. He’d been unable to take care of his account before being deployed. Chances are, he didn’t have someone who could magically take care of it for him, because he was calling while there.

I found the whole thing pretty sad, because it all was messed up because of a policy change going into affect right when he was being deployed. His bill was backed up and needed things taken care of. Half hour later, he’d had the worst of it wiped off his slate with our company. I figured he was getting shot at, least I could do was take care of the bullshit for him so he didn’t have to worry about it. How hard is that, really?

Why has it become so hard for us as a nation to support the very people we rely on: the military, police, fire fighters, government workers, teachers? They all handle big parts of our lives so we don’t have to, yet we’re increasingly unwilling to support them?

And for what? Our politicians are beating up on them first, asking them to sacrifice to prevent us from not being able to buy more crap from Wal-Mart. It just doesn’t make any damned sense.

We’ve lost our way.

Support the Troops, or the cops, or the firefighters, or the teachers. . .  These aren’t just platitudes to make us feel good. You don’t just say you support something. You support by doing.

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