Be A Softer Generation
Dunkirk, Hollywood’s latest World War II movie was released recently, and with it came a slew of commentators saying things along the lines of, “Ah, yes. Look at those men who stared down danger fought in those great battles. I wish my generation was not so soft. Those men, they proved themselves.”
What fools are they who think such things.
War is not glorious. Violence is not glorious. Death is not glorious. But after years, thousands of years of being told that this is how boys grow into men, part of me wonders if I can even blame them.
My first question to these commentators would be, “What’s stopping you?” How many of you sit and bemoan a “soft” generation, yet are not finding yourself walking into your local military recruiters office? Now, you may give me your list of reasons, but perhaps you simply have romanticized what war is and want to be on the winning side, want to hold yourself up, but you personally? No. The military is for poor people, people of color, people not smart enough to stay out of harm’s way like you. You display your, “Support our troops” stickers, yet become one of them? Well, that is for lesser people. In the same way you want your favorite football team to win, you want to “win the war,” yet put in zero effort. So as someone who has taken an oath to defend the Constitution, who will be leaving soon for what you’ve mistaken as something noble, may I say, keep your support. I don’t want it.
My next question is, do you really think war is what those who died fighting fascism wanted for you? They wanted peace, quiet, a chance to grow, build, to become better. Without war we could reach to such magnificent heights, and they hoped you would do that, yet you spit in their face as you wish for what they had. They had dirt and blood and grief and terror, but they took it so you could be better. So you could have better.
When I made the decision to join the military, one that I might add was not made easily, one of the reasons was because I was I was trying to put myself on a path that could lead me to being in a position to make significant alterations to how we engage the world. I want to be able to advocate and implement changes in the military. My dreams, my goals are to refocus on to humanitarian aid and scientific exploration (Is anyone who knows me surprised that I want the military to turn into Starfleet?), not what feels like an endless stream of wars. I don’t mind being in harm’s way if it leads to a more secure future for other generations. So many who have left to give their lives did so with the same wish. Security for those behind them. I do not buy into the idea that all the US Military does is defend freedom, but there are plenty who left because that’s what they wanted to do, and you disregard them and their legacy when you foolishly wish for war to prove your own manhood.
My last question is, what is wrong with a soft generation? To be remembered as being gentle, kind, giving, well wouldn’t you think this would be the goal of a supposedly Christian nation? You can just as easily fight for the homeless, the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and you can do it at home without violence. Being soft in your fighting doesn’t mean you are less of a man, it means you are more of a human. Look around you. There is so much, there are so many who need you to fight for them. Do it, and let mankind realize it’s full potential, free of violence and destruction.
When I have someone throw the words, “Bleeding-heart liberal” at me, I pray they are true, because I often fear I will not be remembered for being too kind.
You, nor humanity, will never prove itself in war, rather it will be proved when war finally stops.
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower