What should we tell our sons about military service?

There is a military tradition in my family going back to the Civil War. In fact, it predates that. Using ancestry information online, I recently discovered that I have at least one ancestor who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and another who served in the Prussian Army during the War of Austrian Succession. I have grandfathers who served in World War I and my father’s father was killed in action in World War II. I served as a rifleman and paratrooper as did my son in the 1st Ranger Battalion in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lately, however, I have been rethinking that tradition.

Considering the current state of things, how should we advise our sons today? The rules of engagement in Afghanistan are deadly… for Americans. Warriors begging for assistance in Benghazi were left to die. In fact, the entire Libya operation was conducted without the Constitutionally mandated approval of Congress.

Furthermore, the military is being weakened with leftist social experimentation. The repeal of DADT has opened the military to a new type of sexual fraternization that is certain to corrode unit cohesion and combat readiness. Physical standards have been reduced in order to allow physically weaker females to serve in roles for which they otherwise would not be qualified. Would a 5’1″, 110 lb woman carry my 6’3″, 225 lb son to the aid station if he were to be wounded?

Finally, if the United States has adopted a feminist culture in which conservative men are castigated for their so-called “war on women”, in which vagina monologues are the new political discourse, in which abortion and birth control are the primary focus of national policy, in which women far outnumber men in institutions of higher education, in which heterosexual men are redundant and unnecessary as fathers and even unnecessary in marriage, is there reason to tackle the masculine heavy lifting of being an actual trigger puller in defense of the nation?

Should we be telling our sons to shoulder the rucksack, pick up the rifle and fix bayonets? Or should we leave that to the citizens of Julia’s new, feminine, gay-friendly, socialist, nanny state?


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16 Responses to What should we tell our sons about military service?

  1. Buzzdaddy says:

    I’ve sworn the oath and toted a gun around most of my adult life in service to this country and my community. My dad was a career officer who brought a Bronze Star back from Vietnam. My uncle flew choppers there. My grandfather was part of the submarine service during WWII; his grandfather might have met some of your ancestors back in the 1860’s when they came to “visit” his cavalry unit over in Mississppi. His dad spent some time ranging in Texas and chasing Mexican soldiers down the El Camino Real to San Antonio. He was named after George Washington who his dad served with. It gets kinda fuzzy from there.

    The thing we all hold in common is the fact that our service had a mission and a purpose. Our enemies were identified. I don’t know that our civilian leadership is providing our servicemen with that clarity of mission that’s needed. More important than that, our leaders have shown that they do not have the honor, courage, or commitment to protect our men when they’re in harm’s way. Benghazi is big, flashing warning sign that they won’t be there for you. From what I understand, the ROE in Afghanistan are nothing more than a sadistic joke.

    And then you have some folks who wonder if there’s even a little bit of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” left to fight for. The country we live in now doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance to the nation I swore to defend years ago.

  2. R.D. Walker says:

    Buzz: I only had one ancestor to serve in the Union Army 1861-1865. He was a sergeant and, later, a lieutenant in the 6th Iowa Cavalry and served during those years by chasing the Sioux out of Minnesota and into Dakota Territory.

    Of course in the new, diverse, modern America, he was just an evil and criminal figure for his crimes against Native Americans, right?

  3. Buzzdaddy says:

    I’m beginning to fear that a lot of us will be considered evil criminals in this new, diverse, modern America.

    I don’t recognize this country and I worry what the future holds for my children. I used to tell them that military service was an honor and a duty they owed to their nation. That was when I thought I knew what America was.

  4. notamobster says:

    Yeah, I have to say that the jury is currently out on this one. I have always told my son that men should serve their country, as I was raised.

    I have grandfathers in the Civil War and the American Revolution. One was a Major in the Continental Army. He later settled the territory beyond the Northwest Territory. He too, was an Indian killer – making life safe for civilized people on the frontier.

    My Grandfather was a marine & served in the Pacific in WWII. My Dad volunteered for Vietnam but was denied because he was born nerve-deaf in his left ear. My Uncle Leo served in Vietnam. I have been all over the world on orders from my country, including two years all over the middle east.

    I have wanted my son to become a USAF Combat Controller, but these days I find myself questioning whether that would be wise.

    I will never advise any man that he should not defend his country, but actively joining the armed forces to be sent off to strange land, have your hands tied behind your back, and not receive the support required, when it is so required?

    I don’t know if I’m okay with the new paradigm we find ourselves hopelessly ensnared in.

    We will always defend our nation, but maybe that is best reserved for our soil.

    I find this quote true, but what we are discussing, is not the same thing.

    Fiat justitia pereat coelum.

    Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, but our country, right or wrong.”

    ~Stephen Decatur

    Defending your nation, even when she is wrong – is in a different league entirely, from defending in foreign entanglements when you don’t even recognize her anymore. We’ll probably stick to our soil. I will anyway.

  5. messup says:

    Some additional info, especially the one from Brazil’s “Folha” in 2011 about 19,000 “known” sodomite attacks in US military. Nowadays, when registering (triage) in US Veteran Hospitals, questions like:1)have you ever been sodomized while serving? and Were you ever raped? are common. Yep, US’s new military.

    Let’s take a look at some of the things that have happened since 2008:
    • On December 18, 2010, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed based on propaganda posing as “research” from politically slanted organizations such as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the Palm Institute. A Pentagon report issued on December 1, 2010 was based on whether heterosexual servicemembers and their families thought repeal would change things. Only 15%-20% of respondents thought it would change things for the better, while 30% thought repeal would worsen things, and 50%-55% thought having the law was about as good as repealing it. Only 15% of homosexuals in uniform were actually planning on announcing their orientation to their unit, meaning that 85% of all troops including gays were essentially more in line with military life sans repeal than with a suddenly “openly gay” military.
    • Hidden in 2010 was that the Pentagon knew of 19,000 annual cases of sexual abuse within the military (the latter evidence was published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha in 2011, and I was able to read it because I speak Portuguese; otherwise, I would not even know about the study). We had been led to believe that gay men could naturally “control themselves” in a high-stress environment with few safety barriers around the sex they were inalterably drawn to. Nobody had considered that the spirit of openness might lead gay troops to pressure other suspected gay troops to come out of the closet, ostensibly to exercise their newfound “rights,” but really to make them sexually available for exploitation. There was little pressure placed on the military by gay rights groups to ensure that gay soldiers sexually assaulted by other gay soldiers (or worried that they might be vulnerable to sexual assault) would have adequate protection or grievance procedures. Common reactions to sexual assault are depression, anxiety, and self-destructive thoughts.
    • In 2011, Elmhurst College was the first to ask incoming freshmen to indicate voluntarily their sexual orientation on official paperwork. This makes a person’s sexual behavior a matter of public record (it could even be, presumably, subject to subpoena years later in a divorce or child custody case). Other colleges jumped on this bandwagon, culminating in the decision by the 10 campuses of the massive University of California system to consider tracking students’ sexual orientations. To place such a question on a student application assumes that eighteen-year-olds have had enough sex with multiple partners to compare the experiences and figure out what orientation they are. It also assumes that human sexual behavior is reducible to a few patterns which are innate, unchangeable, and knowable to people in their early adolescence — all ideological mainstays of the gay rights movement, despite thousands of years of cultural history that show that human sexuality is fluid, changeable, and often affected by situational factors (otherwise, how do we explain Achilles’ love of Patroclus and Briseis, or male prisoners or sailors falling in love and then going back to their wives when they have their freedom again?). If every boy who was ever aroused during gym class were gay, the human race would have stopped procreating about 5,000 years ago.
    • In the fall of 2010, Dan Savage launched a campaign called “It Gets Better,” which would prompt Harvard University, members of Congress, and Oprah Winfrey, among many others, to shower him with praise. Ostensibly to counteract gay teen suicides, this project allows gay adults to record their testimonials and broadcast them over the internet to gay minors. Few people raised the issue that Dan Savage has no training in psychotherapy and has many other motives that look and sound like self-serving recruiting. If “It Gets Better” is a gigantic recruiting campaign designed to undercut parents (hint: yes, that’s exactly what it is), with the predatory goal of populating the gay movement and pre-empting self-questioning teens from deciding that they aren’t gay after all, then we have a major problem. In September 2011, fourteen-year-old Jamie Rodemeyer killed himself outside Buffalo, New York. Before his suicide he came out as bisexual on the internet, to the support of his loving parents, and recorded an “It Gets Better” video. (For many years, Dan Savage insisted that “bisexual” teens were simply gays who couldn’t admit it yet.) Was it wise for certain people to push unprofessional quack therapy about highly sensitive issues on children they don’t know based on a model of sexual development that runs counter to almost all of human history?
    • The suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi in September 2010 could have led people to ask whether the older gay man in Clementi’s dorm room, who was prowling around a college campus seducing barely legal epicenes, was a factor in the distress leading to Clementi’s self-immolation. Instead, the public went after the other college freshman who videotaped Clementi having sex and placed the footage on the internet. (There was no outcry of unfairness when Ted Haggart’s voicemail messages to a male prostitute were disseminated all over the internet in the weeks before the 2006 midterm elections.)
    • Once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, military chaplains were encouraged to perform same-sex weddings. Since 2008, there have been forced sanctions against Christian singing groups at Vanderbilt and elsewhere over their views on homosexuality, and pressure to disallow Catholic Charities from assisting in adoptions and foster care, because of their view on gay marriage.
    • Despite assurances by the gay rights movement that they aren’t recruiting young people, brainwashing students, or forcing people out of the closet, the movement has given its undying approval to Dan Savage, who now lurks around colleges with his “Savage U” program and forces people like Marcus Bachmann out of closets that don’t even exist. No sooner was the debate about Proposition 8 over than California passed a law requiring that “gay history” be taught in public schools. Walt Whitman’s use of metaphor in Calamus is soon to be a weapon of indoctrination.

    In a Nov. 19, 2012 report on TV San Francisco’s epidemic use of crystal meth among the LGBT/Gay Movement has given rise to a 20% to 30% death rate. Guess “same-sex” marriage is not the “dream ticket” it was cracked up to be! HUH!!!On Discovery’s “Intervention” TV program (11/19/2012)an AWOL Navy lesbian was dishonorably discharged, later diagnosed as a heavy heroin/Percocet addict. Gay Movement is destined to implode. Began as a revolutionary movement in the 50’s and 60’s and now, has come full circle to implosion. Pray. Amen.

  6. MadBrad says:

    Whereas I believed that my act of enlistment back in the 80’s actually helped to strengthen the Nation in its ability to defend itself against its enemies, I thought that the endeavor was worthwhile. Now I no longer feel that is true. Nonetheless, I know that the experience made me a better person.

    I come from a family with long military traditions. I knew that along with all the other reasons I enlisted, that I was going through a rite of passage into manhood. That would continue to be the case for any other young man in a similar circumstance.

    The only thing is, our military cannot defend us against the threat we face today. The enemy exits within the civilian chain of command. This Nation is being brought to certain destruction as I write this.

    A young man who is determined to serve will not be talked out of it but it is important that he understand that whatever his career field choice, it is there to benefit him as a person, not the Nation as a whole. I could not have such a conversation with a straight face and say that his service helps to defend us and if he should have to sacrifice his life in such service, that it would actually have a higher purpose.

    My heart is very heavy right now when I think of these things.

  7. RJ says:

    In today’s enviroment I would not encourage a son (if I had one) to join the US Military. Although I proudly served I would be hard pressed to justify returning to service in today’s military. (if I were not well past the current age limit).

    There are some here who have documented a long family history of service, I do not have any knowlege of family service with the exception of a Uncle who was in USArmy for 30 yrs,

    I do have several nephews, one who is currently serving. I would not encourage any of the others to sign up at this time.

    That all being said, should the homeland come under attack by foreign forces I’d hit the roids and muscle up and take my chances once again.

    Even if I had to walk to the border and provide my own weaponry and ammo.

  8. BaconNeggs says:

    I think RD hit the nail on its head, Feminisation and Political Correctness have emasculated the Military and brought it to its sad state.

    Like the recent election, its simply another tipping point and a miltary reality one have got to face. Endless limp wristed politicians and military brass are “in control” and therefore its a dangerous proposition to advice your child to serve in the military at present.

    I don’t know if there have ever been an ideal time to serve, as even at the birth of the USA, Washington’s patriot troops were treated harshly by their leaders and reduced to eating the leather soles of their boots if they were lucky enough to have been issued boots.

    However, today’s insane ROEs in Afghanistan and the willful abandonment of men in battle in Libya, while politicians and military brass watch a live drone feed of them being killed, is a sickening reality that they would throw away the life of your son and not give a damn.

  9. sortahwitte says:

    Advice to a son, daughter, niece, nephew…….etc.

    No. No, no, no.

    For the above reasons and roughly 1000 more.

    Gentlemen and ladies, plan B. Get busy.

  10. pateriot says:

    I joined the military when I was 17 and served honorably. Although I have many accomplishments since than, serving my country is the one I remain proudest of. over 30 years later. However, this is not the same country that I served back than and it is increasingly becoming foreign to me and more Socialist Nationalist. If I was a young man now I would not join the military nor do I want my sons (or daughter) to join. Let the Liberals and Progressives who are destroying the military, our country, Constitution and Liberty, don their pink spangled uniform and matching accessories and go defend the country they have stolen from the rest of us!!!

  11. Uke says:

    My enthusiasm in recommending the military is FAR less than it once was, that’s for sure.

    I probably wouldn’t actively persuade or dissuade, but of the two primary reasons for joining the military (character building and serving a vital, greater cause), the latter has likely been drastically diminished. How can the “American Cause” be greater in any way at all if we’re inexorably sliding into the totalitarian/statist abyss?

    An ROE that conveys a shocking lack of seriousness in utilizing the very serious force that is our military certainly doesn’t help, either.

  12. James says:

    Let the Shitty People who put in the current government serve the country they believe in for a while.

  13. xenicalman says:

    I would have to caution my child that the day may come when he is ordered to fire upon American Citizens who lawfully exercise their rights under the Constitution.
    That frightens the hell out of me and steels my response to that as well.

  14. MadBrad says:

    The man who leads my Sunday morning Bible Study is a Vietnam Vet of the 1st Air Cavalry. He feels the same way I do; our Country is given over to the very same Enemy we fought overseas. Nikita Khrushchev has been proven correct. He said that he can’t shake the feeling of extreme sadness. I feel the same way.

  15. Jim22 says:

    I really don’t have much to add to this. I was never a military man. I did grow up in a Navy household, though.

    Probably the best we can do is to strive to change the attitude in America that we can send troops in to build nations and win hearts and minds. Those goals have never worked. The military should be used to protect our country.

    We don’t have any business trying to enforce our ways on countries that don’t want them. Korea, Viet Nam, etc. have all been failures for us. We need to change our goals.

  16. Jim22 says:

    That image looks like the interior of a C47. R3Y to the Navy. DC3 to Douglas.