Debt of Honor

I was poking around on the web today, reading accounts of the Paris attacks, and the mostly political responses from Washington, D.C. when I came across this video on PBS: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365602827 The video is called Debt of Honor, and you will see some familiar faces in it. For those of you who do not understand the situation with our Nation's Veterans, this may prove educational, and I encourage you to watch the entire thing, even though it is graphic and provocative. Near the end of the program however, there is a statement that I will paraphrase and expand upon. We got preoccupied with the Occupy America movement, where the presumption is that 1% of America is riding on the back of 99% of the population. In this program, it is stressed that approximately 1% of the population is all that serve in the military today. That hit me sort of hard. I live in a region where that number is more like 17%. It seems like nearly everyone I know is either in the military, or has served in the military, or has some connection to the military (personal, economic, or otherwise). So it was a revelation to me that nationwide, 99% of the population is actually riding on the backs of the 1% who serve. For 99% of America, the so called "War on Terror" isn't actually real. They have no "skin in the game" as my cousin Mike would say. Now Mike and I have very different viewpoints, he being a Deacon, and I a retired Soldier, but his "skin in the game" analogy is very cogent. War isn't Hollywood. The war we are in isn't a feature film. Its real. Its bloody. We as a Nation need to face facts. We need to realize that and we need to get in this thing for the long haul. In World War II, my father and three of his brothers went to war. One of them did not come back. That was typical. There was an evil in the world (embodied by Hitler and the Nazi Party) and it had to be fought. Likewise, there is an evil in the world today, and it has to be fought. On many fronts. This is not something you can just watch on TV. It will be expensive, both in terms of money and human suffering, but it has to be done because the alternative is simply to horrible to contemplate. This weekend, the French are coming to terms with this. The Russians are starting to realize this as well, though at present, I think they are more about trying to use the situation to their advantage than truly getting behind a full effort to win. In the United States, it seems as though we are too busy bitching about the color of coffee cups at Starbucks than we are concerned about evil men and a twisted version of theocracy sending suicide bombers into our towns and malls and places of worship and entertainment. Our military men and woman are on the front lines here. We need to get behind them and support them before, during and after conflict. We need to harden up for what is to come, develop the stomach to see this through and win. This is not some middle east conflict we can stay out of. This is a problem on a worldwide scale. We have a Debt of Honor to finish the fight and not waste the sacrifices that have already been made. We need to fully engage in this, provide the resources and manpower necessary, and see it to the end. --Doug Harvey, LTC, MS, AKARNG (RET) MWP Director of Veterans and Active Duty Affairs


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