Military Families

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I somehow get the feeling a lot of the regulars here don’t read milblogs. That’s a shame, if it’s true. Americans need to pay attention to the lives of the folks in the military, because the decisions we make every time we vote, or even open our mouths about war and defense have a butterfly effect on their lives.

One of my favorites is Dadmanly, who’s been kind enough to comment on some of my threads. He’s a good antidote to a lot of thoughtless stereotypes about military people.

I wish I could say family and friends have worked hard to make up the difference, and while some have, and many want to, the results just don’t compare. Sometimes their good intentions backfire, such as when they say things like, “You must be pretty excited, he’ll be home soon,” yet react with surprise and shock when she’s not okay, not excited, and “soon” isn’t soon enough (and certainly not now.)

Some have let their own ambivalence or even negative feelings about the war color their interactions and poison their good intentions. “This really is a stupid war, there’s no reason he should be over there,” or “I get so mad he even has to be over there.” Each time these misguided editorials zing past her ears, it really doesn’t matter what else was said, offered, or given. “Why don’t you just shut up and go away,” is the thought that blackens any good intent.

By the way, that is why one cannot be against the war but support the troops, because every one of your negative comments hurts, depresses, angers, and weakens the resolve of both the troops and their loved ones, whether they personally agree with the war or not. Such talk, when publicized, boosts an enemy’s propaganda effort, and whittles away public resolve, which of course is the real intent of the criticism anyway, isn’t it? But more dangerously, such talk, when incessant and without real substance, contributes to poor morale. And poor morale and ebbing public support will eventually weaken families, embolden failing enemies, and kill Soldiers.

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