Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win!

I have no idea why more sites haven't linked Kung Fu Monkey's excellent Memorial Day missive Lions Led by Donkeys in which he eviscerates the cheerleaders for the war in Iraq.

There is truth in the idea that soldiers are our designated warriors. But the accidental revelation in these attitudes is the bizarre concept that by soldiers choosing a life of taking risks on our behalf, these war supporters are somehow absolved of any responsibility to them other than emotional support and approval. There is the stink of ... the troops as employees. Like, say, gardeners. Not that I would ever make such a crude comparison.

But the fact is that soldiers make this choice in a specific context. They are not just entering a job. They are, to pull up my Catholic high school education, entering into a covenant with us. They take an oath to sacrifice their lives, if need be. That is, in my faith anyway, the holiest thing a person can do. In return, the civilian side of the covenant is a deep responsibility, a responsibility far beyond the emotional support one gives a sports team, or the minimal responsibility one has with employees. Our oath is simple:

We will make sure you have the equipment you need.

We will make sure have a clearly defined mission.

We will make sure that such missions are as well-planned as possible.

We will take care of your families while you are gone.

We will take care of you when you come home.

I'd add that losing the medical records of 26.3 MILLION vets is a major violation of that covenant with our soldiers to take care of them when they come home.

This is no small thing. Those personal records can't be recaptured, that Jeannie can't be put back in the bottle. Those vets will face the consequences of the cavalier treatment of their most personal information for the rest of their lives.

That's EVERYBODY that's worn a uniform and utilized their veteran's medical benefits. This is a monumental crime that's a little more important than the ho-hum news-of-the-day treatment it's gotten so far by the national media.

No comments: