I've known a few soldiers, a few airmen, some pilots, JAGs, and women and men in uniform. Some of them were admirable, and others were jerks. Mostly, they were all just regular people with a willingness to wear some pretty uncomfortable clothing.
When I see the things flying across my feed, I wonder how many of those in question have stopped in an airport to buy someone in uniform a cup of coffee. Asked them why they signed up. Thanked them for their service. Apologized profusely that budget cuts specifically preclude hiring someone to re-design maternity uniforms.
If you have, then good on you. If you haven't, you'll have an opportunity again, I'm sure.
Perhaps the appropriate question isn't why did they sign up...
But why didn't you?
What would you do if you had the national eye for a few moments, but weren't selected for your verbosity or prowess? What if you stumbled into success because of your willingness to survive severe head trauma, brain damage, so that your children could go to school somewhere better? Or the love of the game?
And then all the heads turned to you, dear Men of the Districts? While we're all punch-drunk on bloodsports and self-righteousness, looking down at you from our high horses?
What would you do?
Maybe you would make a statement. With your body, which is the prize that won you this audience in the first place. A non-violent statement, a soldier in the legacy of great men who know that no battle is ever won with the torch or the word or the sword which could have been prevented simply with silence?
It is a symbol, this stance, is it not? It says I'm strong and capable, and I refuse to engage.
It gives me chills.
When strong men trained for battle
Make the world stop.