I must admit that military service is something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. It's something I could never do. Just signing myself away to the government and saying, "Ok, I'm yours - do with me what you will." and then being handed weapons, trained how to use them, and given orders to end the lives of other humans. And what gets me is that every soldier on every side has the same perspective - he is the good guy and the others (as he's been told by his authority figures) are the bad guys. But the guys on the other side - they're not evil monsters. They're people. Just other people. They have people they love, and people who love them back. Perhaps they have been born into a culture that has brainwashed them to hate other cultures and to love causing death - but this doesn't make me hate them, it just makes me so very sad for them. I don't know what the answer is, but it doesn't seem like my country's current course of action is moving the world any closer to peace.
Although I am deeply grateful to the fighters throughout the course of history who have made the ultimate sacrifice for my country, today I keep thinking of the generations of mothers, wives, and families who have had to experience that unimaginably awful knock on the door. When a soldier has died, his problems and pain are over... but theirs goes on, every day, for the rest of their lives, while they continue on without their precious loved ones. I would like to thank them today, and say that my heart hurts for what they've had to endure. I desperately hope that the various colonies of ants on this anthill called Earth can somehow, someday figure out how to coexist without killing each other.
PS. I don't mean to sound un-patriotic, and I mean no disrespect to our soldiers... just sharing my honest thoughts on things.