I posted this Associated Press picture along with the following header and sent it off to most people I correspond through email:

WE OWE THEM EVERYTHING AND YET OUR GOVERNMENT, US, WE THE PEOPLE, GIVE SO LITTLE BACK TO THEM IN RETURN.  BRING THEM BACK HOME TO LIVE THE LIVES THEY SO DESERVE.  THEY SUFFER AND DIE FOR BLOODY OIL MONEY!

I received many positive responses but one came from an old friend and he totally disagreed with my point of view and we went at it.  Here’s some excepts that are printable and suitable for public publishing from this debate.  Read them and please comment as to what you think on the issue.

Mr. G says- “The way that I see it is this….They enlist. They get a bonus of $20,000 for 30 months…$30,000 for 36 months & $40,000 for 48 months Plus an extra $20,000 if they join the National Guard after that time period. More than one family member in the service pays off the family house, in addition to a full tuition reimbursement for any college courses. They are in it for the money only, unless, of course,  they are foolish enough to believe that they are also protecting our freedom by being in Iraq or Afghanistan. If they get injured or lose their life in the process then that’s the price to pay for their foolishness. Hero’s?   Bullshit.” (My font bolding)

…and another excerpt……… “You like many others seem to miss the real point. Defense of our country with recruits is one matter that is timeless. It should be.
     There will never be enough of die-hard enlistees to fill the ranks that are needed in those perilous times. There will always be so called Heroes to defend the motherland. Most of today’s children of American adults NEED a kick in the ass. Most of them have been pampered so much that they have never even been in a car with the window rolled down… Candy-Ass pampered kids in this “new age” way of raising them. If this country was ever invaded we would not have many people, untrained, to defend it.
     When I was drafted for the Viet Nam “Conflict” I went against my will, but you know what, growing up on the streets of South Philadelphia, without much discipline & being drafted right out of high school & THEN going straight into Basic Training at Fort Bragg 100th Airborne Division & Special Forces along with AFRTS Broadcasting did me a world of good & something that I never knew that I needed. I learned discipline, respect & a strong desire to defend the United States so that others can enjoy the freedoms & liberty’s that we have here like no other place on earth. When I spent my time in Viet Nam I didn’t ask to be there. I was told to be there to protect the South Vietnamese from Communist invasion from the North. Now that’s a really good reason to die for, isn’t it? 
I learned to feel that, even though the North Vietnamese or the Russians or the Chinese were not a threat to our country. In Vietnam, politically, it was to defend the rubber plantations that France failed to defend & in Iraq, the oil fields . What the hell is the difference. War IS hell. It always was & will always be.
Loss of limb & life will always be the end result for some & others will always walk away unharmed…. 
      The military kids of today are there for what? Other than the money. Most enlistees come from families that have very little income. They are, in many situations, the breadwinners. With the weapons systems of today there are very little land battles that will take place. Not many Hum-Vees to drive around in  & get blown up in. Those enlistees CHOOSE that way of life & danger just as others that choose to be employed in enforcement jobs like Police, FBI, Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement, etc. They all play under the same game rules.”  (my font bolding here not his)

One of my replies that is printable- “No, you just don’t get it….a life is a life that is unique and cannot be replaced and has emotional ties to others and apparently you don’t value anybody’s life or their emotional connections and it is the main point of the act of giving one’s life for a reason besides the fucking money.  That’s the issue you skirt around with a very cold hard nihilist intransigent view.  The money is the money and that’s all you harp on.  The next time you need assistance from one of these “well-paid” parasites perhaps if they leave you to die in a car accident instead of helping you out of your car you might get it, but I doubt it.”
….and another
“I don’t care about being right, I care about doing the right thing and if honoring two soldiers in a picture drives you to this type of fierce insanity-(even Oliver North wouldn’t deny that the 9/11 deaths of fireman and police made them heros)-then all the articles in the world will not support your harsh opinion that people in all sorts of uniformed duty (do not) perform heroic acts.  By your spin, the Japanese were justified to bomb Pearl because we cut their oil off, so let’s see you stand up in front of a vet’s group this Veteran’s Day and tell them all that none of those who died performing acts to save one another (that day) are heroes.  You are using the old cliche’ that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.  One must take a stand at some point.”

So what do you think?  Are they in it for the money?  Are other uniformed positions in it for the money and therefore do not deserve “heroic” status if they save a life, if they run in a burning building?”  Am I so off base that “I just don’t get it?”  You tell me by commenting with your opinion.

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