My son has joined the US Army Reserves. I am very proud of him and am glad that he has chosen to serve our country.
We recently met with a group of recruiters who invited us to a “Future Soldier’s” outing. The NCO’s and their families who hosted the event came across as just your average everyday family folk, until I started asking questions about their careers in the Army. Turns out all of them served multiple tours in either Iraq or Afghanistan, or both. They were all fairly young, mid-to-late twenties.
Since I choose to write about our politics and culture, it is my task, if you will, to scour the internet for news. As such, I consider myself particularly well-informed, which is why it feels so insanely surreal to witness, via numerous media outlets, the incredulous differences between the tender “snowflakes” (read sheltered, mollycoddled students), found at far too many of our illustrious college campuses, and by contrast, the above-mentioned young men who protect our country on a daily basis.
The comparison boggles the mind.
For example, recently at Emory University, a slew of hyper-sensitive students, after seeing “Vote for Trump” written in chalk on the sidewalk, ran for their “safe spaces,” in horror, cowering, due to this injurious “trigger”. Compare this to one soldier that I spoke to who explained to me that one of his job duties in Afghanistan included “clearing the roads of IED’s,” a responsibility that he described as being, in a way, “fun”. FUN! When pressed, of course, he explained that although it is indeed an extremely dangerous vocation (as deaths and injuries certainly do occur), that maintaining the correct attitude undeniably made the task easier.
Compare that experience with a sniveling privileged student at Princeton, able to pay 60K a year for tuition screaming that the presence of ROTC on campus equates to a terrorist act resulting in lasting emotional harm requiring years of long-term therapeutic intervention. Every soldier I spoke to at last week’s outing recounted personal stories of harrowing events witnessed during combat operations. Despite this hardship, however, all of them without exception stated that they would not hesitate to go back and do it all over again.
In my conversations with them, I found many of the soldiers’ observations to be quite enlightening. One soldier, for example, stated that in his opinion, we should never have left Iraq without embedding a residual force, much like we did in Europe after World War II. Another talked about women soldiers, and the proficiency of their sharpshooting skills. I love that notion. It would do my heart good to know that some misogynistic Taliban insurgent with a rocket launcher on his shoulder might suddenly realize, too late, that he is about to get waxed by a female soldier. Get some!
One particularly enduring quality noted at the event last week was that without exception, every soldier I spoke to that day was void of pretense; nary a hint of braggadocio exhibited, and what I found astounding is how easily they spoke about the experiences encountered in a theater that most of us cannot even imagine. It should be mandatory for every incoming freshman college student to spend a week with these brave young men and women.
You think a couple of Apache Helicopters roaring past you in a field of smoke and sound, blasting hellfire missiles and 30 MM rounds from aM230 Chain Gun is cool in a video game? Try being up close and personal on the ground while that is occurring, and not wet your pants. It didn’t seem to me that the blood pressure of the soldier who shared this experience with me was raised even one bit. Mine certainly was just hearing about it.
I thank my God for these men and women. Everyone should feel seriously safe that they exist, and our enemies should tremble. The next time you hear some college student “snowflake” complain about how awfully “hostile” their ivory tower campuses are, think about our soldiers and their incredible sacrifices, and don’t be shy about shaming these privileged, entitled so-called scholars.