"Support Our Troops" I see these three words all the time. They are on the bumper stickers that cars from old Yugo's to new Cadillacs wear. They are posted on the walls of countless barber shops, often above pictures of local young men and women that are serving in the military. These three words have often been spoken at funerals of some of the same men and women that were so bravely applauded when they left their homes, headed for a combat tour in a distant land. "Support Our Troops" Three simple words...
Three simple words until you start asking people just what they mean. One says that we should display the word to let our military know how proud we are of them. (That person never wore a uniform.) Another says that we need to display the message to show our politicians that they need to provide the equipment that the troops need. (Want to guess where that one works?) Yet another said that 'it was just the right thing to do.'
When asked if we should raise taxes to support our severely crippled veterans my admittedly small sample came up with a resounding 'NO!' I asked if we had a real need to have our troops in harms way in Afghanistan the answer was 'yes.' When asked 'why, ' not one person had an answer other than our politicians said so. When questions as to the effect on our military personnel of multiple combat tours not one person thought that there would be any mental or morale problems.
If you want to support our troops don't bother buying a $2.50 sticker and putting it up somewhere. Get involved with finding out which politicians are putting our troops in harms way for no valid reason. Organize and vote against them. Find out which politicians are unwilling to adequately fund the Veteran's Administration. Organize and vote against them. Find out which politicians are unwilling to fund a large enough military to allow at least a 24 month break between combat tours. Then, organize and vote against them.
Supporting our troops takes effort, effort most people are not willing to give. It means holding our politicians of all parties, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and Independent responsible for their actions toward our military. Remember, speeches don't count, actions do. How did they vote, how did they help the money flow? If you really want to support our troops, Great! Get rid of your stickers and get down to work.
Who am I to write this? Retired military, 80% wartime disability, 25 years civil service in direct support of the military. Other than that, nobody important.