On soldiering and yellow ribbons

I don’t have much to add to this, beyond saying, “Preach it.”
We have tens of thousands of full time and about a hundred thousand reservist soldiers, and so few civilians seem to know very much at all about them. My wife and I recently purchased some yellow ribbon type stuff from the CANEX, although to be honest, for me it was more about the financial support of the troops they allow rather than the moral support.
To anybody who may feel that it’s a show of support for war itself, or for a specific immoral war – take a hike. While it’s true that some soldiers are war fiends (I served with some), it’s also true that some civilians are (I know some), and again, also true that many soldiers are some of the most pacifistic people you’ll ever meet. Don’t believe me? Go down to your local recruiting centre, sign up to carry a rifle for three or four years, and you’ll see what I mean. Only psychos like to kill people, and while we in Canada like to call our soldiers “peacekeepers”, the rifles aren’t for show. They shoot real bullets and make real people be dead, everybody who serves knows that.
Pull out of Afghanistan because soldiers are dying? Newsflash: soldiers die, no matter what. It’s a dangerous profession. Soldiers die in training too. A buddy of mine died, right at home, in peacetime, and I’m far from unique. Horrible accidents happen during training all the time too. It sucks, but you close ranks and carry on. Should we stay in Afghanistan? I happen to think so, although I can see the reasons for pulling out – but because our own have been hurt or killed should not be one of them.

Ethics of the infantryman

Mark Grimsley writes Blog Them Out of the Stone Age. He posted an entry linking to an SF Chronicle article that quoted him, regarding the American soldiers currently being considered for prosecution for raping and murdering civilians in Iraq.
Not to make light of it, but it makes the shenanigans our own Airborne got up to in Somalia look relatively tame by comparison. First, a personal story.

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