"Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
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10-09-2012, 10:53 PM
"Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Does anyone else find the "Hero" worshiping of members of the military disturbing? To me it's mostly done by Christians but I have had more interaction with them than others so I don't have the data to confirm that. Anyhow, I am specifically referring to America though it seems to happen at least in the UK and Australia as well. The majority of these people don't question the morality of the conflict/war, the political motivations for it, the troops actions themselves, the troops motivations for joining the military or much of anything else really.

I left active duty earlier this year for many reasons, but one of the chief reasons I left was because I felt morally obligated to leave. Fortunately I never had to anything to directly harm anyone else, but I have been shot at plenty. I honestly empathized with "the enemy". If my country was being occupied I would want to kill the occupiers as well. Whatever your beliefs, I wouldn't describe myself as a hero, and would say there is only a small percentage of troops that are. Perhaps no more than in the general populace.

Does anyone else find this "Hero" Worshiping very cultish? It disturbs me. I sometimes feel as if I am the false God that the Christians were warned about. On the flip side of the coin, a lot of folks think we are all crazy and will snap and go on a shooting-spree, and employers (I suspect) are afraid of this as well. Just look at our unemployment and homelessness numbers.

Thoughts?

(I wasn't sure if this thread should belong in here or elsewhere. Perhaps in the "This and that section? Consider Moderators use your best judgment.)

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10-09-2012, 11:04 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
My initial response to your observation is that maybe there a bit of hyper-praise for military folk to compensate for some of the shitty treatment some Vietnam vets experienced. My next thought is that post 9-11 there was a moment of solidarity and a way to express one's patriotism was to be particularly proud of you good service people. But I've settled on the thought that very many Americans just appreciate the hell out of what our military men and women are willing to go through on behalf of our country. We care for you as people because we know our government often asks you to do things that probably will not be safe.

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10-09-2012, 11:33 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
I agree to a certain point. I do not classify myself as a hero... Someone who stepped up to the task but definitely not a hero. The men jumping on grenades/throwing them back, running into the open to grab one of us back, SEAL Team Six... those guys are heroes.

The problem lies in the public that doesn't understand the military. They think that every day I put this uniform on my day is nothing short of Black Hawk Down. To random people on the street I just say "Thank You" when they thank me for my service. They pay taxes; I get a paycheck to have the possibility of being put in harm’s way. We are the product that the public buys with their taxes. To my family and close friends I am a little more blunt with. I tell them what it's really like. I tell them about the ridiculous regulations put into effect and the fact that I did absolutely nothing on duty that day. I tell them this so that they don't have the incorrect view of what I am doing. It is a job like any other job except we wear a distinctive uniform to work.

I agree immensely with Erxomai when he said that it is compensation (whether conscious or unconscious) for what happened to the Vietnam Vets. Their treatment was heinous.

As a military member against the war(s) I have always loved "You don't have to support the war to support the troop".

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself. - Robert Ingersoll
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11-09-2012, 12:52 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 12:56 AM by Luminon.)
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Yes, it's disturbing, but in a little different way. I as a foreigner don't see much worship of live soldiers in American culture, only a little about how they return home, you know the emotional scenes.
The worship of dead ones can be seen in general culture, like American films. And when I see the honors, I see a young life that gave his blood for oil and government lies. He'd be a greater hero to die "fighting" malaria, AIDS or dengue fever, by stabilizing a foreign country and building some water projects there.

And showing off military technology and prowess that's disturbing too, it makes other nations (like me) feel uneasy and want to have an army too, for protection.
I don't despise army or soldiers, only those who believe the government propaganda and really love their job, specially the parts that don't get to media. The most important part of a soldier is his head, where he must think if his fight is just or isn't.

I believe soldiers should not serve any single nation, but serve them all by enforcing peaceful negotiations. Also, there are places in the world that desperately need to be invaded, specially Congo, with its civil war for rare elements that we need for our iPhones. Authorities turn a blind eye and ship the ore to Australia to legalize it, so even the profit doesn't go to the country.

I like how Jacque Fresco describes future soldiers, as educated problem-solvers.






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11-09-2012, 01:11 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
There are many servicemen on this forum and I've said my piece on this in previous threads so I'll keep it brief. When you join up and "fight the good fight" you never come back the same. You lose a part of yourself seeing all those dead children and charred remains. People treat soldiers the way they do because I think they can tell. They can see it in their eyes. I got out of the army in 2009 and I still have nightmares almost every night. It's not natural to have friends die next to you in mutilating ways. Every time someone thanks me for my "service" I flinch a little. And truth be told, most people sign up with good intentions, and they come back with bad memories feeling disillusioned toward their government and country. So reason for fighting and morally just cause or not, people call soldiers heroes because no human should have to experience what most of them do. Personally, I think the real heroes are the kids that live there. They deal with that shit every day of their lives and they look happy as can be, playing with a soccer ball in a pile of sewage and trash.

I guess that wasn't exactly "brief."


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11-09-2012, 01:31 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
The war in Iraq is somehow getting to an end. End of American presence, at least. There will be many men, often young, returning to the country. They will return and many of them will talk. They will have an influence on their families.

What do you think it will mean poltically? Will there be a change in voting preferences? I mean, even a most religious right family will get a little shaken when their returned boy screams from his sleep every night.

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11-09-2012, 02:03 AM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 02:16 AM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 01:31 AM)Luminon Wrote:  The war in Iraq is somehow getting to an end. End of American presence, at least. There will be many men, often young, returning to the country. They will return and many of them will talk. They will have an influence on their families.

What do you think it will mean poltically? Will there be a change in voting preferences? I mean, even a most religious right family will get a little shaken when their returned boy screams from his sleep every night.

Well technically it pretty much ended a while ago. It's all about Afghanistanistanighistan now. Believe me, there will be minimal effect. Me and my brother both served 2 pretty rough deployments each. We both shared stories with the family and gave political viewpoints from a firsthand perspective of the war. Yet, we're also still the only 2 people in the family voting for Obama this election. Politics is like religion. No amount of logic or evidence can make someone admit that they were wrong in their views. Every year is another building block to their "Republican" or "Christian" identity. And no one wants to crumble their entire belief system and start over from scratch. Tradition is tradition because it's tradition.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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11-09-2012, 04:32 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(10-09-2012 10:53 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  Does anyone else find the "Hero" worshiping of members of the military disturbing?

No I don't. I think there is "big H" hero and "little H" hero. The "little H" type is simply recognized for brave and noble qualities. Many people, myself included, describe military service as heroic because of the bravery and nobility of serving the greater population in an occupation that can be dangerous. I would say the same about our police and firefighters. You are all doing a job that contributes to keeping me and my family safe, and we thank you for it. How could I feel otherwise?

(10-09-2012 10:53 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  The majority of these people don't question the morality of the conflict/war, the political motivations for it, the troops actions themselves, the troops motivations for joining the military or much of anything else really.

Yes we question the morality of war, and each specific war. We also question the morality of inaction when people are being oppressed by their own "government." We understand that some troops will sometimes do horrific, amoral things, and we condemn those acts while also recognizing that the situation these troops find themselves in to be uniquely difficult to deal with.

(10-09-2012 10:53 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  Whatever your beliefs, I wouldn't describe myself as a hero, and would say there is only a small percentage of troops that are.

It would be unseemly for you to describe yourself as a hero. Let the rest of us do it for you. It's not difficult to understand when it's little H vs. big H.
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11-09-2012, 04:48 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
First a disclaimer, I'm terribly biased against the military, from two fronts, personal (my mother's father was an abusive piece of crap and he was in the military) and social, we have a terrible history of military dictatorships here so we really don't like them.

After that, I'd like to say I do find it disturbing that so many people think they're heroes. I understand the fact that they do it because soldiers do a horrible job that is regarded as necessary and horrible at the same time, but I think that's not enough in my opinion to make someone a hero.

Soldiers in a sense forfeit their moral autonomy when they join the military, they have to follow orders and no matter how immoral those orders are they have to obey. That forfeit is what I think makes soldiers not worthy of the adjective "hero", a hero requires moral autonomy in my opinion.


Sorry if this sounds offensive, that's no my intent obviously Confused

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11-09-2012, 05:47 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Thanks Jeff. I like your little H/big H thing.

Nach - I understand your position so I won't question the wording, I would however like to educate you from a my personal military mindset.

I have never once forfeited my moral autonomy. We do not have to follow immoral or illegal orders. In fact we are trained and instructed to disobey and report those who issue and follow such orders.

What country do you come from if I may ask.

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself. - Robert Ingersoll
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