Social Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

If you are against war but have family in the military do you ever find that you resent them for fighting in wars that you don't agree should be happening?

Asked by OpryLeigh (24251 points ) September 22nd, 2009

Have you ever discussed this with them and if so did that discussion get heated? Can you feel that “they are just doing their job” or do you find yourself thinking that they are encouraging war because, maybe, if no one was willing to fight then there would be no war? Maybe you are one of these that is completely against war but can still support the troupes? Or maybe, although you don’t like the war you feel that it is necessary? What are your thoughts and how do you feel about close friends or family that are serving?

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18 Answers

marinelife's avatar

The answer is not to argue with or attack people carrying out policy, but to work to change policy including making your opinions known to elected officials with the ability to make those changes.

casheroo's avatar

Our troops need our support, no matter what. When they come home and do not receive the proper psychological care they need, even if that means just being able to talk about their experience….no matter if the war is just or not, then it can negatively affect them. I would never turn my back on someone who is doing their job. They didn’t decide to start the war, they are doing their job.

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t have close friends or family members in the military, but I do have some acquaintances. I am anti-war. However, I am pro-troops. These are people who are sacrificing their safety, comfort, and potentially lives to support our government. I don’t see them as encouraging war. I see them as being braver than I ever could be, even if I supported the cause. I make it clear when I talk to service members that I have deep respect for them, but not necessarily for their bosses.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

You can support your family member and still oppose the war.

Darwin's avatar

My husband and I are both anti-war, although he served 22½ years in the military. We are definitely pro-troops, however, for the same reasons @Likeradar does. I must make it clear, though, that the bosses I dislike are the ones who stay in Washington and decide to have war but only go near (not to) the front in a carefully orchestrated photo-op, like this one.

MrItty's avatar

“do you find yourself thinking that they are encouraging war because, maybe, if no one was willing to fight then there would be no war”

I wish – I really do wish – that I could be both that optimistic and that na├»ve about the way the world works.

mass_pike4's avatar

No matter the circumstance, you have to support your family member because they are a brave soul and are putting their life in jeopardy to fight for freedom. How could you oppose that? You have to support your family member and fellow troops regardless if you completely oppose the fact that they chose to go into the military. If you question them on this, they have no reason to even respect you. So, you have to respect their courage and sacrifice

kevbo's avatar

I think most if not all US war efforts are about empire building either for the US or for global corps. I also come from a family with many active and retired military. I have no illusions that any evangelizing on my part is or would be futile. I think they’re good people, too, but they are not seeing the big picture, sadly (or perhaps it’s me who is myopic). Also, I don’t see it as sacrifice. Draftees aside, they signed up for the work environment and responsibilities in exchange for the pay and benefits. If we still relied on conscription, I’d be much more vocal.

zephyr826's avatar

My husband is in the Army National Guard, serving in Afghanistan (for just a few more days). He made what I believe to be a poor choice 2 years before I met him. Meanwhile, I was in college protesting U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. We joke about how I’m the worst army wife ever. I made my opinions known once, long before he deployed. Right now, he needs my support and love much more than he needs my righteous indignation.

Interestingly enough, he is also anti-war, but was more anti-student loans when he enlisted. We are both looking forward to the end of his commitment.

YARNLADY's avatar

Many people who are life time military are in the service of their country precisely because they hate war, and hope to serve as a deterrent. When you disagree with the government’s support of a military action, do everything in your power to – first – understand the reasons behind it – and – second – be prepared to dedicate yourself to work as hard as the service people do to help convince the government they are wrong.

mammal's avatar

Yeah, hating the grunts is not helpful, we were all young once and looking for adventure, however i just read an autobiography about general de la Billiere, no doubt a fine soldier and leader, but not one for delving too deeply into the politics behind his active assignments, we seem to breed these men don’t we? who love soldiering, for soldiering’s sake, the comradery, the esprit de corps…not really idealistic motivations are they…hardly risking it all unless it serves ‘british interests’ time and again his SAS meddling in the affairs of foreign powers, whenever the natives get restless fed up with not being able to determine their on future, kept dirt poor because their western puppet government don’t confer upon them at least some of the benefits of a western style government.

Sarcasm's avatar

I can’t blame anyone in the Military, at least not in the US. They pay you well enough, there are always available jobs for you, plenty of benefits, and civilians here in the states let more things slide if you’re military (such as not carding for alcohol, even if you look young).

AstroChuck's avatar

Of course not. Both my daughter and her husband were in the army. My son-in-law saw a lot of action in Iraq. I was adamantly opposed to the war in Iraq but hold none of that against anyone serving in the armed forces. How can you do anything but support troops in harm’s way?

wundayatta's avatar

I am anti-war. I want our troops to come home safely. However I do hold people responsible for choosing to enter the military. We have other options. Choosing to enter the armed services is tacit approval of violence as a means of solving problems. It is complicity in regression of the human spirit.

As people, I don’t wish pain on our troops. As moral operators, I have to question their ethics. The ends does not necessarily justify the means. I don’t interact regularly with anyone who is currently serving in the military, as far as I know. I do not trust people who approve of martial action as a good way of solving problems. I’m sure they might be good people in other ways, but in the end, I think they are more dangerous than others, and I resent always having to watch out for violence erupting.

Darwin's avatar

The problem is that the military serves two purposes. While recent governments have largely used it as an offensive force, it also serves as a defensive force. Most of the folks that I know go into the military because they see it as a defensive force and want to protect their country and the freedoms of their fellow citizens. Very few of these people are sources of violence any greater than any other people their ages except on the battlefield.

However, another reason for folks entering the military even while being anti-war is the the U.S. military is one of the few work places where races, ethnic groups, etc. are very close to being given equal opportunity, so folks from groups that have a hard time “making it” in the outside world use military service as a ladder to climb to a higher social and economic status. They go in hoping to serve only in a defensive position or ideally under peace time conditions to get training and a boost in education and experience.

It would be different if Americorps, the Peace Corps, or an equivalent peaceful service option were available to accept these same numbers of folks that end up going into the military. But the funding and infrastructure is not there.

In the past, some folks went into the Reserves or the National Guard or even the Coast Guard to get these same benefits without actually making war or serving on foreign soil, but all of these people have now been turned into grist for the mill that is Iraq, so that doesn’t work, either.

On top of that, the military recruiters target the young and uninformed, recruiting directly in high schools. How many 17 year olds are really able to make an informed decision and foresee the ramifications of serving in order to get money for college, or training in electronics? Not very many.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@daloon I appreciate your honesty here. I come from a military family (Navy and Air Force mostly) and although I am proud of certain family members achievments I have often wondered if that makes me a hypocrit since I hate war.

When I say achievments I don’t mean anything like killing the “enemy”. Both my parents were PTI’s in the Navy and my cousin is a doctor in the Air Force for example

CaptainHarley's avatar

No. That’s like shooting the messenger because you don’t like the message.

Ron_C's avatar

I am exactly in that position. Additionally, my children and I are all veterans. When my son-in-law is deployed to Afghanistan, I get upset with the government but not the military or my son-in-law. I really hate the wars in the middle east and believe we should leave Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Let them fight among each-other and we will negotiate with the winners. If they continue to send assassins to kill Americans then we blow up whatever government that initiated the murders.

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