General Question

bright_eyes00's avatar

Regardless of your political beliefs, do you support your troops past or present?

Asked by bright_eyes00 (1343points) May 4th, 2009

I get mixed feelings from people regarding the military. What do you think? How do you feel about the troops? I dont want to know opinions on the war, I’m just wondering if you stand behind the ones that fall for you. How do you feel about the veterans in the past? Or about the cruel reception some troops have received? How do protesters that make scenes at the funerals of fallen troops make you feel? I’m looking for any opinion, feel free to share.

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38 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Of course. Pretty much everybody supports the men and women in the service. What exactly is the point of asking if people support the troops? What exactly does that mean, anyway? I’ve never seen the point to those yellow magnets on the backs of vehicles telling me to “Support our troops.” Hell, they can’t even be bothered with stickers, just magnets. Too permanent I guess.

Allie's avatar

Yes. I support the individuals who fight for us, though I don’t support the reason they have to fight. I have a few friends and family members in different branches of the military. I don’t know how I could not support them.

Edit: As for the protesters at funerals, there is a time and place for protesting and I don’t think a funeral for a fallen soldier is it. That family will forever remember the tension at their son/daughters funeral and that just doesn’t seem right to me. Let them have some time to remember them peacefully.

bright_eyes00's avatar

@AstroChuck i only asked because i’m curious why some people would spit in the face of a soldier and throw bricks at an airplane full of troops returning from a war, or hassel the family of a dead soldier…i just dont understand it and i’m wondering if people really do “support the troops”. more than a sticker or a magnet, something to their core. something that should be in the heart of every american who relishes the freedom we have that was bought by the blood of thousands.

Jeruba's avatar

Of course. I am opposed to their being where they are, but that isn’t their fault. And it is totally wrong to equate opposing the wars with opposing our service people. How could wanting them to come home safely not be supporting them?

I can’t imagine why anyone, regardless of politics, would do the things you say. But people are capable of all sorts of strange, cruel, and insane behavior. Don’t imagine they represent anyone but themselves.

jlm11f's avatar

I support the troops and what they do for the country. I just don’t support what the country is making them do currently.

jrpowell's avatar

Iraq did nothing for my freedom. I have seen lots of videos of people that joined after 9/11 that want to kill the “sand niggers”. I don’t support those guys.

But I think most of the troops do a great job. The people that lead them into war need to be convicted.

augustlan's avatar

Absolutely. I don’t support war, but I certainly support the troops.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i don’t support the war itself, but i certainly support the soldiers who are not repulsive and heartless.

Staalesen's avatar

I always says: never hate the soldier, hate the politician.

YARNLADY's avatar

I come from a third generation Navy family, and I have done volunteer work for the United States Navy Sea Cadet Corps, a teen organization similar to ROTC.

cookieman's avatar

I honestly don’t know what “Support Our Troops” really means. I don’t voluntarily send them money (but I’m sure a portion of my taxes “supports” them). I don’t volunteer time in support of them (but I would never protest or act out against “our troops”).

Historically, my uncle was in the Korean War (army) and it messed him up for life. Conversely, my father was in Vietnam (navy) and it was one of the best experiences if his life.

Currently, I see (on television mostly) soldiers in Iraq who are proud of what they do, seem clear-headed and realistic, and apparently believe in protecting the U.S. (and others). I can’t help but applaud those guys on some level.

On the other hand, I know a former soldier who can’t wait to get back to Iraq to “kill some fuckin’ towel heads”.

I have also heard of some who joined the military with the best if intentions but grew to resent the war and our government.

So do I “Support Our Troops”?If I’m being honest – not really.

I am impressed and humbled by those soldiers that truly joined out if a sense of purpose; who believe they are protecting our country despite our very fallable government; who take all life seriously, but do what must be done.

But equally as much, I cannot condone the actions of the small-minded, bigoted, arogant and blindly-patriotic amongst them.

Are both of these types of soldiers fighting side-by-side? Sure, but I cannot seperate intent from action. I cannot homogenise them into “Our Troops”.

Some would say, “Intent doesn’t matter when they’re protecting your freedoms” – but I disagree. And I also disagree that war and military might are the only way to protect my freedoms. I believe that diplomats from the Department of State also contribute to protecting our freedoms. Why are there no “Support Our Diplomats” bumper stickers?

Ultimately, I feel the military is a tool in a toolbox full of solutions to our protection and foreign diplomicy.

Unfortunately, (through movies, television, video games, comic books, action figures, novels) being a soldier has been elevated to near-mythic status. Beyond criticism unless you’re a “fuckin’ liberal”.

It does us no good to perpetuate this type if blanket patriotism (shored up by jingoism and fear).

So I say, “Support Your Troops” as you would support anyone’s actions who warrant it. Only you can decide what that means.

girlofscience's avatar

Sigh. To be honest, not really.


benjaminlevi's avatar

Its really brave going out and risking their lives like they do, but I don’t agree with what they are doing at all.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Of course I do. Even during the Vietnam war, when I was carrying signs at anti-war rallies, I supported them. I went to school with a lot of those guys, and I didn’t like it when they came back in aluminum coffins. I didn’t care about the struggle of the Vietnamese people against the Imperialist Oppressor (give me a friggin’ BREAK, you loonies). I cared about good people dying. I don’t feel quite the same about Iraq and especially Afghanistan as I did about Vietnam, but I still care about the dying.

Judi's avatar

One of the big mistakes (and lessons learned) from Vietnam was that the people who opposed the war took it out a lot on the troops, who, for the most part, were drafted and really didn’t have a choice. I think that the lesson was well learned. I know of no one who has disdain for the troops who are working hard, love our country as much (or more) than anyone and who are good soldiers who know how to follow orders.
Most people I know who oppose the war rightly place the blame on the war mongers who started it, not the troops in the field.

Darwin's avatar

Of course I support the troops in general, the good men and women who are doing a hard job to the best of their ability specifically. There will always be idiots, slackers, bigots, and criminals among our soldiers, just as there are amongst the general American population. However, the majority are well-intentioned men and women following legitimate orders from their commanding officers. It is tragic that some of these good people should have to die while doing their jobs.

As to whether we should have invaded Iraq when we did I have a different opinion. Quite frankly, we should have finished up the first Gulf War. Stopping when we did just delayed the inevitable. In fact, Bush the Second basically trumped up 9/11 and faked evidence of malfeasance just to start this second Gulf War. He and his advisors are the ones we should hate, for putting good men and women unnecessarily in harm’s way.

And I think anyone who spits on someone else or throws bricks at them should be arrested for assault. Hate the war, don’t hate the soldier.

tinyfaery's avatar

Nope. Anyone who joins the military knows what they are getting themselves into. The military fights wars, kills people, experiments on soldiers, covers-up rape and violence against gays and lesbians, etc. If you don’t want to be a part of this and you don’t want to do what someone tells you, even when it is morally reprehensible and you do not agree, the do not join the military.

I will not hide.

nayeight's avatar

I agree with tinyfaery. I’m don’t support war and I’m don’t support the military. Period. Do I attack or say mean things to the men & women in the military or their families? No. But I’m not going to act like some of the things that they do are excusable because they are ordered to do it.

wundayatta's avatar

The issue for me is the issue of responsibility. If you think the troops are not responsible for being sent where they are sent, then, of course, you support them, even if you don’t support the war. However, if the troops join specifically to go fight in the war, the war you may think is the wrong war, then do they hold any responsibility for being sent to the war?

An army can not exist if there is no one willing to fight in it. In Vietnam, many people became conscientious objectors because they did not believe in the war. These days, we have an all volunteer army. No one forces anyone to join. So if they join, they are willingly giving up their right to have any say in what happens to them. They are voluntarily agreeing to be cannon fodder for any cause, including ones they don’t agree with.

I think there’s reasonable grounds to think that members of the army are responsible for what they do. I know our instinct is to not hold them responsible. We want to support these people, for they could also protect our nation, and that is a sacrifice worth supporting, as far as I’m concerned.

I know it’s supposed to be no way to run an army, but I’d much rather that troops who don’t believe in a war, don’t go to fight that war. If enough refused, maybe the administration would get the idea that the war does not have the support of the people. To the degree that our troops do not have choice in the matter, I appreciate their willingness to “defend” our country. To the degree they do have choice in the matter, I can’t support that. I think it is wrong if they choose to fight a war that hurts this nation, rather than helping it. I do hold them at least partially responsible for making it possible for George Bush to bring our nation down to it’s morally weakest point in a century.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’d like to add that while i do support the (non-asshole) individuals in the army, i certainly don’t support what they’re doing. i don’t really have respect for the people who want to go over there to ‘kill the other guys’. i do respect that they are taking the initiative to join so that a draft isn’t necessary.

without an army, there technically wouldn’t be a war. however, without an army, the ‘war’ would simply be other countries taking advantage of our lack of defense and basically going on a massacre without meeting any real resistance.

tinyfaery's avatar

@tiffyandthewall No one seems to bother Canada or Switzerland. Staying out of others’ problems is a sure way to keep peace in one’s nation, and not have to spend billions of dollars on

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery The defense budget for Canada for 2008–2009 includes $18.9 Billion for the regular troops and several Billions more for reserves and support expenses such as trucks, planes, ships and such.

tinyfaery's avatar

And Canada is America’s bitch. They do whatever we say. Of course they spend money on their military, yet still, no planes being flown into buildings there.

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery “and not have to spend billions” your facts are a clear indication that you have no idea of what you speak.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am 100% against this war in Iraq. We shouldn’t have invaded. Period. I don’t think we had any business there during Bush I, and even though it was before my time, I have studied a lot about the Viet Nam war and I am convinced we didn’t belong there either. That being said, I support every one of our soldiers, whether they are volunteers or were drafted. My cousin is a career Marine and has served two tours in Iraq. My son’s kindergarten teacher was also there twice. My nephew is there right now. These are men and women doing what their country has asked of them and they deserve our support.

Bluefreedom's avatar

For everyone that does support the troops, my fellow servicemen and servicewomen and I would like to say that we are forever grateful for your support and we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. It means more to us than you know.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Bluefreedom Thank you for being there. Would you please give some examples of what “support” means? for the dunces amoung us. i.e. specific kinds of support.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve seen and received several types of support myself and some of those would include the following:

- The verbal appreciation from family, relatives, friends and strangers, expressed much like what has been seen in this thread already

- The family readiness center here on our base has many volunteers and they have prepared and sent care packages to those of us that have deployed in the past and to others that are currently deployed forward right now

- When I was on a 13 man team deployed to Masirah Island, Oman in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002, all of us each received individual packets from groups of elementary school students that were filled with pictures that they had drawn for us and letters they had written thanking us for our military service

- Military programs in place that assist spouses and family members that cover a large variety of needs or contingencies that might arise when a member is deployed forward and cannot take care of things from a distant location

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Judi, why would it make a difference that many of the troops we sent to Vietnam were drafted? That was a controversy in itself, but it didn’t really make a difference. It was despicable for the war protesters to take it out on the troops no matter how they got their uniforms.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex Why do you think it makes no difference if they chose to go to war or not?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@benjaminlevi , who says they had a choice? The choice was made by the likes of John Foster Dulles and Robert McNamara, with LBJ taking a disproportionate share of the blame. You registered for the draft when you were 18. You went when you were called. Or you fled to Canada or some other country that would take you in. Maybe some of the guys who made that choice did so truly out of conscience, but most of them were just trying to save their sorry asses. It took far more backbone to answer that call than to turn tail and run. Those men were heroes, all of them.

augustlan's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex I could be wrong, but I think that they are saying being drafted = no choice, and those people should have been respected, whether one agreed with the war itself or not. In today’s war(s), some feel that because the soldiers did/do have a choice, they are not necessarily to be respected for going to war.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@augustlan , read my post again. The choice they had is the one I explained. Canada was right next door; it was easy to run away, and many did. When I spoke of choices, I refer to the fact that the Vietnam war, together with all the other wars America has been involved in, were started not by soldiers but by politicians.

Regarding the wars of today, would your hypothetical someone [(sic) “some feel that…] say that a person who chooses to enlist, knowing they may be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, is wrong? Is deserving of scorn? People have lots of reasons for doing things, some very complex. It isn’t a decision made lightly. During the Vietnam war, I knew people who were opposed to it, who enlisted anyway. Some had brothers or fathers serving. Some just felt it was the right thing to do, even if it was the wrong war.

And just as it is with today’s wars, the morality of it wasn’t as clear-cut as it is seen in the bright light of hindsight. Vietnam was played out against the backdrop of the Cold War, which was a terrifying thing to grow up with. A lot of the kids who are signing up today were school children on 9/11, and that was pretty terrifying, too. In 1964, the Soviets were seen as an intractable enemy with an alien, evil ideology, bent on destroying us. Sound anything like Al Qaeda?

augustlan's avatar

Note: I didn’t say I felt that way… just that some do.

wundayatta's avatar

I think the truth of the matter is access to education. If we’re given a good education, and taught about other people’s cultures and philosophies and politics, we’ll question governmental policy much more. I was raised to see the Vietnamese as people. As for the cold war, I decided I had to see for myself if these people were the devil incarnate. I visited the Soviet Union. I met the people. I fell in love.

The Russians I met were the first people I met who really thought about the things I thought about, and even better, wanted to talk about it. The Russians had soul. They were making the best of a bad situation. Even then, they knew the government could not survive. Reagan takes all the credit for the fall of the iron curtain, but from what I saw, it would have happened with or without him.

So my experiences (and these were all before I turned 18) taught me that my government is not very sophisticated about relations with people from other cultures. Because of that, they are so often wrong. So I question every decision the government makes now. Especially those in foreign policy. I have never seen a war that I thought was justified or necessary (I was born after WWII).

I know I’m privileged as far as education is concerned. Still, everyone has the opportunity to become better educated. There are libraries everywhere and books can be borrowed for free. You don’t have to trust the news just because it’s coming over a national media server. However, I think that for far too many people in this nation, education teaches people to conform. It doesn’t teach them to question. If you can’t question, you can’t learn. Curiousity is crucial. But I don’t have to tell anyone here that. If you weren’t dedicated to curiousity, you wouldn’t be here.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@augustlan , not insinuating anything, but I have met people with that sentiment. During Vietnam, it was far too prevalent. I would hope that most people feel differently now.

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