Tag Archives: troops

Support Our Troops: It’s Not Just a Bandwagon

I’ve been meaning to talk about this issue for quite a while. One of the main hesitations I have in discussing the issues of non-violence and pacifism, is people’s immediate disgust with the idea that I don’t “Support Our Troops.” We actually used to have one of those yellow ribbons on the back of our car; along side a bumper sticker that said, “War is Not the Answer.” I’m very much a believer in the support and love of “our troops,” in the same way I’m in support of loving our enemies, children and soldiers. You see, Supporting Our Troops isn’t just a bumper sticker bandwagon, it’s something that requires a bit more of us.

Did you know that Veterans account for nearly 25% of the Homeless population in the United States?  Where is the Support of our troops after they come home? I don’t believe in supporting our troops by giving them more bombs, bullets and tanks with which to kill more, but I believe strongly in providing the care and human dignity they should expect as citizens of this supposed great nation we live in. 

NPR did a segment recently about current soldiers coming back from Iraq who have been experiencing PTSD and have not received the support and treatment they should in our own cities. 

Alex Orum’s medical records showed that he had PTSD, but his officers
expelled him from the Army earlier this year for “patterns of
misconduct,” repeatedly citing him on disciplinary grounds. In Orum’s
case, he was cited for such infractions as showing up late to
formation, coming to work unwashed, mishandling his personal finances
and lying to supervisors — behaviors which psychiatrists say are
consistent with PTSD. 

I support our Troops. Many Sunday’s I hang out with them near the Nashville War Memorial. We eat lunch together and talk about life. Some support this war, others don’t. They all, though most are too respectful to admit it, have been terribly mistreated by a country that used their very lives, and then tossed them to the curb.  If your gonna drive around with a yellow ribbon on your bumper, please be ready to do more then just send a postcard around Christmas.

Respect for the troops.

As I begin my thoughts on war I found myself needing to venture another disclaimer before beginning the discussion.
Not only did I have one of those yellow ribbon magnets on the back of my car (until the winter weather disintegrated it, I guess most folks have a garage), but I actually do love and care about the folks in uniform. I don’t feel like I’m more holy than thou when I say that I disagree with war, I’m simply sharing what I’ve come to see in the scriptures and through my thoughts about this topic.
Are those who fight in the war no longer Christians? By no means. As we discuss this I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I think those in the military have some how fallen away or anything. I don’t claim to have the absolute truth, though I do think what I’ve read in the scriptures is accurate.
Shortly before I started becoming a pacifist I read C.S. Lewis’ “Why I’m Not a Pacifist” Essay in Weight of Glory and let me tell you it had me convinced. I read it again a little while ago and I’ll tell you again that it is quite convincing. Much of what he says in there I still agree with, and maybe that will come out in our discussion. I share that simply to say that I am open to the fact that I might be wrong.

There are people who are close to me that are in the military and what I share in these entries does not change my love for them at all.