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How the government uses its young citizens in the military
Submitted: 2010-04-26 16:48:52.000 (post #: 2362)
COL Cammermeyer, I just finished reading your book and many thanks.
Sexual orientation was never an issue for me during my regular army service or later in my national guard service. What I remember thinking about it, though, was that the perceived security risk due to possible blackmail of homosexual soldiers might be real. It took me a while, but the realization later came to me that if homosexuality wasn't against regulations, there would be no basis for blackmail, and hence wouldn't be a basis for security risk.
Anyway, I note the comments in your book about how your views about the war in Vietnam changed over time and your loss of trust in the government that you had served. As a young soldier in Vietnam, I never questioned our involvement in the war nor my own participation in it. I had been raised and educated to believe that the government was there to represent our best interests, and when we were called upon to serve it, our cause must be just.
Over time, I've matured and awakened. The realization has come to me that the government is just a user of people and serving it with blind obedience is not in an individual's best interest. To those who would say, "well, we ourselves are the government, aren't we?" I answer, "No, we are not the government; the government consists of two distinctive special interest groups. These are, (1) the entire government compliment of employees and policy makers who derive an income from it, and (2) the vast array of private special interests who use money to influence and guide its policies for their own benefit. The input from ordinary citizens without clout is nearly negligible in most cases.
Now that later in life I've realized the true situation, I still love my country and the people in it, but I do not stand in awe of nor blind obedience to its government.
My father was a serving officer in WW2 and retired as an LTC from the USAFR. My military service extended beyond the obligatory amount. Feeling as I do about the true nature of government, I never encouraged (nor discouraged) my own son about military service. He has chosen not to serve and this is with my entire blessing and approval. My feeling with this is that he is one less individual to be abused in the name of government.
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