I was fortunate enough to catch this link on Hugh Hewitt’s site today to a terrific article by William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, about his nephew’s acceptance at West Point.
The obvious crux is that McGurn fails to understand those who look down on his nephew’s decision to attend West Point. These critics assume that McGurn’s nephew, and similarly minded college-aged students, don’t understand the gravity of their decision, or that romanticism of war, lack of other options or poverty drive such decisions.
McGurn is right to be frustrated that many do not understand the motivations behind such sacrifices, particularly when so much of what America offers rides on the shoulders of selfless individuals such as his nephew. Throw in those attending the other service academies, those joining ROTC units and those enlisting, and America must have a lot of misinformed, romantic, poverty-stricken, low-brow youth looking for something to do.
Such as, sign up for 24/7, high-stress, structured, physically challenging, academically rigorous environment – that practically guarantees an opportunity to get killed during the first year of post–graduation employment. That is pretty much what most poor, romantic, misinformed, SAT-challenged, college-aged slackers do.
If you can’t cut the X-games, the service academies must be the next place to search for work.
There are a million reasons our youth join the services, and I couldn’t likely give their stories justice in trying to summarize them. My first ever Townhall.com column, touches on some of the reasons many might join, but the stories of those now serving will best be told by the individuals themselves and in their own time.
But I am more than happy to comment on why these decisions are misunderstood by those who diminish the value of military service.
Defense of freedom is the highest form of liberal thought.
While most liberals despise those carrying guns, those that have carried guns for this nation have preserved this extremely liberal form of government for well over two hundred years. This liberal democracy offers unparalleled opportunities and unmatched individual rights. The defense of such liberal values should be admired, not questioned.