Michael McBride

This defense requires a near limitless number of selfless acts, a mountain of individual and family sacrifices and a necessary loss of life that instantly brings tears to the eyes of veterans who dwell on the enormity of that loss for even a fleeting instant.

The main reason this pretty simple concept is being missed by many current residents is that our nation is currently populated with the most self-absorbed, self-centered and selfish generations of all time.

Our adult population demands governmental safety nets that we don’t pay for and that we can’t afford. We have saddled our children with a national debt that will never be paid off. We insist that the government provide cushions to all of life’s bumps, while coincidentally insisting that our children and their children pay for it.

How can such a narcissistic and self-absorbed generation understand when individuals reject their lavish and consumptive behaviors for a life that requires sacrifice and selflessness?

Simply, it is not possible for them to understand that intelligent, driven and capable men and women often want more out of life than to be simple consumers of all things that democracy inherently provides. These individuals insist, on the other hand, on being those that provide opportunities for others, even if it comes with a high degree of personal risk.

We are ravenous consumers, buying our way through life with others’ money and riding on the backs of others’ sacrifices.

Today we barely recognize that selflessness and sacrifice are admirable qualities. On the other hand, we’re too busing comparing the rides of our ridiculous-looking Mercedes SUVs to that of our neighbor’s Porsche SUV.

We fail to discern that the work of a 22-year-old lieutenant in combat is slightly more valuable to our democracy than someone spending two years counting the number wild raspberry seeds contained in the dung of a Great Basin Pocket Mouse

We want it all, and we simply cannot understand it when someone wants to quit that racket for a more challenging and demanding life.

It is as simple as that.

Oh, and I guarantee that doing multi-plane intercepts at over a thousand knots of closure takes a slightly higher mental capacity and is infinitely more rewarding than counting those raspberry seeds.

Michael McBride

Michael E. McBride retired as a Major from the Marine Corps and blogs at http://www.mysandmen.blogspot.com.

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