Earlier this week, my son officially joined the Wyoming Army National Guard. The months leading up to his enlistment have had me thinking about the relationship we civilians have with the military.

I was a teenager during Viet Nam. I saw my male friends suffering the anxiety of waiting for the lottery to reveal their likelihood of being drafted. I had friends who were veterans of Nam, and in the 70’s I could always tell who had been there within minutes of meeting: there was a certain look in their eyes.

What I thought was most unfair was the attitude of the peaceniks towards the soldiers, taunting and tormenting them. At best, they felt they were serving their country; at worst, they were draftees and given no choice as to where they were sent. Yet the peaceniks ganged up on victims who weren’t allowed to retaliate. Didn’t look particularly courageous to me.

Now we are once again in an unpopular war, but this time, no one is blaming the soldiers. I think this is a huge improvement and much more just. If you want to criticize the war, criticize the politicians who ordered it; if you want to justify the war, again, the politicians are the proper target. The men and women who lay their lives on the line deserve only our support.

I’ve been very proud of our armed forces since the Clinton maladministration. In nearly every other country in the world, if someone managed to get elected who the military didn’t like, presto! Military coup and the elected leader is gone or dead. Clinton was a lying hornswoggler, but he was the elected President and our military fulfilled their oath to support and defend him as their Commander-in-Chief. That can’t have been easy, but we civilians rest easier knowing our military abides by their rules.

Now, I’m just relieved that my son won’t have to face the hatred my friends did.

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