One of the greatest frustrations modern Veterans deal with—and, for that matter, Veterans of every generation—is the mind-numbing political debate concerning the mission they’ve been handed. Regardless of a warrior’s political beliefs (or lack thereof), they eventually develop a disdain for those politicians, pundits, academics, media-members, students, and normal citizens who claim to speak for them. Do you know why? Because those who fight don’t have the luxury of a stateside debate on what they’re doing.
The warrior is in the arena risking his ass. It’s that simple.
For your average citizen, discussing war—whether it’s our current one or past ones—is as casual as discussing who’s going to the Super Bowl. They rarely have anything at stake. They don’t have to give it any thought afterwards.
For the warrior, the conflict never ends. Even if you come home from deployment physically intact, it will always be with you. Not everyone who goes to war has PTSD. Not everyone who goes to war has the same experience. But you will always remember it. It will always be a deeply personal part of your life.
It wasn’t a game. It wasn’t a political argument that you could walk away from. It wasn’t your reputation on the line—it was your Sisters, Brothers and YOUR life on the line.
War is politics for everyone but the warrior.