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Absurd Reasons

Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

Absurd Reasons : Summer House : : 2016-10-16

Just a few points here I’d like to make. Before I do, I'd like you to know that I am a sister to two members who chose to serve. So my knowledge comes from the countess questions I have asked them as well as the experience of being a loved one who sits at home waiting for their return.

In other words, you are warning us about your bias based on family loyalty.

  1. Many of your arguments were the same ones, just re-worded. Taking a reason for not marrying a soldier, putting a new number by it and adding more absurdity to expand on why it’s a con doesn’t make it a new con. It is just poor writing. (This firsthand knowledge comes from being well educated and having a degree in education.)

    That is valid criticism. I wrote the essay over a period of many years. Every once in a while I would get a new idea. I would just tack it on the end, failing to notice the new point was just a variant on something I already said. Perhaps someday I will consolidate similar points. Nobody has shown any interest in the essay for years, until the last month, so those edits never percolated to the top of my todo list. However, my sloppy editing has nothing to do with whether it wise to marry a soldier. As a special treat, I will consolidate the most egregious duplication. Just tell me the numbers of the two points you consider in most need.

  2. Soldiers usually have more than a moments notice that they are going to be re-stationed. You’ll remember I said that I have two brothers who made the decision to serve. Both of them, with the exception of the transition from boot camp to their first station had 5+ months notice of where they were going to go next. The only thing they/we didn't know 5+ months in advance was the exact date they would be moving. We did, however, have a general idea of when the transition would happen. For example, one of my brothers will be going to his next station in November. We’ve known since July that he is going to be re-stationed and where to.

    Surely you have heard the term army brat, child who is forced to move over and over before he manages to make a new set of friends. Even if you get 5 months notice for a move, this is still a major disadvantage for marrying a soldier.

  3. Both of my brothers have spent YEARS stationed at the same place (again with the exception of boot camp). In fact, for the first 4 years of both of their service they were stationed in one place, one was in Guam, the other on Whidbey Island. My youngest brother is about to spend a minimum of 4-5 years at his new post starting in November. And yes, he does know this for a fact. The matter has already been discussed.

    If you want to make that point, you need some statistics, not an anecdote. Even if some people luck out and have stable homes, frequent moves are still a risk factor if you marry a soldier.

  4. How do you know for a fact that loved ones would NOT love or care for their soldiers should they come home maimed, broken, damaged, etc? Do you personally know how every single family member of soldiers feel? Are you omnipotent?

    80% of soldiers return from combat with some PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms. You as wife are stuck caring for him, perhaps for the rest of his life. You might be happy to do this, but it is still a lot of work and a huge obligation. You could abandon him, but you would feel terrible. It is not like he is a paraplegic. He is not himself. He is not decent company. This means caring is much more onerous than you might imagine.

  5. Probably most importantly, NOT EVERY SOLDIER ENDS UP KILLING PEOPLE. Neither of my brothers have killed another individual during their service. One did, however, save a shipmate when a boiler exploded on their ship.

    Of course not. It take 5 non-combatant military men to support one combat soldier. That is like defending a Mafia lawyer or don on the grounds he does not pull the trigger personally. He is guilty because he is part of a criminal enterprise. My point is everyone involved is working to kill innocent people. That means they all have defective personalities and as such will not make good marriage candidates. International law says anyone who participates in an aggressive (first strike) war has committed a capital war crime, technically, even if all he did was peel potatoes. Peeling potatoes is a necessary part of the war effort.

  6. And your argument that all soldiers, on some level, get off on/enjoy killing people is just ridiculous… just as ridiculous as me trying to say that all white people are racist, or all men are sexist, or all Muslims are terrorists.

    There are 100s of thousands of possible occupations. In only a few do you get to torture and kill children and use banned weapons. Anyone who claims they chose that occupation who strongly oppose hurting kids is either lying or kidding themselves. In a war there is no law. Rapists and pedophiles can do what they want without legal repercussions. That motivates some soldiers, but obviously not all.

  7. People like you, are why this world is full of so much hate. People like you, who choose ignorance over knowledge are what is wrong with this world and are the problem. People like you, who make generalizations about a large group of people based on hype, propaganda and utter falsehoods are why there is so much division in this world and why moving forward towards unity is so difficult.

    All I did was point out the disadvantages of marrying a soldier. It did not ask people to bomb soldiers ’ homes. I may have saved a few women a lot of grief who were wavering on the edge. You offered no argument why it is good idea to marry a soldier.

  8. So, in closing, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your crotch, and may your arms be too short to scratch.

    That seems a rather severe punishment just for disagreeing with you about the wisdom of marrying a serial killer.

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