Special treatment for military members?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by chaoticbear, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

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    #1
    As I was busy trolling here, I realized that the general attitude toward military personnel in the US approaches idolism. Military discounts, favors for military people, and going out of one's way just to help a person in uniform seems common.

    Is this something that everyone is into, and I missed the boat?

    To continue the discussion:


    Dire need of a job - there are plenty of jobs out there for unskilled workers. Pay, though, is actually about 150% of what I make for even the lowest pay grade, not taking into account any of the various bonuses/per diem/premium pay. Mommy and Daddy did not pay for my college either; I'm having to pay back student loans, even though I worked full-time the whole time.

    And I'd contest that living in a foreign country will give you what you put into it, having done an exchange program myself. I think it's possible to leave an asshat, and come back an asshat.

    I don't mean to deprecate the profession, y'all, I just think that the reverence people display towards military people is misplaced.
     
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #2
    Servicepeople are as various in temperment and achievement as the general population from which they are recruited.

    It's a fine line to tread. I respect the notion of national service. But not all soldiers are heroes, and many people have reached a level of veneration for our military that apporaches idolatry and the glorification of war for its own sake.

    I do not respect aggressive warmaking, I don't support the notion of a military that is employed to feed a military-industrial complex, and I don't support a military ethos that dehumanizes foreign cultures and people. The military requires constant oversight from civil authority to ensure that it does not become overmighty and self-serving.

    I see the military as a necessary part of our society, but they are a means to an end, and respect for servicepeoplen should never be allowed to overshadow the fact that their purpose is to defend a peaceable, civil society. They serve the citizenry, not the other way around.
     
  3. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #3
    Military service can include a wide variety of situations. Some have actually risked their lives in the front lines and some have never left their desk or the country.

    Some of it is just lip service. For instance, the Republicans have a tendency to throw out patriotic one-liners about 'supporting our troops' or whatever, but then cut medical care for veterans, or knife 'liberal' veterans in the back. Statistics show that a large proportion of the homeless are veterans, many being disabled. This may be decreasing as the Vietnam vets are starting to die off.

    Just an observation, but when I traveled in France years ago, I noticed that they really appeared to respect their veterans, at least in the streets.
     
  4. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #4
    And here in the good old US of A, many of our veterans live in the streets. If we had special treatment for the military, as the op seems to think we do, this would never happen. I was on a plane one once and the stewards (stewardesses? flight attendants?) moved a soldier from coach to first class, no charge. Great. Now how about a place to live for the hundred living in the streets in San Diego.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    And do they want said accommodation, or does this highlight another problem faced by war veterans??
     
  6. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #6
    This Sunday at Mass I was appalled when a kid got a standing ovation for choosing to go to boot camp (hadn't served a day in the army), so that all the rich conservatives in attendance (I live in an affluent area) could feel as though they are good people for "supporting the troops" while sending them off to die in pointless wars and letting them live on the streets of their own city (San Diego).
     
  7. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #7
    Are you suggesting that the homeless are choosing to be homeless?
     
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #8
    You are right, but this isn't set in stone for every situation, is it? Can't this be said about pretty much anything? Living on the streets, living the good life, living outside your comfort zone? Come on now.

    Something tells me you have not served in the military, or have you?
     
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #9
    I agree. Conservative politicians in particular spend a lot of time showing off their US flag lapel pins and weeping about sacrifice, but are they really looking after veterans, or just showering them with platitudes and cutting them loose to fend for themselves?
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #10
    Yes, I do.

    Some have convinced themselves that as Society has done this to them, Society is not to be trusted.

    How do you respond to that? Difficult.
     
  11. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #11
    My sister and brother-in-law both serve, and both of them are very conscientious about not wearing their uniforms in public except when they are required to. Not only because they both consider it just their job, but they are both very uncomfortable with the military fetishism they experience. Even the obligatory "thank you for your service" bit gets old after a while, particularly when, if you ask my sister, the only time women in the service tend to get that is from creepy men.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    A good friend of mine is a disabled Marine veteran, and while he is essentially a political conservative, he doesn't understand the fetishism (a good description Gelfin) associated with veterans these days. He feels he's done a job, he's proud of it, but he also knows that some soldiers he's served with (who lap up the attention) are the least worthy of such plaudits. He feels that there is too much uncritical praise of the military, and that it is irresponsibly glamorized.

    But mindless venerators of all things military don't know any better.
     
  13. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #13
    Its not difficult at all. Homeless want to be homeless. Poor people don't want to work hard. Etc. Etc. Heard it all from right wingers before. Just a bs way of blaming of the victim. And what if you're right. What if some do? What about the ones who don't? Do we not think about helping them? So, either way, your point is moot.
     
  14. Apple OC macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Military people who serve their country ... IMO, they deserve the Royal treatment.

    I have nothing but respect for them :cool:
     
  15. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The only real preferential treatment I see personally is that soldiers in uniform are sometimes allowed to get on an airplane before first class passengers, etc. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's no sacrifice for me, and while I might not agree with the politics that took them overseas to a conflict, I'm happy it's them doing that crap and not me.

    I stop way short of stopping them randomly and saying "Thanks for your service." But neither do I spit on them or insult them. It wasn't that long ago where being in the military was a real square thing to be.

    As far as discounts, let 'em have it. It's a crap job with low pay. And again, better them than me.
     
  16. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #16
    Agreed. Although, in normal, day-to-day life for active-duty members, it isn't something we deal with (we are just another community member, much like everyone else), I see it at the airport all the time.

    I do appreciate the support (I wouldn't like to be spit on), but I don't always know how to reply to everyone that runs up to say thank you. (Saying thank you back doesn't seem right).

    Honestly, we serve because we choose to. It's not really a big deal - please don't make it one - especially when traveling - we're just trying to get to where we are going.

    Thanks.
     
  17. firestarter, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

    firestarter macrumors 603

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    #17
    I agree that those who risk their lives to protect their country are worthy of respect and thanks.

    But yes, in the US there does seem to be a real military fetishism and 'cult of war' that I haven't noticed in any other country I've visited. Certainly, there is no comparable attitude in Europe.

    Maybe it's due to the US being quite a young nation - and possibly a little immature. The military should be the servants of the democracy, not put on a pedestal. I find a lot of the machismo and unquestioning glorifying of the military to be distasteful.
     
  18. OutThere macrumors 603

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    #18
    Honestly I feel like we should never have dropped the draft. A war that is truly worth fighting is a war that should be for something really worth fighting for by everyone, not just the lower classes who see no escape other than signing up for the army.
     
  19. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I was thinking that a mandatory year of military service between high school and college would be the ticket. Let people "try before they buy" if they want to sign on for more. But also let everyone get a taste of what it means to sacrifice for their country.

    Don't Germany or some other nations do this?
     
  20. iStudentUK, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

    iStudentUK macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I find this view strange, but from what I have seen in US media it isn't particularly unusual. As the OP says they almost seem to be idolised!

    I think at the highest point the UK had around 50-60,000 troops in the middle east, which is a lot. The sentiment here seems a little less extreme- people are pro-troops (even if they were anti-war) and troops get respect, but not nearly to the same extent as in the US. Maybe that's the English all over though.

    Another observation is that I rarely hear phrases such as "fight for Queen and country", whereas I often hear "serve their country", "love their country" etc in US media. These types of phrases really make my cringe. Patriotism just seems so silly. Yes if a friend/family member shipped back I may go cheer them as they come home and expect to see some Union Flags around, but the notion of putting one up on a flag pole by my house is crazy! I feel fortunate to live in a modern, developed country where I can get a decent education, healthcare etc, and in a country that holds some international influence. However, I don't go round yelling "United Kingdom... f yeah!" all the time or "God bless Britain!" (I may be stereotyping there!)

    Overall, I don't of the army as "fighting for my country" I think of them as doing what they signed up to do and trying to improve lives in the middle-east. So I respect UK soldiers but I don't raise them to God status. That doesn't mean I won't elevate them, if I ever saw someone with a Victoria Cross for example, then they would get special treatment because they had done so much more than what had been expected of them.
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I think a lot of the fetishism has to do with the collective guilt about how we treated Vietnam vets. That and the rise of fundamental xians and their fetishes about crusades, vengeance, etc.

    It's shameful how the repubs continually defund veteran's services while putting the vets on a pedestal. Somehow deification is somehow supposed to make up for PTSD, missing limbs and broken marriages.
     
  22. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    My grandfathers both were in the service.

    One was drafted and fought in the jungles of the Pacific in World War Two.

    The other was a career fighter pilot in the period after WWII.


    I have a great deal of respect for people who choose to give up years of their life to serve me (and you if you too are an American citizen).
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

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    #23
    Indeed, waitresses are seriously underrated.
     
  24. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Because clearly the military and waitressing come with the same set of obligations.
     
  25. guzhogi macrumors 68030

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    #25
    I agree with you. Some homeless & poor people choose to be. Note how I said SOME. Some people don't want to work. But there are also some people who are just down on their luck & can't help it. Maybe the company they worked for went out of business. Maybe the person's spouse died & the widow(er) couldn't afford their house any more. Plus, some people, like some priests, take vows to do away with material things. Although I don't agree with your right-wingers comment. Not all right wingers feel this way and not all people who feel this way are right-wingers.

    As for military people, I agree to some extent that they deserve to be treated a little better. A lot of them willingly put their lives on the line for our freedom and way of life. However, I feel there's got to be better ways to deal with problems than by killing people who oppose you. To be honest, I'm a lover, not a fighter.
     

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