Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heroes and Baby-Killers



 We seem to whipsaw back and forth about our military.  When I got out, we were baby killers.  Now, anyone who wears a uniform is labelled a hero.

We have to get a grip here folks.  Like it or not, a military is composed of an overwhelming majority of just plain folk.  Just doing their job.

There are small minoritiy of personnel who fall under the hero classification.

There is also a small minority of folks who fall under the baby-killer classification.

In a real sense, the adoration of the military that is occurring now is actually more worrisome to me than the crap I went through when I got out.  Men on white horses come out of societies where the military is put on a pedestal. 

I wonder when the pendulum will reverse course.  If it doesn't we may find out how history usually stores peoples who place too much faith in the military.

LATE EDIT

I can wear one of these.  So don't give me any shit...I have earned my right to an opinion.

5 comments:

Publius said...

balanced view of the military. How rare!

tweell said...

Well, it fits according to "Tommy" by Kipling. Yes, not plaster saints, but the drums are rolling, so 'heroes' it is.

Degringolade said...

For those of you unfamiliar with Kipling...Here's Tommy

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

YeOldFurt said...

Excellent post.
YeOldFurt

Mayberry said...

It should be more respect than hero worship. Most military folk don't want accolades, just a thank you is enough, and we don't really expect that either. But it is nice. I love the look on military folks' faces when I shake their hand and say thanks. Makes their day.....

That poem sounds a bit like "The Old Dun Cow" which goes like this:

Some friends and I
In a public house
Was playin' dominoes one night,
When into the room a fireman came
His face all chalky white.

What's up says Brown,
Have you seen a ghost?
Have you seen your Aunt Mariah?

Me Aunt Mariah be buggered sez he,
The bleedin' pub's on fire!