Originally Posted by Dave Lane
Well thanks SNR for a semi-reasonable response. The "pay check" of a service man is the surface of the compensation as you point out. The benefits if you stay in for 20 years are sort of amazing.
I'm not in favor of cutting their benefits. I still don't understand the worship of all things military. They are doing a job. They are being compensated. They volunteered. Many stay in because the "real" job market looks too tough to crack. I get it is potentially dangerous.
I don't get why they are treated as if they walk on water. I'm very glad some choose to do this so we don't have to draft people. I don't understand how this translates to hero status just because "they served". Frankly its a thing that has almost never been a part of society until recently. During WWII there was a big surge in nationalism / military appreciation. But prior to that most people just served and went home to normal lives and that was it.
In the last 15-20 years its been like the political 3rd rail of discussions. NO criticism or negative talk is allowed about veterans in any context. Just seems weird, and of course such things are never allowed to be discussed with out shouting down the person making the comments.
So shout away or answer rationally it is your choice. I just don't get it.
They said "yes" when 99% of the country said "no". Once they ship off, they must fulfill their end of a contract and can't just quit when things get tough, at least until their contract ends. The respect comes from that, it is not worship but deep seated gratitude that there are still those out there who are willing to give of themselves when most of their generation give nothing and expect everything.
Prior to WWII the thought of spitting on a soldier or protesting their return from war was unheard of. They were heroes and military service was held in high esteem even if most would not do it. Vietnam changed all that when morons spit on servicemen and women and protested their return because of the policies of their elected officials. That was a black mark on our society and one that as a nation we have collectively decided to never repeat, hence the "Hate the war, not the Soldier" mentality. That plays a large part in the reverence being paid to the servicemen and women of today. It is not hero worship.