Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Women in Horror for Halloween
    It’s that time of year again where the weather is starting to cool down and the Halloween decorations are being put out. For me once it hits end of September my TBR becomes nothing, but horror and thriller novels. As a big mood reader the seasons and holidays determine what I want to read next. […]
  • My Fiction Icks
    By Jay Grummel When you read as much as I do you start to notice common things in fiction that make you annoyed, upset  or even want to put down the book completely. I have a bad habit of not giving books much of a chance when they use some of these personal ‘icks’. However, […]

Armed forces should be respected, not glorified

It was in the midst of our country’s most bloody and devastating war that confederate General Robert E. Lee uttered the famous words: “It is well that war is so terrible, that we should grow too fond of it.”

It was the last true war fought on American soil. More than 150 years ago, brothers, fathers, cousins, sons and nephews stood in their battle lines and fought long, horrible battles dawn to dusk. The cost was more than human life. Whole towns suffered artillery bombardments, fields and railroads were razed and destroyed, whole cities were burned to the ground.

For generations, people never forgot the brutality of combat, the pain from losing their loved ones and the despair of seeing their homes in ashes. The whole war was waged on principles. Should the Union remain a whole entity? Do men have the right to own other men? Where does the power of the federal government end and that of state governments begin?

All of these were asked in search of the truth. And though we settled most of those issues long ago, we still seek truths. One of those truths is that we as a nation have forgotten what it’s like to have a war waged on our own soil. Indeed, only the soldiers returning from our wars overseas know what it’s like.

Ever since the end of WWII, America has progressively fought wars with less and less moral and political justification.

In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned America about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, but his wisdom, it seems, has fallen on deaf ears. As a result of this, the military has ceased to be a force for defense and security and has instead become a political tool for conquest and suppression.

I must draw a distinction. Whatever the cause for a war, the sacrifices of individual soldiers and their families are immeasurable, and they are worthy of our respect and support. However, our society’s relationship with the military has moved from respect to worship. In movie theaters, we see ads glorifying combat and imploring young people to join the armed forces. Ultra-realistic military simulators can be found in malls across America. But the problems extend beyond these forms of veiled propaganda.

The biggest problems I feel with our society’s worship of the military are threefold.

First, by glorifying the military, we glorify war, and by doing so, we glorify violence.

Second, even the thought that our military involvement abroad may be unjustified or that the military itself is put on too high a pedestal is considered an un-American sentiment. When did informed dissent become un-American? Was it not informed dissent that caused the founding fathers to see the need to draft the Declaration of Independence that founded this nation of ours?

Third, once our brave men and women have put down their rifles and attempt to return to civilian life, they are shafted by an underfunded Veterans Administration and an apathetic populace.

My point is simple: we do not have to worship the military, glorify violence or accuse each other of sedition to respect our servicemen. If we are going to send our troops anywhere to fight for any reason, we as a nation must live up to the true meaning of patriotism, which not only means being proud of our country, but caring for our own who have endured the physical and emotional ordeals of war. Our support of the troops must extend beyond bumper stickers, benefit concerts and having the biggest American flag on the block.

In our desire to appear patriotic, we have traded reason for bluster, truth for fear and support for failure. If we really want to look to our troops as model citizens and leaders, we must glorify their character, not their uniform, and we must take care of them once they return home if we really do support them as we say we do. We owe them respect, support and a good living. It’s time to put aside politics and repay that debt.

Respond to Ian at

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *