I resigned from my job yesterday as a matter of principle. I was given a letter to type by a senior secretary to the auditing firm that had recently...”
I’m an Iraq war veteran, though I very rarely tell people that. Partly because I never kicked in any doors or anything - I had about the cushiest of war zone duties possible, although being in Kirkuk in 2006-2007 meant lots of random mo[r]tar/recycled rocket attacks and stuff. But the other reason I never tell anyone about it is the reaction, like everything about me being there was unambiguously positive.
Which brings me back to the idea of mandatory reverence around the flag, Memorial Day, July 4, etc… [I]t makes me angry when people are just unable to have two thoughts in their head at once - that we should be respectful of those who do the things no one else really wants to do, like kill people, and that sometimes, just maybe, the stuff we ask them to do is terrible…
Maybe it’s that I grew up in a world run by Baby Boomers (I’m 30), who seem especially incapable of understanding nuance of any sort, but it seems that most people who “fly the flag” and “support the troops” subscribe to this uncompromising approach to patriotism. I don’t know how exactly to fold some self-reflection into these holidays, but I think it would sure help those of us who see a lot more gray in the things we’ve done.