There are many aspects to military service. Some are core values, some are mottos, and some are simply a way of life. These aspects are often found in manuals, leadership books, and constant expressions. The Army has its LDRSHIP: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. You will note that nowhere in there did it state ‘overzealous moral outrage’ or ‘broken and looking for blame.’ Yet, that is becoming an iconic impression of service members. Add the compounding effects of social media to the mix, and we have ourselves a veteran frenzy.
Veterans are outraged at Brian Williams. Veterans are outraged about NFL payments for “honor the troops” moments. Veterans are outraged over the actions of a stewardess on an airline, and the list goes on. It would seem, that service members tend to get outraged at the drop of a hat. Often, this occurs before all of the information is made available and can quickly degenerate into nonsensical arguments. Understanding that the armed services do not have an official union and realizing that incidents do happen which cause us to pause and question what people are thinking, the massive backlash and moral outrage from those same service members can quickly take a dark turn.
Robert Ford, a seventy five year old Marine, was called out on Memorial Day by a police officer and a soldier. Ford reported that he was humiliated as they yelled “Stolen Valor!” at him. We remember the young soldier who was walking home during the Baltimore protests and became an internet sensation overnight because he was in uniform. With 62% confidence in the military according to the 2015 Gallup poll, one would think we could at least take the time to fact check before going straight to meltdown mode.
So, what is an institution such as the military to do when they identify things which are being done wrong? First, use some common sense. If it is a case of stolen valor, is internet shaming the way to go? Seems a simple call to the police is more effective. If it is an action of an individual within an organization, realize that they may not represent the intent of the entire company. People make mistakes. Before blasting it all over the internet in an attempt to destroy the company because you had a bad experience, do what everyone else does and contact the management of the company.
Being a combat veteran and a service member is an incredible honor. Yes, we joined the military when we did not have to. Yes, many of us deployed. Yes, some of us did not survive and many others suffer from injuries related to our service. No, we do not have the right to be entitled. No our service does not justify us publically shaming others. No our moral outrage does not fix the problem – it just makes us look bad.
Look back at the reasons that we joined the military in the first place. It is highly unlikely that it was to put others down or embarrass them publically. We joined to serve and to work for an institution that was not just about making a profit, but about something greater than ourselves. We can do better, and we should. As the military continues to decrease its numbers and transitions into a state of pseudo-peace, the nation is looking towards the military to lead the way. It is our responsibility to set that example.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.