Saturday, November 09, 2013
Scott Simon of NPR (National Public Radio), my favorite guy, did a piece on Secretary Chuck Hegel, the DOD head. Every month, Hegel brings in about six soldiers and they talk shop. Soldiers, meaning, Marines, Navy, females, former "don't ask don't tell" types; no restrictions. According to Simon, the soldiers talked about their career, philosophical issues like, "Purpose in Iraq?" What Simon discovered as always with soldiers, they are not in a vacuum. They are like any "aware" group of young Americans. At the close of his piece, Simon said something like, "What I discovered was that soldiers were a microcosm of our America society." (Definition, such as a place or an event that is seen as a small version of something much larger) What has my man Simon been smoking? Bullshit, how did he deduce such, they are far from being a microcosm, whatever he's concluded. They are a small percent (about 1%), usually drawn from a segment of society where the military becomes mostly their best option. They are good soldiers but they are not a microcosm with less than one percent of the American society having served in the military and the general public more likely than not unengaged. Honoring vets is a good idea but let's don't be thinking today's military is a microcosm of American society. It just ain't so.