There has been a lot of buzz recently surrounding the movie release of American Sniper and the military service of Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper that the movie is based upon. It is interesting to see how “The Legend” has taken our country by storm, as well as the controversy surrounding the ethics and values of Chris Kyle as a person. While I have my own views about the sudden patriotic fervor centered on American Sniper, I would rather focus my attention on one large issue that seems to get greatly overlooked in the news, in books and magazines, and in the movies from Hollywood.
Not All Heroes Are Special Ops
I grew up reading Soldier of Fortune Magazine. I was enamored with the character or John Rambo in the movie First Blood. The A-Team was my favorite tv show. When I dreamed of being in the military, it centered on me becoming a Green Beret and making it into the Special Forces. I wanted to be that kick ass soldier that everyone admired and told stories about. I believe that in many cultures, many of us want to be the mythical hero that goes above and beyond to save the day. It’s the heroic stories that get told for centuries and that eventually sell books and movies.
As I’ve grown older and had the opportunity to serve my country, I have also come to realize that not all heroes are Special Ops. In fact, most of the men and women who have given so much for their country have never been a Navy SEAL, Special Forces, Marine Recon, or Air Force Pararescue. Many have never led from the front or executed an ambush.
Eighty percent or more will never see combat.
Approximately 80% of our entire military are non-combat roles. These men and women perform a variety of tasks including healthcare, legal counsel, engineering, transportation, mechanics, and other vital support services. These non-combat roles are critical to our military success, and without them, we wouldn’t be one of the greatest military forces on the planet. So because they might never be in a Special Operations role or enter combat, does that make them any less important? The answer is no.
There is and should be a deep respect and recognition level for the men and women who have given their lives in battle or who have forfeited their safety to perform combat related duties while serving. After all, a paper cut is not as dangerous as a sucking chest wound. I admire our troops who have placed themselves in harms way and these people are a special breed who deserve our gratitude. However, I also believe that many of our military men and women get overshadowed by the mythical hero stereotypes or that they never get proper recognition because they haven’t served in battle.
Happy Joe Gives Props to ALL Who Have Served!
We as a nation, need to recognize that there have been Chaplains, mechanics, engineers, journalists, transportation specialists, combat medics, and others who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. We need to remember that just because the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) doesn’t require you to carry a weapon, it doesn’t negate the importance of your role in the military. If the 80% doesn’t do their job, then the 20% won’t be able to do theirs.
I personally appreciate ALL the men and women who have honorably served our country. Happy Joe will always ensure that we will never forget the sacrifices of any of our military personnel despite their MOS or background. In the end, we all bleed Red, White, and Blue!
Here’s to the eighty percent today. HOOAH!