Resident honors the military

By: Ted A. West
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I often try to think of if my life had gone a different direction, one in which I never served in the U.S. Military. There are a few things I’d never do or be like: anti-war, against the troops, overly liberal and apathetic over who is our military’s commander-in-chief. I think I would proudly support our Armed Forces and give them great respect for having the courage and commitment to service that I did not choose to exhibit. I might not agree with the locations, causes/severity, and leadership or terms of military involvement but I would not hold that against the philosophy for which many people serve “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic.” I would be equally saddened at the loss, especially of a young man or woman who had basically a full life ahead of them, for them paying “the ultimate sacrifice” for our country. Back in prior wars, you basically could go to any house in America and if it did not have someone serving, a neighbor on either side would have at least one family member in a branch of the military. Today, less than 1 percent of our nation is serving in any capacity (active, reserve or guard). Furthermore, less than 20 percent of those serving have seen a combat area. While this number is small, none of these people were drafted, they all volunteered. Tremendous kudos to those men and women who are true patriots, are brave enough to go world-wide to engage in a conflict, and whether I am with them again personally — or I remain a civilian — they have my undying proud support! Ted A. West, Lincoln