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Painful Military Service Memories

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You have to read the responses to this. They’re a knife in the gut. This is how most of them go:

Like I said, they’re mostly like that. This is about as good as it gets, at least from as far down in the thread as I’ve read:

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And now the Trump Administration is talking about starting a war with Iran. He does that, and he will destroy the Republican Party.

How about you, readers of this blog? How has the US military (not just the Army) influenced your life — for better or for worse? I’m seriously asking for all kinds of stories.

I’m thinking right now of the guy I know who won a medal in Iraq, but who called the war there “a waste.” I’m thinking of the other guy I know who came home and couldn’t bring himself to go into a church, because he said God couldn’t forgive him for what he had done. His wife still doesn’t know what it was. It is, for him, unspeakable. I’m also thinking about the veteran friend who told me he wishes civilians would quit thanking him for his service. He knows they mean well, and he always thanks them, but he said that after a while it starts to feel like virtue signaling — that is, like civilians want to hear themselves thanking a soldier for his service, so they can regard themselves as the kind of people who thank soldiers for their service.

On the other hand, I am sure I have friends who served who remember it positively, but I just haven’t heard them talk that way about it. Anyway, I want to hear from you readers.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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