Monday, August 22, 2005
  Adults Only
Mark Steyn, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times expounds on something that has bothered me for quite some time. It is the liberal media's insistence on referring to those in the military as children and focusing on the parents of those killed. As if these proud volunteers were snatched from their cribs and cut down before they were weaned. Most of the folks I know in the military are no younger than their early twenties and many of them are in their thirties and forties. Hardly children.

And yet the media insists on portraying them as babes, too young to make responsible, informed decisions about the course of their lives. The Cindy Sheehan sideshow has created a cottage industry for the anti-America "peace" movement out of this misrepresentation. Most of the men and women I know in the military did not enlist straight out of high school. Many of them had careers before joining up. A lot of them had college degrees. Many of them reenlist (Casey Sheehan did!) multiple times. You'd have a hard time convincing me they were deceived by their recruiters about what they were getting into.

"The infantilization of the military promoted by the left is deeply insulting to America's warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd's purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that "of course" they "support our troops," because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine."

"They're not children in Iraq; they're grown-ups who made their own decision to join the military. That seems to be difficult for the left to grasp. Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterize them as "children." If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the broadloom in Bill Clinton's Oval Office, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year-old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee "child" who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing."

"Casey Sheehan was a 21-year old man when he enlisted in 2000. He re-enlisted for a second tour [at the age of 24], and he died after volunteering for a rescue mission in Sadr City. Mrs. Sheehan says she wishes she'd driven him to Canada, though that's not what he would have wished, and it was his decision."



Indeed, points that I have tried to make when commenting on others' blogs. Those in the military are adults. My father enlisted in the Army at the age of 17. By the time he left for Korea and war he was 18 and married, with a baby on the way. He was old enough to drive a car, old enough to buy a drink, old enough to marry and father a child. He was certainly old enough to determine the course of his life. The liberal media does a disservice to our military men and women when it insults them by labeling them as children and implying that they are not mature or responsible enough to make informed choices.

To that I say, "Grow up!"
 
Comments:
You are absolutely correct. I'm 34 years old, on my second enlistment, with a 10-year break in between the first and second. I have a professional career in the civilian world.

I'm in the military because I believe in what the military is doing.
 
Amen, Trevor. Why do I serve? Because I Must
 
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Retired from the US Air Force after more than 20 years of service. Now working as a contractor for various government agencies.

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