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Supporting our troops

We’re supposed to support our troops. That’s what good Americans do, but what exactly does that mean?  

I’ve talked to several vets about Chris Kyle.  Once they hear my opinion, pretty much every single one of them decides I’m an asshole.  You see, every soldier is a hero, that’s what we’re told right?  When a soldier comes back from the war, we’re supposed to hold them up as the greatest human beings ever.  Even when we discover that maybe these guys aren’t the greatest, we’re supposed to look past their flaws because of their sacrifice to the nation for our freedom.

Except this doesn’t always hold true.

Take Chris Kyle for instance.  He was the most prolific sniper in US history.  He was a great soldier.  You pointed him at an enemy, and he killed them.   I am not questioning his ability as a sniper, nor am I saying that he did not potentially save hundreds or thousands of lives by killing lots of enemy soldiers before they could kill us.  I’m not even going to question any racist comments he may have made while overseas, when you are killing people, one way to deal is to dehumanize the enemy.  What I am questioning, are his actions when he returned home.

He made millions off of a broken promise to give it back to wounded vets, and lies about a fellow soldier.  These are not things that a hero does.  And yet, if you were to bring them up, people will tell you it doesn’t matter.  I was actually told by someone who it doesn’t matter that all those vets Chris Kyle promised money to are quite possibly suffering, going without food or possibly even shelter, because they are alive, and Chris Kyle saved them all with his sniper rifle.  I really wish I was making this up, but that was someone’s actual reply.

Likewise, somehow, Jesse Ventura is not a hero, even though he was a soldier.  What exactly did he do other than try to clear his name.  All Chris Kyle had to do was admit it was all a lie, and retract those statements, and the suit would have been dropped.  But Kyle saw his image as a hero above all else, so we all decided that Jesse Ventura is now the villain.  He’s taking all that money away from Kyle’s widow.  We don’t care that its money she wasn’t supposed to have in the first place since it was already promised to others, it’s hers now because Chris Kyle was a hero.

And what about Eddie Ray Routh?  He’s got to be a villain, after all, he killed our hero.  But he was also a Marine, which makes also makes him a hero, right?  But if you look at any articles about him, they won’t mention any heroism during his time in the corps, except to ask whether he picked up any Muslim sympathies while in Iraq.  Why can’t we just leave it at him being a diagnosed schizophrenic with PTSD?  Why do we have to make him out to be some kind of cold-blooded terrorist?  Is it because he didn’t kill as many people in the war?  If he was more of a cold-blooded killer in Iraq, like our hero Kyle was, would we instead be blaming the US government for their poor treatment of our vets?

Isn’t’ that what we should be doing anyway?  Shouldn’t we be supporting our troops by demanding that they aren’t brought back from hellish conditions and then just dumped into civilian life?  Shouldn’t we be making sure that they are mentally, physically, and financially able to start their life as a civilian again?

But that takes more work that just slapping a magnetic ribbon on the back of your car.