Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.
Just a few points here I’d like to make. Before I do, I'd like you to know that I am a sister to two members who chose to serve. So my knowledge comes from the countess questions I have asked them as well as the experience of being a loved one who sits at home waiting for their return.
In other words, you are warning us about your bias based on family loyalty.
That is valid criticism. I wrote the essay over a period of many years. Every once in a while I would get a new idea. I would just tack it on the end, failing to notice the new point was just a variant on something I already said. Perhaps someday I will consolidate similar points. Nobody has shown any interest in the essay for years, until the last month, so those edits never percolated to the top of my todo list. However, my sloppy editing has nothing to do with whether it wise to marry a soldier. As a special treat, I will consolidate the most egregious duplication. Just tell me the numbers of the two points you consider in most need.
Surely you have heard the term army brat, child who is forced to move over and over before he manages to make a new set of friends. Even if you get 5 months notice for a move, this is still a major disadvantage for marrying a soldier.
If you want to make that point, you need some statistics, not an anecdote. Even if some people luck out and have stable homes, frequent moves are still a risk factor if you marry a soldier.
80% of soldiers return from combat with some PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms. You as wife are stuck caring for him, perhaps for the rest of his life. You might be happy to do this, but it is still a lot of work and a huge obligation. You could abandon him, but you would feel terrible. It is not like he is a paraplegic. He is not himself. He is not decent company. This means caring is much more onerous than you might imagine.
Of course not. It take 5 non-combatant military men to support one combat soldier. That is like defending a Mafia lawyer or don on the grounds he does not pull the trigger personally. He is guilty because he is part of a criminal enterprise. My point is everyone involved is working to kill innocent people. That means they all have defective personalities and as such will not make good marriage candidates. International law says anyone who participates in an aggressive (first strike) war has committed a capital war crime, technically, even if all he did was peel potatoes. Peeling potatoes is a necessary part of the war effort.
There are 100s of thousands of possible occupations. In only a few do you get to torture and kill children and use banned weapons. Anyone who claims they chose that occupation who strongly oppose hurting kids is either lying or kidding themselves. In a war there is no law. Rapists and paedophiles can do what they want without legal repercussions. That motivates some soldiers, but obviously not all.
All I did was point out the disadvantages of marrying a soldier. It did not ask people to bomb soldiers ’ homes. I may have saved a few women a lot of grief who were wavering on the edge. You offered no argument why it is good idea to marry a soldier.
That seems a rather severe punishment just for disagreeing with you about the wisdom of marrying a serial killer.
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