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Thread: Hero worship of the military getting in the way of policy?

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    #1

    Hero worship of the military getting in the way of policy?

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    Hero worship of the military is getting in the way of good policy - The Washington Post

    This article was published on the Washington Post site two days ago. It's an Op Ed written by a Captain in the Army and I think he has some valid points. While I think that he makes some interesting points, I'm torn. I understand the idea of saving the term "hero" for those under fire, who give the ultimate sacrifice, or perform particularly courageous deeds. But I also feel that everyone who serves, regardless of their role, is supporting the mission. And without the people sitting behind computer screens, pushing paperwork, or ensuring that equipment gets to / from its requisite destination, the visible / juicy part of the missions - the jumping out of airplanes, clandestine missions, kicking in doors and hauling bad guys out of hiding places - would likely be impossible.

    What do y'all think?
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    #2
    I read this when it was published and the way I read it seemed more like he was talking about how some people aren't heroes, not in the sense that they weren't doing the "exciting" kicking-down-doors stuff, but like in the example he gave where it is possible that Bowe didnt' serve honorably. He also mentions serving with distinction, which is different although I'm not sure if I'd say it's a requirement of heroism.
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    I don't think anyone should be defined generally as a hero. I think we all view heroism differently, and we should reserve and apply that label for ourselves. There are plenty of people who perform heroic acts but would never earn the hero label, from me. To me, a person doing his or her job is not necessarily a hero, though there are job descriptions that lend themselves more to visibly heroic acts than others. It takes much more than that to make a hero, in my opinion. Heroism, for me, has more to do with character and motivation than a timeline of circumstances and choices.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSisterWife View Post
    I don't think anyone should be defined generally as a hero. I think we all view heroism differently, and we should reserve and apply that label for ourselves. There are plenty of people who perform heroic acts but would never earn the hero label, from me. To me, a person doing his or her job is not necessarily a hero, though there are job descriptions that lend themselves more to visibly heroic acts than others. It takes much more than that to make a hero, in my opinion. Heroism, for me, has more to do with character and motivation than a timeline of circumstances and choices.
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    #5
    I think the term 'hero' is grossly overused. I don't think anyone is a hero--or anything close to heroic--just because they join the military and show up for work. Pushing paper is pretty much never heroic. It can be honorable, and important, and even vital to very crucial missions. But it's not heroic. And jumping out of an airplane or firing weapon or kicking in doors aren't inherently heroic either.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kittycatastrophe View Post
    Hero worship of the military is getting in the way of good policy - The Washington Post

    This article was published on the Washington Post site two days ago. It's an Op Ed written by a Captain in the Army and I think he has some valid points. While I think that he makes some interesting points, I'm torn. I understand the idea of saving the term "hero" for those under fire, who give the ultimate sacrifice, or perform particularly courageous deeds. But I also feel that everyone who serves, regardless of their role, is supporting the mission. And without the people sitting behind computer screens, pushing paperwork, or ensuring that equipment gets to / from its requisite destination, the visible / juicy part of the missions - the jumping out of airplanes, clandestine missions, kicking in doors and hauling bad guys out of hiding places - would likely be impossible.

    What do y'all think?
    without reading the article. I tend to agree about the hero worship. Except your definition of a hero. My definition of a hero is someone who, knowing the dangers, taking the time to evaluate the danger, chooses to risk his or her own life for the greater good. Dying is not heroic. being in combat is not heroic, in of itself. The people who died in the world trade center bombings were not hero's, and did not "make the ultimate sacrifice" just because they did not make it out in time. The people who ran INTO the burning building to save those who could be saved were heros. Those who may have stayed in to help others escape were hero's.

    And I really hate the term "made the ultimate sacrifice" because it is so over used!!!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I think the term 'hero' is grossly overused. I don't think anyone is a hero--or anything close to heroic--just because they join the military and show up for work. Pushing paper is pretty much never heroic. It can be honorable, and important, and even vital to very crucial missions. But it's not heroic. And jumping out of an airplane or firing weapon or kicking in doors aren't inherently heroic either.
    -- and it applies to more than just military, imo - people are so quick to label people in certain professions "heroes" when, in fact, they may go their entire career without ever doing anything heroic and may even, in fact, do some pretty shitty things. Actions determine heroism, not career choices
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    #8
    It seems like the main crux of the author's opinion is that there a widening gap between the military and civilian populations. I don't see that but wonder if it's the case.

    I brought up the exciting / door-kicking aspects of military service because I feel like those are some of the more visible high-risk situations that, when shown by the media, seems to captivate the public, along with the tear-jerking welcome home footage of soldiers returning home from deployment and other iconic images. The way I read it, the author seemed to be claiming that some of the media portrayals of the military aren't really doing military policy any favors, by creating a situation where people need to either be for the military or against the troops.

    I didn't mean to imply that I define a heroic act as someone jumping out of an airplane or kicking down a door. Frankly, I don't know what makes a hero but I also think I know one when I see one.

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