Thank you for the thoughtful editorial of March 18. I might have titled it, "What else could we expect?"
The U.S. has chosen to go the route of a professional mercenary military.
It is currently comprised of men and women who have, for the past 10 years, been engaged in either killing people who look like civilians or training and enabling themselves and others to do so. This is largely out of public view.
The absence of a draft for a citizen army has further alienated the military from the grounding influence of soldiers whose main occupation is with the more civil, if mundane, parts of life that make a civilization operate and be viable.
The victims of one man’s crimes were just folks, mostly children, trying to lead an ordinary life midst the violence and destruction.
Yet it is probably appropriate to frame the soldier as a victim also; a victim of 10 to 12 uninterrupted years of leading much the same life. He simply sought something vital, perhaps affirmation, in doing the only thing he knows how to do well.
Let’s not forget that, just as guns are designed only to kill; so is the military designed for that single purpose. Glorifying and worshiping (as well as offering benefits such as education and financial security) for those who participate serves only to seduce immature young men and women to enter into a situation that will transform their lives forever, I think not in a good way.
W. Lorraine Watkins