Watch that, and then read the following...
And now my 1000 words.
Today, October 25th is St. Crispin's Day. Any man or woman who has ever served their time, or anyone else's time in the military has heard that speech. Without fail, no one has escaped its magic.
Now I posted the video because I wanted all of you to see and hear those words. There is a bond between soldiers that cannot be broken. And the bond between soldiers that have seen combat together cannot be explained. Only God and the soldier will ever understand that bond.
And I used the clip from the movie “Renaissance Man” because its got a bit more personality than the Kenneth Branagh movie “Henry V”
Many have asked me about instituting a draft again. To which I have always answered with a resounding FUCK NO.
The author of the NYT Op Ed seems to think that a draft would raise awareness of the war because it would be hanging over the heads of all this nation’s young men. I’m not really sure if women have to register for selective service, I’m pretty sure they don’t.
Is he right? Probably.
Do I care? Not in the slightest.
One of the greatest bumper stickers I ever saw was one that my mom had me have made for her. On the left hand side it had a silhouette of a soldier marching with his rifle and on the right hand side it had the words, “My son serves, so that yours doesn’t have to.”
Is that sappy? Yeah, and a little obnoxious too. But it doesn’t reduce the truth of the statement even one iota. In today’s military you serve because you want to. You ask to be there. You go so far as to request the honor and then follow it up with a trip to basic training, followed by a stint in Advanced Individual Training and then on to a duty station and near constant training in the years that follow.
You travel to the far corners of the earth before most your age have even left the country.
You endure hardships that would break the back of your average American your own age.
You adapt to the most challenging of circumstances without so much as a whimper.
You go where you are told to go, and you do what you are told to do. Not because you are a mindless automaton as so many would like to call you, but because you are a patriot born of the idea that there are things greater than yourself.
You face unspeakable horrors in the midst of combat, and you come back to a barrage of questions from the knuckle draggers of, “Did you kill anybody?”
You live under constant threat of death, and in it you not only find humor but some of the greatest friends anyone could ever have.
You come home to a disinterested populace, and you can’t help but keep on thinking that you want to go back...as soon as possible.
You look around and see a decadent, self absorbed, and generally ridiculous culture and you find yourself wondering what you really went over there to defend.
Then you remember its not about them. It never was. Its about your boys. Its about the man next to you. Its about the guy who never left your side, regardless of how many bullets were flying or how many bombs were going off or how many rockets were coming in.
Sleepless nights, going hungry, endless guard shifts, convoys that stretched on for days, firefights, IED’s, fear, apprehension and abject terror. Combat is the fire in which that bond between soldiers is formed. Combat forms the tightest bond any human could ever feel.
Henry said that, “Any man that sheds his blood with me today, shall be my brother.” With all due respect to Shakespeare I would modify that statement slightly. “Any man who volunteered to shed his blood with me, was, is and always shall be my brother.”
So to anyone who thinks there should be a draft, I say; oh hell no.
I don’t want anyone to go into those fires with me that doesn’t want to be there.
I don’t want anyone in those fires with me that doesn’t understand the bond.
I don’t want anyone in those fires with me that doesn’t think that there are things greater than himself, that there are things worth dying for. And those things will be standing to your left and right as the bullets start to fly.
Could we treat our troops better? Of course, but until we have ourselves a culture that cares more about its members than the Jersey Shore that’s nothing more than a pipe dream.
In the meantime my boys and I will continue to fight for you. We will continue to do as we’re told. We will continue to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
And for this we will never apologize, nor will we ever invite you in. Honor cannot be bestowed by a draft.
If you want what we have, then volunteer. Join our band of brothers, come and shed your blood with us.
That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made...And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
Of all the things that we have been doing. Gladly, and without reservation for all the years of war that have been thrust upon us. We shall never waiver, nor shall we ever fail you.
But you will never be a part of us...
So in closing, I say no to any draft. And I say no to anyone who thinks it would help. The desired effect it would most likely have. It would thrust the war upon all young men and would most likely raise public opinion against the war until it was ended.
My honor doesn’t ask for the end...it only asks for a chance.