Complaint Department #1: Are the military really heroes?

Enough is enough. I am tired of turning on the television here in La Casa Del Sylvia and hearing how much of an honor we must give to our heroes, the returning vets from Desert-whatever-the-hell-this-war-is-called. Tired of hearing these people are heroes over and over. They are NOT heroes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that’s not a popular opinion, but I know I am not alone here. Soldiers are heroes when they actually do something heroic. Simply signing up and going to the desert is not heroic. Besides, most people who enlist are not going to be deployed to Afghanistan. Many are stationed in Hawaii, or Germany. Or San Diego. These are not heroes, they are young men (and few women) who are going into the armed services to get money for college.

There is a reason so many marriages fail once the guy enters the military. Most of them cheat, cheat, cheat on their spouse. Big heroes, those guys. Don’t believe me? Military divorce rates in 2011 are the highest they have been since 1999, at 3.7%. The Air Force is 3.9. while nearly 5% of marriages ended in divorce that year.

Stop saying these young guys, drunk most of the time when not actually on duty, are “fighting for our freedom”. Bullshit. Most of them are not fighting at all, but refueling a KC-135 out of McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. Besides which, most enlisted soldiers come from low education, broken families in some of the worse neighborhoods in the U.S. They can’t even name half of the freedoms they are fighting for.

So yeah, I respect the ideal of our fighting men. I know my ass isn’t picking up an M-16 anytime soon and heading to Afghanistan. Hell, I ain’t picking up a wrench and heading to Kansas! But I am sick and tired of everyone calling them heroes. They are assholes, just like you and I. No different.

Yeah, you don’t share my opinion, I know. Not least ways that you could say in public, anyway.

Now, before you send your hateful and angry feedback in, blasting me for my unpopular (but honest) opinion, let me tell you a true, but brief, story.

She is mid-20s. She has a child from an earlier relationship. This child has some issues, and desperately has need of a father figure, seeing as his own daddy didn’t stick around. So this sweet young woman with a heart of gold finds herself an honest and trustworthy sort. He don’t have much money, and neither does she, but he marries her just the same. He becomes that much needed father figure. Hell, the boy starts calling him daddy. So to make a better future for his new bride and new son, he enlists in the army. Technically, the reserves. Before he goes off to basic training, this really nice guy knocks up his very sweet and good natured wife. The family will be getting bigger! (It was a boy, if you want to know) He commits to adopting the older boy after his basic training is over. He goes off, starts Basic, and tells his wife to rent a nice house so that when he gets home, they have a house to raise the family in.

Guess where this is going? Yup, he cheats on her at Basic. This is not a 19 year old kid, but a grown man of 30. He meets an even younger woman who lives by the base he trains at, and you can figure out the rest. He keeps the secret for a while, telling his pregnant wife at home that on weekends or leave, all the younger men in his company spends almost all their free time hooking up with women close to the base. Married, single, it don’t matter to the men in his company. They all cheat, he tells her. Hell, he says, the military encourages it! They look right at the marries soldiers and nod, wink, and tell them “use protection, son, you don’t want to carry any nasty surprises back to your wife! HAHAHA!” Heroes my ass.

Lars Sylvia

Lars Sylvia

Lars Sylvia writes the Complaint Department column for Stabley Times
Lars Sylvia

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  1. cdopher on January 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Jesus christ, who pissed in your cornflakes?

  2. HitManfan on January 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

    No one pissed in his cornflakes. He’s just another yippy little dog barking at the feet of his betters. Just another asshat who has never been willing to put his own life on the line for the greater good. Never stood a post on Christmas day thousands of miles away from his family and loved ones. Never stayed awake for days at a time trying to repair and maintain on attach aircraft or hanging bombs and missiles on planes when you are so tired that you can barely think and you pray that you don’t make a mistake that will kill everyone around you. This list could go on forever telling you about all of the things that you will never have the courage to do, or the will to do long after you think that you can’t. But in the end it really doesn’t matter, because you are and always be an insignifican’t little cockroach to be trod upon without another thought.

  3. snookasnoo on January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I spent 13 years in the Marines with multiple combat tours and was medically discharged due to combat injuries.  I am also sick and tired of calling everyone in the military heroes.  Very, very few people in the military place their lives on the line.  A tiny percentage in fact.
    However saying all military men cheat and the military encourages this is going way overboard as is saying most military men are drunk when not on duty.  Bot are ridiculous things to say.
    Better to say non-military people go too far with everyone is a hero nonsense and it is also an excuse for not being military themselves or supporting these wars based on lies.
    Also there are all kinds of people in the military.  I was Marine Corps infantry by choice.  Does that mean I’m dumb or come from a broken home?  No.  In fact after being in the Marines from 17 to 30 years old I went to the University of Illinois and did a Computer Science degree with Honors.

  4. RolloTomasi on January 24, 2013 at 5:22 am

    You’re probably the same type of person who’s outraged at racial or ethnic stereotypes, no?
    Yet you stereotype the men and women who protect your freedom, you essentially call them all uneducated, ignorant, cheats.
    The finest people I’ve ever met were people I served with, and the greatest freedom they protect is the right of hipster douches like you to sip your $7 coffee, stroke your beard, and insult their integrity from the safety of your Mac.
    The young service member “refueling a KC-135 at McConnell” has more courage and character than you ever will, and they’ve earned the college education they receive. It’s a damn sight better than being saddled with tens of thousands in student loans (like you) for the graduate degree in being a hipster douche, you no doubt received from your local community college.

  5. OliviaViriya on January 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Sylvia, I totally agree with you. Understand and empathize with your frustration. I know you will get blasted too. You are a lot braver than these whinny morons who talk about ‘sacred blah blah’ hand over heat brown-shirt patriots… Sorry, its has already happened as I see below at the posts. Take heart. You are not alone.

  6. cedrics on January 31, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Your story would be great, except that Basic trainees don’t get ‘weekend’ leave. They don’t get jack shit until several weeks into AIT-maybe, and that depends purely on the largesse of their commander.

  7. Marmotjmarmot on February 3, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Sounds like he struck a little close to home on you, I think.

  8. BlueSeeya on March 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe that you think so low of us military members. I didn’t think that getting three degrees(1-bachelor & 2-AA), seven separate civilian certifications in safety, administration and finance plus attending two Master degree programs(health care & business) made me such an uneducated person. I have been married to the same woman for approximately 18 years and have not cheated on her once but yet I am grouped together with all cheaters (civilian & military) just because of my career choice. Why? I do not think of myself as a hero. A large percentage of military members hate to be called a “hero” because  we chose to enlist into the Army and had an idea of what would be asked of us. A hero is someone who does heroic things at an unexpected moment. Sport and music stars aren’t heros either because they do nothing but the job they are paid to do. We as a society have abused the word “hero” and it has become diluted and weak from misuse. I do see a Soldier that is trained in one particular field like medical/health care going out in the field of battle and performing infantry type functions in which he is not trained but doing so to save the lives of others in need. He is a hero and deserves the title. A mother raising kids on her own without public assistance and still trying to better herself by going to college at night or online, yes she is a hero to her kids and probably others who see her as someone who continues to strive forward. Dying on the cross to save “everyone” when you know the suffering you will have to endure is a hero to me. Everyone has their own opinion of what a hero is but labeling all of one group as “cheaters”, “liars” and “uneducated” is just wrong and in my opinion “ignorant”. Sir, I gladly serve to protect your right(s) (Freedom of Speech) to say such things but some thoughts should be kept inside one’s own head and your article is a perfect example of such. Sir, I ask you to attend or visit a VA hospital or an military hospital and tell a Marine, Soldier, Airman or Seaman who have lost a limb(s) with his loved one(s) there and see what will happen. I am almost certain you will call the person who comes in to save you from a major beating a “hero” because they protected you from harm. Sir, please re-evaluate your purpose in life. Are you here to inform the masses or hurt select few?  Well, thanks for your time I must return to reading and doing research about the financial differences between contracting companies and a labor union trained work force for a 78 million dollar contract. Ignorant, yeah right!
    Oh, by the way my wife has a college degree and three civilian certifications in healthcare as well. Not all military spouses are dumb.
    Thanks to the American people who do say “thank you for your service” I appreciate the comment and the courage you took to approach a complete stranger and say that.