Most Americans will gladly say “we support our troops,” free drinks in airport bars are common, as is the occasional random “thank you for your service.” The American military is unique compared to other, perhaps more laudable, government jobs such as teaching, being that the massive majority respects the military institutions. American Soldiers are considered to be representatives of American society where the common core moral values of the nation are put to the test under the most adverse and cruel conditions imaginable. And you bet your ass we are, we are the mirror that America looks in, a constant reflection of change.
Social groups have learned from the African-American military story, post WWII, that even the most strident bigot may change his tune when his life is on the line. The ties of a common enemy, a common language, and a common society; not to mention just having another trigger puller in a pinch are strong motivators for cooperation. Soldiers learn to be friends, regardless of creed, orientation, or color and once those Soldiers ETS from the military; they take those life lessons back home. It was hard for my grandfather who served in the Pacific to return to the small Texas town where he witnessed lynchings as a kid. He was disgusted when faced with the old racism of Hicksville, USA and soon moved to the city.
Today, the struggle for acceptance is fought by atheists and homosexuals who, by striving for lasting recognition in the military, sow the seeds of a concrete place in the accepted American zeitgeist. So, as I got mortared during breakfast, I was pleasantly surprised to see not one but, two articles on Atheism in my Stars and Stripes. The 4 page spread was enough to send my favorite Mormon FUN-damentalist into a 5 minute rant about how the godless are evil and that how we are the servants of President Obama and his socialist plans. Which was stupid on so many levels, I was unable to respond.
Go Team Godless.