Monday, January 31, 2011

We Simply Have Weak Soldiers

The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a great bit about "the invention of the helmet." Paraphrased, he jests at how, rather than stopping the participation of our skull-cracking activities, we simply invented the helmet so that we might continue undeterred. Keep that in mind before you read this next statistic.

Congress.org has reported that for the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was shocked by this - unaware that the numbers were even close. The idea that more active and post-active soldiers are killing themselves on a day-to-day basis than are dying in the fields of battle is mortifying.

Perhaps our soldiers are just weak. Back in the good ol' days (of the crusades), men took pride in dying for causes they were convinced to believe in.

Or perhaps our soldiers' mental state isn't a sign of weakness after all. But a completely natural reaction to the witness of destructive barbarism we need to reconsider. Because our helmets apparently work better than ever before. We simply need a new kind of blindfold to avoid the consequences of being able to remember that which we've done.


Eric Olsen,
Regular Columnist, THL
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