Sunday, February 20, 2011

The best deer hunting years of our lives: redux

There are ample articles lately about returning military members, physically and mentally damaged, homeless, disconnected family members…the narratives are many, not to mention stories of loss. There’s a new veteran in the picture too; the well-paid military contractor, now serving proudly in the ranks over there(s). The country seems disconnected from the Armed Forces, so says the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968; five years before the end of the draft. Maybe the crack that’s now a gap formed in 1973? Maybe the next version of a best-years-deer-hunting-returning-home epic won’t be a box office smash. What’s our country’s measure for the national conscience? What do we care about? I’m not sure any more.

The Academy Awards are this coming Sunday…the annual commercial tsunami for the national conscience. The two previous coming home films won a combined 12 naked guy gold statuettes. I’m not sure that’s significant in the care factor discussion. What seems significant to me is that, given the professionalism and lethality of our serving and contracted forces, it’s very easy for non-combat commanders (our last three) – in - chief to launch the dogs of war…too easy.

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