And, the answer is a resounding, "Of course."
This mid-term election cycle is getting rather heated. Several candidates here in Arkansas are putting much advertising emphasis on their military credentials. One criticism that always seems to rise to the forefront on social media is, "How does he/she think that military service qualifies someone to be in _____________?" (Congress, the Senate, the Governor's Mansion, City Hall, Justice of the Peace, whatever, fill-in-the-blank). I'm here today to address that question.
These days, many people are unfortunate enough never to have had a close connection to the military. That is indeed a shame -- for them.
War is never a happy thing but Mankind has not evolved nearly far enough to turn its collective cheek to antagonism and aggression, so there will be war in this world. There will be skirmishes. There will be evil people who seek to do harm to, or to subjugate, their neighbors. Mankind is not ready to demilitarize. And as long as there is war, there must be Warriors.
There will be natural disasters.
The Military trains its service members -- its Warriors in whichever uniform -- (and their families) in much more than a specific skill set. It teaches Discipline. Honor. Leadership. Respect. Sacrifice for the greater good. Love of Country. Problem identification. Problem solving. Moderation. Devotion. Teamwork. Tongue-biting, when necessary. How to Strategize, as opposed to how to Plan. But, Planning is taught, too. Healthy habits. How to encourage and cheer the accomplishments of Brothers and Sisters. How to set an example, and to train those who will be tomorrow's leaders and trainers. How to keep going when keeping going is out of the question.
How to live with pain and loss.
(The Military also instructs how to use massive numbers of acronyms ad nauseum, but that's not necessarily always a positive. It probably helps on Capitol Hill, however.)
So, you tell me. How does serving in the military not qualify one to engage in elective public service?
So, be forewarned, Mr. and Ms. Naysayer -- henceforth, picking on one's pride in having honorably served these United States will not even be acknowledged as viable criticism of someone's candidacy. And, hopefully, those of you who have no connection to the Military now understand a small portion of the traits we more fortunate sons and daughters immediately recognize and associate with someone who has worn the uniform.
You may now open your eyes.