Arent We All “Soldiers”?

November 5, 2011

Political Theory


Eric Greiten is widely known as an humanitairan. He served in the US Navy Seals, founded “The Mission Continues”, was a volunteer english teacher in China, and took part in many other events that helped society. He was recently interviewed on the Diane Rehm Show on his new book “The Heart and The Fist”. This book talks about how he mentally and physically endured the challenges of being a soldier and his ventures following his time in Iraq.

Eric Greiten

As I listened to the recording, there was an interesting debate that came to mind. Eric talks about how a soldiers job is never over. Even when a soldier returns home it is still their duty to serve and help their country. With this ideology he started “The Mission Continues” foundation which helps wounded troops cope with their personal burdens when they return home.  Is it really only the soldiers duty to serve and help our country? It was brought to my attention that no one ever puts that burden on society as a whole. It is easy to label soldiers with that responsibility considering they truly do go out and fight for their country. However, is fighting really the only way to serve your country? I think that it is each and every ones individual job to serve and help their country. It should be society’s mission as a whole to help and serve each other every single day. I do not think that it is fair that society goes both unnoticed and unrewarded. Although they may not be equal, I believe that those who spend countless hours volunteering, those who travel the world for charity work, and those who donate to a good cause should also be considered “soldiers” of their country. The doctors who save lives and lawyers who keep the innocent out of jail and criminals off the street are also soldiers in my eyes. It is not the uniform and gun that defines a true soldier to society. This is why it was so interesting for me to think about. We think of all the miracles that occur each and every day and all the lives that are helped and saved by people who arent enlisted in the army. Since we seem so aware of the helping hands around us why do we only celebrate and thank the actual soldiers? Is it that maybe we really are not aware of each other at all? Why do we not have a day where we thank each other or our society as a whole? It baffled me how overlooked everyone’s actions go since they do not have a prior known label. I do beleive that this is somewhat society’s fault since it is society who forms these labels with predetermined assumptions. However, I think we need to start appreciating and recognizing each other more. Just as we have days where we recognize veterans, I think we should have a day where we commend each other on making the United States what it is today. Although soldiers are neccessary, and they deserve every bit of appreciation, it is the daily humanitarianism that makes the United States what it is today. With that, I have a few questions for you. Do you think that we should all be viewed as “soldiers”? Why is it that we never thought of thanking each other as a society and only recognizing those with an actual label? Is it truly everyones duty to “serve” their country, or is it only the predetermined ones that should have this burden? Lastly, can society truly handle a day where it is recognized and commended?

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