December 2, 2011

American Military - Silent on Deceased Soldiers?

I have noticed that during the year and a half that I have been involved in this blog, when an American soldier is killed, there is "silence" from the official military. 

By silence, I mean that the statistics of the death are given out, but very little personal information about the man or woman who died. 

When a British soldier or a soldier from France or Italy or Poland dies in the line of duty, the soldier's regiment and commanding officers often issue official statements describing the deceased in personal terms. This may include such words as dedicated, ambitious, well-liked, intelligent, energetic, a prankster or a joker, popular among the ranks, etc. 

Descriptions such as this give you an impression of the soldier which goes beyond a statistic. Words such as this make the soldier's death more real and more in scope, and more in your face. Words such as this have an impact. 

When an American soldier dies, there is relative silence. It is almost as if speaking of the dead man's or woman's personality is "politically incorrect", or is an "invasion of privacy" or is a betrayal of the deceased soldiers integrity or that it is hurtful to his or her family. 

Why is this? 

The American Military has been described as "tight-assed", conservative, "old school" and hostile to change. Maybe that is why it took 20 years to allow gays to serve in the military when this was approved in Canada, many European countries and some third world countries years before the U.S.A. 

Maybe it's time for the American military to refer to soldiers who die in the service of their country, as individuals and not as statistics. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. Amen. 

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