Sebastian Junger, author of War, was on The Daily Show last night discussing his stay with soldiers in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. Jon Stewart and he relayed how our troops truly embody the best of America—no, the best of mankind—in the worst of situations. The stories of brotherhood, integrity, humanity and professionalism that these soldiers create on a daily basis are the best achievements of mankind.
Watch the moving interview below:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
This got me thinking. Everyone from all political spectrums vocalizes their support for the troops. Y’know, we Americans can be a lot of talk sometimes. What are we really doing to support them? Junger talks about how the troops actually sometimes look forward to getting into combat because they don’t have the Internet or televisions. In a situation where you’d think all they could focus on would be their loneliness and fear, they don’t complain but go the extra mile to fight for everything that is good in the world—and those of us that benefit from it are not paying back the debt in any significant amount.
Are class trips to serve the troops taking place? Are companies donating portions of their profit or their product to the troops? Across the board, the answer is no. Sometimes we donate a little bit to charity, but the country isn’t mobilized. Every institution should have specific programs to support the soldiers.
Part of the problem is the lack of direction from the federal government. Following 9/11, we were told to shop, which was actually a good suggestion but didn’t go nearly far enough. Specific industries and organizations needed to be called upon by the president to undertake specific tasks. A process where people could help fund the war needed to be set up.
Our soldiers exemplify the best of humanity. Our failure to support them with everything we have exemplifies the worst.