Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reminded About Why I Enlisted

In the last week I was reminded about a good and a not-so-good reason I re-enlisted.  First the good reason.
When I saw the first footage of Tomahawk cruise missiles launching from US ships, I was thinking, 'I am so glad to be serving in the best military in the world.'  Earlier in the day reports from Benghazi told of Libyan soldiers firing machine guns at civilians and laughing and joking while they did it.  This was an army that was sure they were going to win.

Then every anti-aircraft missile battery in the Libya was hit or on the target computer of 100+ Tomahawks.  French Mirage fighters were tearing Libyan tanks to pieces outside Benghazi.  The lopsided battle of rebels against armor flipped.  It was now a more lopsided battle of Libyan ground troops without air support against fighter jets.

I know that depending on your politics there are 100 things wrong with us attacking Libya.  But I love to watch CNN when poop happens anywhere in the world.

OK, that's the good one.

Last night I went to a Church group meeting and remembered exactly why I joined the Army.  The one hour meeting was to decide if we as a group should join with a local group that helps single mothers and help one single mom for one year--a commitment of an hour or two per month.  The group discussed why and why not for a whole hour and reached no decision.  In fact, we have a vague plan to further discuss it at the next meeting in two weeks.

I had forgotten, but remembered last night that this kind of thing was one of the reasons I re-enlisted four years ago.  I had volunteered for a few different local ministries, but I wanted to do something, not talk and talk and talk about it.  I also, to my own shame, would volunteer and then something else would come up--like working late or a bike ride--and I would beg off whatever charity thing I was supposed to do.  I knew if I enlisted, service would not be optional or subject to my whims.  I also knew that when I was assigned a task, it would not include a long process of deciding whether it fit with my feelings.

At the next meeting I expect my wife and another woman in the group to take the lead and we will help one of the single moms from this group.  After all, the most clear command in the Bible, for those who take it literally, is to help widows and orphans.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975 Today a friend asked and I were talking about politics and how refugee problems have led to wars in the pas...