Soldiers are bureaucrats. We are employees of the government. In the National Guard we are state employees. When we deploy we are federal employees.
So it is sadly funny when I hear the many "small government" and Libertarian soldiers in my unit say they "want to get the government out of my life."
Dude, you are the government.
But even the ardent small government conservatives are very clear that they want and deserve all the benefits they are entitled to.
And I know a few rabid anti-government soldiers who are also involved in lobbying to get more benefits for themselves and other National Guard soldiers.
They see no contradiction in this. And they do not see that they are just another grasping self interest who wants to cut every budget except their own.
Some of these soldiers are supporters of The Donald or Ben Carson for President. They want to keep and extend the benefits the government gives them, but since they have no systematic knowledge of politics, they think they can back a political revolution that "changes everything" and leaves their benefits untouched.
When governments change, benefits go to whomever the revolutionaries say they go to.
Here is an excerpt from an email I just received offering me a discounted membership in the Pennsylvania National Guard lobbying group:
There is no greater champion for issues that affect our lives as Guardsmen than PGNAS. In the last six month PNGAS has been ramping up their legislative activity fighting for the best benefits, equipment, and training available to us and the Soldiers and Airmen that follow in our footsteps. Pennsylvania has over 20,000 Guardsmen and we are calling on every single one of you to stand behind PNGAS to Guard the Guard.
For those who know George Orwell's Animal Farm, this is a perfect illustration of "all animals are equal, but the pigs are more equal."
Of course, there is nothing unusual in Americans banding together to get more from the government, it is just funny when they call themselves Small Government Conservatives.