In America, veteran appreciation culture is everywhere.
We ask military members to stand at events so we can “honor their service.” Children are prodded to greet them in public and thank them for keeping us safe. Politicians love photo ops with soldiers to show their support for our nation’s heroes.
But it’s a sham. If we truly want to honor those who serve, we should begin listening to them and adjust our foreign policy based on what they have experienced.
Veterans continue to be some of the most vocal opponents of the endless, unconstitutional wars our government can’t seem to stay out of.
In a new public opinion survey commissioned by Concerned Veterans for America and conducted by YouGov, veterans spoke out overwhelmingly against military action against Russia in Ukraine, and they reported support for the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
In fact, the survey shows that while support for these stances is high amongst all groups, they’re substantially higher amongst veterans.
When it comes to the Russia/Ukraine situation, 49 percent of the general population is opposed to intervention whereas 60 percent of veterans, and 52 percent of military families, also take that stance.
On fully withdrawing from Iraq, 49 percent of the general public supports the removal of our troops while 58 percent of veterans and 55 percent of military families surveyed agree.
Most Americans, especially #veterans & military families, are aligned on NOT wanting to go to war with Russia over Ukraine. Our new poll breaks down key findings on what Americans think about the current state of U.S. foreign policy and vets health care: https://t.co/xh1xnj3Gea
— Russ Duerstine (@RussDuerstine) February 14, 2022
That the military community holds these views is not surprising.
American men and women joined our military to uphold our foundational principles. They have been willing to sacrifice their lives for our country’s ideals as well as for their fellow countrymen.
That is heroic. But if these poll numbers reflect anything, veteran and active military members appear to know their government often doesn’t use them properly.
Instead, our politicians send them to fight wars in third world countries that are no threat to us.
The U.S. government inserts our troops in proxy wars or regional conflicts that have nothing to do with America’s national interests. Some of these wars serve no substantive purpose other than making the U.S. less secure overall.
In the process, America’s government asks troops to watch children and civilians be blown up, to witness the starvation, deprivation and other horrors that come with war. Washington leaders use and abuse the honorable intentions of our military members, and often get them killed or sent home broken and bruised as a result. When they get home, soldiers find terrible resources, poor healthcare, and little help for the mental scars they endure.
If we’re going to say America First, that better mean that we quit sacrificing our men and women of our military over the rest of the world’s problems. Our troops should only be deployed when we face an actual existential threat.
Such a threat does not currently exist in Ukraine or Iraq.
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