I am a person who goes to a church in the Bible Belt, most people I know are conservatives, and many I know have either been in the military, or are considering it. That being said, I am not a southerner. I don't have the accent, I don't have the big pickup truck, and I don't eat pork very much. A significant portion of our military personnel come from the south.
A little background, my father served in the US Navy back in the late sixties, early seventies. He had been promised that he would not be sent to Vietnam when he enlisted, and when to work becoming a ship's electrician. He did very well. Someone then decided to send him in the bottom of an old boat to Vietnam, or so he tells it. Like I said, he had no plans to do that, so he signed drug amnesty and got an honorable discharge. My grandfather served in the Army Air Corps in WWII. So I do have some military in my family background.
However, it's that experience (from my father) that has particularly shaped my view of the military. The recent wars have done even more.
Let me tell you under what circumstances I would carry and use a gun or other weapon. If the US was invaded by some foreign force with intent to do grievous injury or something else, the first thing I'd do is install my scope on my Ruger 10/22 and get it sighted. Then I would do my best to protect my country and my family as an honorable citizen thereof with that gun and my 12 guage. You don't know how much damage you can do with a .22 rifle and a scatter gun.
Let me also invite you into my mind. You see, we have a whole bunch of propaganda circulating when it comes to the military. We hear all these great things about our service men and women protecting our freedom and our interests overseas.
I think it is a great thing to protect our freedom. However, what our soldiers are doing overseas is not protecting our freedom, it is threatening our safety. How is it even fathomable that protecting our freedom involves blowing up brown people who have never even entered our country. What's more is all the innocent bystanders (also brown) who get blown up too. If our freedom is to be protected, it is to be on our own soil. If our people are to be protected, it is to be on our own soil. We cannot attack other countries and expect anything other than continued violence and attacks. Islam especially is a religion based on a revenge-friendly theological system. No matter what they do to you, the only way to get them off your back is to leave them alone. If you kill someone, his brother will come after you, and his son and probably his wife. If you then kill any of them, you have their relatives to deal with as well. It is a quickly escalating mess. The only way to deal with Muslims is by following what the Bible says. "Revenge is mine says the Lord." If you are a follower of Jesus or believe in the bible, you must not take revenge, revenge must be left up to God. That's why our freedom can only be protected on our own soil. We police, we investigate, we incarcerate the guilty, but it must be here and only here.
And the interests we are protecting are not ours either. It's those darned interests that really get to be the problem. It's the interests of multinational corporations and their paid politicians who are served in wars, not those of the American people. We just want to get along with everyone and not be killing brown people. If we hadn't been dragged into pointless wars, we'd probably have plenty of money for health care and whatever else anyone wants to do. Those are not my interests. Those are not my interests. I have an interest, let's instead of buying Saudi oil or blowing up Iraq, let's rent some desert and put up some solar panels and make some money on clean renewable energy! If the price is right, we can't lose!
Blood is precious. And I'm not just talking about the blood of our soldiers, but I'm talking about he blood of those they kill as well. Human life is precious. Humans are created in the image of the invisible God, the pinnacle of creation. God never intended for them to die, and he certainly did not intend them to kill each other. He intended them to live in peace, in harmony with him, each other, and with creation.
So I'm essentially against service in the military. I for one am not willing to sacrifice my life on the orders of someone I barely know and for a cause I do not believe in, and I don't want to lose any of my friends that way. I believe our interests as Americans are best served in the world by closing the vast majority of our bases around the world. Our footprint should be no larger than the land encircled by our borders and our shores. We could save loads of money with which to pay down our national debt and become a strong nation again, not strong in military power but in influence and in a good way, and for peace. Being American used to mean something, but now, no one gives a cold shit anymore. We're just bullies. Our economy drags the rest of the world down. Our wants drag the rest of the world into working conditions akin to before the industrial revolution.
I just want innocent people to stop dying. I think the military is getting in the way of that goal.