The Opinion of a Soldier

In wake of the vice-presidential elections my brother posted something on his FB that I thought would be interesting to share. (Ok Wiesman, you’re right. The presidential elections have sidelined the affirmative action issue, which is too bad.) I’ve redacted last names to preserve some modicum of privacy, but I thought it might be interesting to post something straight from the horse’s mouth.

One day, I plan to write more about my brother, who has always given me such great insight into the US military and the political climate within the armed forces, but for now, I’ll be content sharing a little background on him so you can have context for this post.

My younger brother enrolled in ROTC while at UC Riverside. Like many young people, he did so to pay for college, though he’s always been interested in the military, and while he self-identifies as liberal, he has always been more moderate than me (our older sister is a religious conservative. conversations in our family can be fun!). He graduated from college during this terrible recession and was promptly shipped off to fulfill his obligations to the US Army for having paid for his education. For a bad few weeks, we thought he’d be in Afghanistan. He received officer training and despite being in his early twenties, has had to maintain discipline and order among men twice his age, learned to wrestle with military bureaucracy (death by PowerPoint!), and is currently stationed in South Korea, near the DMZ. It was a little bit scary for our family when Kim Jong Il died, also when the North Koreans were testing missiles, but I understand he’s serving his country and I am proud of him for that. (when he chose to join the military we had a bitter argument, since I am a pacifist and was much more idealistic and naive at the time he decided to join)

Anyways, here are some of his thoughts on the vice-presidential debate last night.

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[Assistant S4: Assistant Logistics Officer. Yah, apparently he rides around in tanks all day]

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Not that I expected otherwise, but it’s interesting to see what issues are studiously being avoided in these debates, despite getting light mention. I’ve heard it said these debates are meant to appeal to middle America and specifically are trying not to tackle inflammatory issues, but personally I’d like to hear the presidential candidates speak of this. 2 more debates, we still have time.

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