Steve DeFillippo’s Point of View


Who are American heroes?

Well there are many; from individuals in domestic crises, to civil servants who protect our lives daily; and of course the most memorable are the men and women of the military, many of whom are in harms way 24/7.

Decades ago men were drafted into the military to fight for our freedom. They were courageous under fire and many died in our defense. The women worked in the factories to support the war effort.

Heroes without a doubt; but the modern day hero is a different breed. They are volunteers for the military who are dedicated and well trained with sophisticated weapons. Few expected that volunteers would be so well educated and dedicated to the military that the volunteer military would work. They were wrong!

As an example, a while back I wrote about a few U.S. Marine recruits I met on the beach who were in physical conditioning to meet the challenges of their forthcoming training at Parris Island to earn the title of U.S. Marine! They were incredible young men with a respectful manner and dedication to serve America that made me very proud to have met them.

The sacrifices of today’s military have not been fully recognized or given enough support by our Government. Many have died; but more have been maimed and suffer post traumatic syndrome (PST), a condition of today’s guerrilla warfare.

What saddens me is that today’s military heroes have to fight to get the medical attention they need. Why do we need to have charitable organizations beg for money to pay for the rehabilitation of these wounded warriors? Why can’t our Government offer these men and women all the support they need, mentally and physically?

There is no acceptable answer that would satisfy me or these heroes short of an all-out effort to make their lives more livable for their sacrifices on our behalf.

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Comments » 1

Cassandra writes:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary a hero is "a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities." Aside from the fact that "their" should be "his" this definition in no way describes the average American serviceman.

In America, practically anyone can be a hero. This is particularly true of anyone who wears a uniform whether it be that of the military, the police or the fire department. It is true that the New York policemen and fire fighters who lost their lives on 9/11 were heroes but members of the Fort Myers police department or the Bonita Springs fire brigade by extension are not.

The almost constant state of war promulgated by succeeding administrations and policy makers has resulted in a militarisation of our culture and an effusive public outpouring of encomia for our servicemen. However, the mere fact that we have a volunteer military force does not automatically make its members heroes. Were that to be the case how could we differentiate between someone who has won the Medal of Honor for heroism and someone who just hunkered down and did his duty for which he volunteered?

It is one thing to support our troops, quite another to ascribe to them a status most of them do not seek or necessarily deserve. Instead, what we should be asking ourselves is why our government continues to peddle the notion that these young men and women are fighting for "freedom and democracy" in wars that have absolutely nothing to do with these concepts, or why the government seems to be incapable of caring for those wounded in mind and body and who are, in fact, heroes.

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