No, I Have Never Been in the Military

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It happens every time I write an article about war. It happens every time I write an article about the military. It happens every time I even mention war or the military.

The question may take a variety of forms but it is really always the same: “Have you ever been in combat” “Have you ever been in the military?” “Have you ever served?”

Because I have never been in combat, been in the military, or “served,” my answer is, of course, always in the negative.

Those who ask such questions have one purpose: to discredit everything I say about the military. In their mind, it is either that I can’t possibly have sufficient knowledge of what it is like in the military to be able to criticize it or I have no right to criticize the military because I have never been in it, or both.

But rather than hang my head in shame and sheepishly acknowledge that I have never been in the military, I lift it up high and shout No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced the “glories” of combat. I have never had the “honor” of serving. Thank God I was never in the military.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never sung filthy cadences that glorify rape and killing.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never put my family through unnecessary hardship.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never helped to carry out an evil, reckless, and interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never destroyed a country’s industry and infrastructure that was no threat to the United States.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never enforced a UN resolution.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed someone that I didn’t know, who was no threat to me, my family, my city, my state, or my country.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been a plumber, but I know it is a dirty, smelly job. I have never been a roofer, but I know it is hazardous work. I have never been a prostitute, but I know it is an immoral activity.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced PTSD because I had serious doubts about the justness of what I was fighting for.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never experienced the desire to commit suicide.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never unnecessarily been in a situation where I had to kill or be killed.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been part of an organization that was a global force for evil.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never embraced the values that are all too prevalent in the military: adultery, fornication, promiscuity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pornography, sodomy, divorce, sexual assault, sexual harassment, suicide.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never had to be on guard against being sexually assaulted.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been an accomplice to murder.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed a civilian and called it collateral damage.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought a police action for the UN.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never played golf on a U.S. military base thousands of miles away in a country that could provide for its own defense.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never violated the Constitution I swore to uphold.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never urinated on a dead body.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been all that I can be in an organization that was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never expressed blind, unconditional obedience to someone’s orders.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never cursed like a sailor.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought an undeclared war.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never committed random acts of depravity and violence.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never killed civilians for sport.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never participated in state-sponsored terrorism.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never posed for photos with murdered civilians.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never tortured and humiliated prisoners.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never worn a uniform in an airport and grinned from ear to ear when a group of people cheered me as I walked by.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never stopped having independent thoughts.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never transported anyone to some secret CIA prison to undergo “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

No, I have never been in the military. I have never piloted a drone over Pakistan and killed people like I was playing a video game.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never been part of the president’s personal attack force.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never unleashed violence and civil unrest in another country.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never deprived my child of his father while I made multiple duty tours with increased deployment terms.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never fought an unjust war of aggression.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never cut off someone’s body part as a trophy.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never died in vain or for a lie.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never dropped a bomb on a wedding party.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never traveled thousands of miles from the United States to fight in a senseless foreign war.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never dwelled in one of the filthiest moral environments on the face of the earth.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never helped to keep in business the worldwide network of brothels around U.S. military bases.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never traveled the world, met interesting people, and killed them.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never told people that I was defending their freedoms when I was doing nothing of the kind.

No, I have never been in the military. I have never agreed to kill people to get money for college.

No, I have never been in the military. But when men that have been in combat, and have been in the military, and have served confirm what I say about the military and add their own criticisms of the military to it, they are not listened to either.

No, I have never been in the military. But I will continue to criticize it and persuade people to not join it. How could any thinking person do otherwise?

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