I’m stuck in a sour war mood, which prompts recall of my military days.
This song, “Civil War” by Guns n’ Roses, came out two years before I retired from the U.S. Air Force. I retired because the military personnel powers-that-be wanted to move me to a new duty station. I was first offered a position with Air Force Space Command’s Inspector General team. A prestigious position, it would mean a lot of traveling, but it would take me to places that I’ve always wanted to see. Although I was keen, my wife was weary of me being away all the time.* So they instead wanted to send me to manage a missile site command post in the northern boonies. No, thanks.
It’s curious. We stood ready for war, but we didn’t want war, right? That’s what we told ourselves. But we spend all of our time and money preparing for war. That leaves us little prepared for anything else. This trend has gotten way out of hand since I retired in 1995. More and more resources are turned toward preparing for war and fighting war; less goes to social nets, education, infrastructure, etc. And we’re constantly being told that preparing to fight and going to war is what must be done to keep us safe, but as we do so, we’re fighting to save a collapsing nation.
Guns n’ Roses’ lyrics sums it up better than I do.
Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before
Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before
* Ironic side note: I retired from the Air Force, and became a customer service/sales operations manager for a medical device startup. Two years later, the company offered me an associate marketing product manager position, and I ended up on the road visiting hospitals, doctors, and trade shows…