Today being Veteran's Day, let us think about the men and women who serve. Lets also think of what may have led some of them to make this commitment to their country. Some of them may be:
Sense of Duty
Some others less spoken of:
Lack of other options
Personally I knew quite a few who fell more in to the last few bullets more than the first ones. The redemptive point to make is that those who may not have had a morally clean and noble reason to join often found that reason during their service. I knew many good people who joined so they could legally kill another man or get to blow up stuff, only to find a sense of meaning and purpose over time. I also knew a few who found that they really only wanted to "blow up stuff"... and so on.
One thing binds all who ever have served or ever will serve, and that is they made the commitment. That alone is admirable. The trick is not to lose yourself, and not to go too far into the water. Some go deep, and some never come back.
And now for those who were cut down in their prime recently, those who were ready to go risk their lives only to lose them by the hand of a weak and troubled man. For those people we need to remember what ideological extremism does and what it means. What the soldiers who were there are most shocked by, more than anything, is that a Major... a commissioned officer of the United States Army, a man who when entering a room would be greeted by every servicemen in the room saluting... would do something so horrible, and unfair, and wrong on every front.
Regardless of what religion or beliefs or values one has, one must realize the basic value of humanity and life. One cannot allow personal disgust, rage, and resentment to be justified by ones beliefs. This is fundamentalist extremism, and this leads to devaluing human life of those who do not agree with you.
It is okay to have beliefs, just don't believe in them too much.
Thank you to all those who serve, regardless of your reason.