There are times when I wonder how people can have such a skewed perception of soldiers. How some people can think that they all are messed up in the head, that they are cold, uneducated, unable to think on their own. Most of the time I just can't understand how so many Americans can lump all soldiers into one stereotype.
Most of the time.
Then there are days like today when ONE soldier commits a horrendous act against humanity and the line is blurred. There are days like today when I see what I saw on a major news network this morning and I have to turn it off because of how sick it makes me feel. There are days like today when an "expert" gives his "professional opinion" on why evil has taken place at the hand of an American soldier.
Because then it makes sense. Then I can understand why some people ask me if I am scared my husband is going to snap on me, or if I worry about him around our children. If I worry that he may kill me in his sleep. Then I understand why some people think our soldiers are broken.
Because someone, with some degree, and some title that people think matters gets ten minutes of airtime spent talking about how just being crammed into a vehicle causes PTSD, and how one tour of duty causes EVERY soldier - "in (his) professional opinion"- to suffer from PTSD, how any soldier has the potential to become a murderer at any time, how soldiers cannot separate threat from innocent women and children, how we have to be prepared for soldiers to "snap" at any time. How our soldiers cannot re-integrate into society. How they don't know how to "be" civilians anymore.
And at no point in this interview - that seemed to last far too long (and I didn't watch it all) - were there the words "some" or "few" or "at times". It was always definitives, always communal language, always inclusive. Not "some", not "a minute amount", not "in rare occasions", not even just "often."
Listening to this "professional," should have made me fear my husband. Should have made me question if he should be around our children. Should have made me look at him as a "potential murderer."
That's disgusting. It's disrespectful. It's harmful and contagious and offensive.
Because he was convincing in his language. He is a "professional" on one of the largest news stations in the world receiving ample air time and never once being questioned on his wording.
If he is going to call my husband a "potential murderer" well, it must be true.
Surely our society - or those who broadcast it - doesn't have such a strong distaste for our service men and women. Surely no one would encourage this view of our soldiers - encourage such ignorance.
Because that would be horrible and wrong.
My husband is a servant - who, YES, has seen horrible things - things he will never forget. He lived through them and now he holds his children tighter. He loves his family fiercer. He defends his nation against the horrors he has seen in other countries so that our innocent eyes never see them here. He has seen a bullet-filled, maggot-ridden toddler left dead in her bed in another country, by a foreign enemy, and he has vowed to never let that be an American daughter. He has made the decision between life and death and saved the men that he was responsible for, that he promised to bring home.
He has buried his comrades. He has held their parents, their spouses, their children.
That doesn't make him broken.
It makes him someone that this worldly place cannot understand.
It makes him selfless.
How dare the world be told any different.