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  1. #1
    Senior Member incubustribute's Avatar
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    Default Are soldiers necessarily heroes?

    Are our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan heroes? Regardless of whether you believe in the justice of the United States's wars, I'd like to know if you think our soldiers are to be called heroes for fighting for their country.

  2. #2
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    I often notice among WWII veterans the common sentiment expressed "people often call us heroes, but we're not. We just did our job, that's all."

    On many levels, yes, soldiers who fight for their country should be honoured as heroes. However, it should be done within responsible limits. Much of the current "support the troops" hysteria we've seen over the past few years tends to get rather absurd and even downright disgusting at times. Not least of which because many people who shout "support the troops" the loudest never bothered to enlist themselves, and use it as a kind of cheap therapy to make themselves feel better.

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    There's the definition of hero that takes into account the sacrifice that is being made and to what cause: the aid and defense of something larger than one's self (patriotism) - most would classify that as heroism, generally speaking. This is what every person in the service is called to do, whether that is their aim and true motive upon signing the contract.

    Then, there's a more personal look at each individual - did he/she sign up selflessly, solely for the aid of a greater unit? If not, does that person deserve the title hero? How do you want to define a hero? Can people act heroically, but not be regarded as heroes? I think so.

    I consider myself a hero by no means simply for the fact that I haven't "gone above and beyond the call of duty". I haven't even seen combat (though I was deployed). Even if I had, like it's been stated before by other men, I would have seen it as merely doing my job and providing security for those serving next to me, just as I'd expect in return. I'd never feel ok adopting the title of "hero". An old friend actually used that exact phrase when addressing me the other night, in light of me just returning from deployment. I wanted to reply with "I'm no hero", but I just shrugged it off instead as I didn't feel like making a discussion out of it.

    Truly, I wouldn't be caught dead referring to a lot of people in the armed forces as heroes, as some of them are truly despicable on many different levels. So is the case anywhere you look, you'll find the good and the bad. Heroes are those that are willing and ready to put their best on the line for the betterment of others.

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    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    In general I think they are patriots. This is true even when I personally disagree with the wars. IMO "heroes" are weighed more on an individual merit system rather than a general statement or for a large grouping.

    I hate how the propaganda spins opposition to the war as opposition to the troops. I am against the wars primarily because I don't want our troops to die or get injuredhow can that be opposition to the troops. IMO those for these current wars are de facto, in all logic, opposing the troops.
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    I'd say: No, soldiers aren't necessarily heroes. And by no means everyone who deserves to be admired is automatically a hero. In fact, I think that the term even has a slightly embarassing ring to it. It always implies singling out certain individuals (that's why I think it can't be applied to a whole group of people) together with the notion that said individual is somehow removed from, or elevated above, other people. I think most soldiers wouldn't be comfortable with either.
    Also, I'm somewhat opposed to glorifying the military in itself. Not that I don't respect what soldiers are doing - quite the contrary (I once was thinking of joining the military myself). I just think that a lot of people who call soldiers "heroes" are not entitled to, or capable of, making that kind of judgment.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

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    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by incubustribute View Post
    Are our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan heroes? Regardless of whether you believe in the justice of the United States's wars, I'd like to know if you think our soldiers are to be called heroes for fighting for their country.
    Personally I cannot attribute the status of "hero" to an individual participating in an unjust conflict, even if the person is somehow exceptional and may deserve some form of special recognition.

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    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Regardless of the just or unjustness of a war watching your troops back are the situations where the opportunities for being a hero arise. Its like protecting members of your family (even the ones you don't like)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
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    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    I would say that people call them that to make them feel good (or try to make them feel good) after a war.
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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont know, I'm inclined to recognise that its an especially dangerous and risky calling, it could be that they are motivated by something other than money or self-interest, altough this could be said about fire fighters, police, even social workers (in fact a lot of the controversy about dead children in the UK and NI who were known to social services I think is yet to take account the possibly life threatening nature of the work).

    There is the, often bitter its got to be said, argument in the UK between the fire fighters and the army, particularly because the fire fighters are unionised and the soldiers think they risk more for less money and the fire fighters see the army as acting like scabs by providing fire fighting services during strikes.

    In fact its only in this context that I've heard questions about the heroism of soldiers mentioned, those whoever come out in favour of soldiers and in opposition to the fire service I've often thought would be predisposed to feel that way anyway, ie former soldiers themselves, barracks or garrison towns etc.

    I guess there are as many arguments on one side of the scale as the other, there's even the pretty mundane one from a lot of communities who have to contend with the influx of young squaddies in training the same way in which other communities have to deal with influxes of students. Squaddies fight, they're often "ultra manned" in a sense of overt machcismo and that can be a real pain. They are people at the end of day, as unheroic as that can often be.

    So like a lot of things I reckon heroism is a matter of the individual and not the office.

  10. #10
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    Putting their lives at risk on my behalf.

    I don't know anything more heroic than that.

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