Saturday, May 25, 2019

What Did They Think They Would Hear? - US Army Asks People How Serving Impacted Them

Soldiers are one of the groups that Americans (and many others) have positive prejudices about.  We've got myths about saving democracy, becoming a man (even now when women serve), and stopping terrorism, to name a few.

But it's mostly propaganda so that people will be willing to volunteer for something human beings should never have to endure.  As a kid I read enough about war - WWI, WWII - to know that it wasn't where I wanted to be.  The idea that I would be asked to shoot and kill young men whose company I would probably enjoy had we met under better circumstances, just didn't appeal to me.

The idea that an organization has to break people down (boot camp) in order to indoctrinate them to follow orders without question already raises suspicions.   I accept that there have been situations when going to war was the last resort for saving one's country, but most wars, including the 'good ones' are started to satisfy leaders' egos or their supporters' income.

So when I saw this Twitter feed today - The US Army asking "How did serving impact you?" - I was pleased to see there were a lot of people who think they way I do.  How isolated must the Army folks be that they assumed they would get positive responses - like the one the thread begins with?  (Note, that looks like someone who is getting ready to serve, not someone who has served.)

How has serving impacted you?
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) May 23, 2019

Note: To see the hundreds of responses, click the > on the bottom right of the Tweet.  They're a powerful anti-war statement.  Wonder if anyone involved with putting up this Tweet will learn anything or change anything if they do.

As much as Twitter can thoroughly waste one's time, examples like this show its value in gathering information that would be hard to collect and disseminate so quickly and widely any other way.

Sorry, two Twitter based posts in two days.

*A thread is a series of posts

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