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This weekend, Candice Owens uploaded her latest podcast, an interview with Vice President Mike Pence. As he brought the interview to a close, he made a comment that prompted reflection. Vice President Pence grounded his optimism about our nation’s future in the fact of 5.5 million young people have signed up for military service, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the latest cohort of recruits was born after that date, and for at least the past four years, recruits have had no living, personal, memory of that day.
We really do believe that your generation, this rising generation, the generation that has come of age after 9/11, that responded—5.5 million Americans volunteered to serve in our military since 9/11, thousands paying the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom—this is a generation we believe in.
What every post 9/11 recruit knows is the old assumptions of war and deployment being exceptional no longer hold. Reporting in 2018, on a Rand Corporation analysis of deployments since 9/11, roughly quantified the risk exposure:
Since 2001, 2.77 million service members have served on 5.4 million deployments across the world with soldiers from the Army accounting for the bulk of them. Deployed personnel were under 30 years old on average, over half were married and about half had children.
Considering the length of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a substantial number of those serving across all services have gone on several deployments.
Further, everyone now knows that the Guard and Reserves are not “one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer.” See the 2019 account related to the photograph at the top of this story: “Change over, switch: Arizona National Guard hands off to Army Reserve.” The largest force is the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, who have changed their pitch [emphasis added]:
ONE WEEKEND A MONTH, PLUS TWO WEEKS A YEAR
Part-time service means you serve at least one weekend per month and two additional weeks per year, with the ability to scale up or down depending on your life and career needs.
So, there is no signing up for guaranteed benefits, taking Caesar’s salt, while serving in nearly guaranteed safety. And yet, young men and women seek to serve.
“Greatest Generation,” Ken Burns’ lies about Vietnam, Conservative Pundit Pile-on:
The left, after losing badly at the ballot box in 1968 and 1972, eventually evolved the strategy of pitting the Baby Boomers who proudly and honorably served in Vietnam against their parent’s generation, who persevered through the Great Depression and who served in factories or in the field during World War II. “The Greatest Generation” was a term coined by a leftist for the real purpose of covering his faction’s disgraceful treatment of those who served in Vietnam, while invited World War II veterans to overlook this vile behavior and to actually join in by accepting special praise for their service in a “good war.” More recently, after over a decade of open combat with jihadists and their enablers, Ken Burns sought to cement the left’s lies about the Vietnam War in a saccharin sheathed screed.
At the same time, we have seen and heard conservative pundits, professional talkers, disparage “Millennials” generally. They overlook the willingness of millions to step up in the full expectation of facing long family separations and risk of bodily harm. Perhaps this is because it is no longer popular or profitable to fan boy/ fan girl our deployed military, as they did from September of 2001 through about 2006.
The full truth is that, as with the Baby Boomers and Vietnam, so too the Millennials split, post 9/11, between a few who served and a few who subverted, with the remaining majority, however vaguely, “supporting the troops.” America, those who serve, and those who support those who serve, would be best if more on the right took the line of Vice President Pence, praising, thanking, celebrating the 5.5 million who have stepped forward since the open attack on our nation 18 years ago this month.