Supporting the Troops does not Necessarily mean Supporting the War

A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (Educator, Activist, World Citizen)

One of my good friends is in the Navy Reserves and has served at least two tours of duty in Iraq. I took the time to collect items and send them over to her and her fellow service personnel, as it is very important that I, as an American citizen, support the people risking their lives to keep me safe from harm. This in no way shape or form means I have to agree with why our troops are over there in the first place.

Fact is, I don’t support the war in Iraq, I simply support the troops.

I believe former President Bush made a huge mistake sending our troops over to Iraq, only to see so many of them return in a body bag. President Obama has a duty to work toward correcting this past judgement error as swiftly and safely as is possible.

In the mean time, I will continue to honor and support the men and women who choose to serve this nation, hoping that each one will come home safe and sound.


42 thoughts on “Supporting the Troops does not Necessarily mean Supporting the War

  1. I agree with Bonniejean entirely. Although I do not support the war, I support the citizens who risk their lives for a cause, whether they agree with it or not. Just as we may not agree with the war, I believe as citizens of America it is still our duty to help out in any way we can. According to C. Wright Mills, even one individual can affect a whole society’s history. The Sociological Imagination states that “an individual’s biography is not only affected but also the history of a society as well”. Therefore, as a citizen of America living here comfortably, why not attempt to affect history by doing anything I can for the soldiers in Iraq, just as they are changing their own biographies to better the society and history of America.

  2. I also agree with Bonniejean on this topic. In my opinion, I think that Bush sending our men and women over to fight in Iraq was one of the biggest mistakes during his term as president. I think by supporting the people that are over there, in ways like sending care packages. you are not choosing to support the war in itself. Our men and women, fellow U.S. citizens, are still fighting in that country today and I think it is part of our duty to help as many as we can return safely home. Just because the war isn’t in the media as much as it was when it first started, doesn’t mean we should forget it’s going on or forget about the people who are still sacrificing their lives for our country’s safety.

    1. I politely have to disagree with megan317 that sending our troops to Iraq was one of the biggest mistakes. When I think of why we decided to send troops there in the first place was for the families that lost loved ones and the lives that were lost on 9/11. I personally know that if a loved one of mine was killed because of a terrorist attack, I’d want to go bomb the heck out of their Country. I do believe our troops have been there too long and I don’t know the reasons why we still have troops there, but I don’t believe that going there was any kind of mistake. I think that Countries need to know do not mess with America.

      1. Nae, I respect your point, but I am not even sure we were in Iraq because of 9/11. There were other reasons, and I think it has come out that 9/11 was a mere justification for other reasons. There were no weapons of mass destructions, there was no direct evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11, and the evidence that Bin Laden was behind it and in Iraq is shaky at best, having been obtained through torture. I am all in support of standing up for the rights of the people and protecting them, but to use something as horrendous as 9/11 (in which I knew people who had died) as justification for a war that actually has little if anything to do with why the war is taking place, well that is just very upsetting. Rather than rush in with guns blazing without the facts, wouldn’t it have been better to take the time to have appropriate, correctly obtained intel, instead of a shoddy collection of facts from prisoners under distress?

      2. First off, I would just like to say that I couldn’t agree with Bonniejean more. You have to support your troops. I just don’t see how anyone could not have compassion for our men and women sacrificing their lives out there every day to fight for our country whether or not you agree with why they are there to begin with. I personally do not agree with this war at all but I 100% agree you must support the troops. I’d like anyone who disagrees to think about how not only are these troops are sacrificing their lives, many of them are sacrificing their mental health as well. The people who are fortunate to come home safe usually suffer from postpartum stress and severe depression from the things they have seen and people they have lost. Whether they live or not their lives will never be the same. Commenting on the statement Nae made about how if her family member was bombed she would want to do the same to their country, I think that this phrase says it the best: “an eye for an eye makes the world go blind”.

  3. I completely agree with Bonniejean, as well. I think Ex-president Bush made a mistake sending the troops to Iraq, but for now lets hope that President Obama changes the situation as soon as possible. On the other hand, Americans have to support these soldiers that are risking their life or their sanity to protect millions and millions of people. And as megan317 said, just because the war isn’t in the media as much presently, Americans have to remember and have present in their minds that there’s soldiers dying for them. Remembering doesn’t imply supporting a war.

  4. I totally agree with Bonniejean. I dislike why the troops are in Iraq. The troops should not be in Iraq in the first place. Former President G.W. Bush should have taken more time to think about the negative consequences that could have and have happened by sending the troops to Iraq. On the other had, I do support the troops. I support them because they fight in order for everyone in the United States, including myself, to keep our rights and freedom. The troops are protecting everyone in the United States and we must support them. That’s the least we can do.

  5. I also agree with Bonniejean. I believe as an American we should all support the troops no matter what. The U.S. military has individuals fighting for us and dying for us everyday. We should be thankful. And just to point out Obama isn’t really fixing the problem he is simply pulling troops out of Iraq and putting them in Afgahnistan, my father being one of them. I don’t agree with the fighting but I support those who follow the cause. We may not like what some soldiers are doing, but to them they may feel pride and strong for what they are doing for the country and home. I believe the message is clear we should protect are beautiful country and that’s what’s important; finally support those who protect it.

  6. I also agree with Bonniejean. I believe in supporting the troops that are over there but why are we fighting for their country. I think they should fight their own battles. They have their own people. I believe our U.S. military should come home to their family. Our people are dying over there ever day. As for Bush, everything is totally messed up and the new president has a lot to fix and it is not going to happen overnight because Bush was in office for eight years. So, that is a lot clean up.

  7. I personally know many people like this as well. The troops are being extremely honorable in risking their lives to serve the country. The decisions of those who are in charge is supposed to be in the best interest of the country, and regardless of what the troops believe, when they submit their services to this cause, this is heroic, and this is what we who are at home support. Supporting these heros in any way we can should be expected of the citizens of this country. The troops are part of us. Troops are citizens of the U.S. who step up and decide to serve their country. They do not make the overall decisions, but they do whatever is needed for us. Whether the war is right or wrong is irrelevant, because we can support the troops while not being in favor of the war itself. In fact, no matter what the situation is with the war, the troops should be in our thoughts and should be taken care of by us, as they are doing far more to protect us and take care of us. The troops are not the war, and the troops are not Bush. The troops are us, and they are our protectors. Every little thing we do can help and with this in mind, it is like Ashley had said about Mills’ socialogical imagination, why would someone not want to make their mark in history.

    1. I agree with Andrew’s statement here; that it is rrrelevant if we think the war is right or wrong, because it’s always important to support our troops. They are fighting for us. I personally don’t think it was wrong that we went over there in the first place. I think that we needed to take action for the lives that were taken on September 11th, 2001. Although I think the war has been carried on for way too long, but whatever your thoughts on the war might be, it’s important to support those that serve our country and risk their lives. I know that there are even soldiers that don’t agree with the war themselves, but they are over their fighting for the U.S. They are our protectors and our heroes which is why we must honor and support our troops whether the war is right or wrong.

  8. I also agree with bonniejean. One of my good friends from high school is in the army, he just got deployed overseas about two months ago. The thing I found interesting about him is he didn’t agree with the war, he just didn’t think he could go to college. It seems like a lot of people in the army are like that. They got bad grades in high school and look at the army as a last option. All our friends support what he is doing and plan to send him a package with pictures of the summer fun.

    1. I agree with Saunders here. There are a lot of people fighting for us that agree and disagree about the war. I think that there are a lot of reasons to why there are so many young adult soldiers. In a lot of cases, young adults aren’t joining because they want to help with the war. One of my friends joined because she was going to have to move out after high school and she saw that the navy provides a place to live and get paid since she wasn’t going to college. Another one of my friends joined because they want to get their college paid for. The army is providing ways to give young growing adults and less fortunate people more options in life.

  9. I suppose that you don’t need to necessarily support the war to support the troops, however that is rather a contraditory statement is it not? I mean inadvertently you kind of are supporting the war in supporting the troops. You may not agree with the reason they are over there but indirectly you are supporting them in their cause by sending them things.

    I don’t agree with the war either. It was a huge mistake to send troops there but then again what else were we supposed to do? I mean after 9/11 everyone wanted something done! People wanted retribution to be payed for the loss of all those lives. Would we have really settled for something less when we had that anger fresh in our hearts?

  10. I agree with Erisalia in a way. Bush was just doing what every other person wanted at that time, revenge. Most people are against war I myself am, but at the same time I feel it was what we needed to do to get our respect back. Unfortunately war means sending the men and women of this country over there to fight. Remember though, signing up for the war is an option and was at the time an option. Those people that choose that option and need our support so like Erisalia was saying in a way we do support the war to by supporting the people that choose to go and fight.

  11. I agree completley with Bonniejean. I have two brothers that have served a year in Iraq each for the National Guard, and my other brother is going to boot camp this summer and most likely he will be deployed somewhere in the Middle East. I don’t agree with why the troops are over there but I support them completely. They are doing thier job to protect us, and risking their lives for us. Which having three brothers in the National Guard makes me support anyone in the Army, National Guard, Navy, and Air Force and anything else that I am forgetting even more. I do support our troops and believe they are just doing their job.

  12. I agree with Bonniejean and a lot of the posts, I do support the troops. And I think it sad that a lot of people go the army because of college. And going to the army is a option, but the way our economy is, a lot of are men and women go because they cannot find jobs. The troops do get good medical benefits and other benefits, but is it worth it. Where are their soldiers? Why won’t they fight their own battles.

  13. The war that is going on is not our war and we should not be there. That’s messed up that we are over there for no reason and all could be avoided. I feel bad for the troops because they are forced to go there and we have no business over there in the first place and there is nothing they can do to prevent this whole thing from happening.

  14. I agree with this statement. As U.S. citizens, it is common that we won’t always agree with every decision our government makes, in this case, the war. However, I do believe that in spite of the different views on the war, we have to remember that the troops our still providing us with a service. They are risking their lives to uphold the liberties that we sometimes take for granted. So even if we don’t support the war, I think its imperative that we still support the troops.

  15. I agree with Bonniejean. When the US ended up sending troops to the Middle East, I didn’t like it at all. I do support the troops. It would be good for all of them to come back safe, but that can never happen, people get shot, there are explosions, etc… It is not a safe place for anyone to be around. Many innocent people die everyday in Iraq from little kids to our United States soldiers. The sooner they get back, the better it is for the outcome.

  16. I totally agree with Bonniejean becuase three of my best friends are in Iraq right now serving our country and I support them all the way. Every time I hear that someone I know and love is going into the military it scares me to death just because I don’t know if I will ever see them again. It takes a lot of courage and strength to do what our soldiers are doing overseas and even in training in the states. I do not agree with this war at all, but I know that someone has got to stand up for our country and by knowing people who are out there fighting risking their lives everyday for you and I is a blessing and I want to do whatever I can to show my support to all of them.

  17. I myself do not agree with the fact that we are at war. It’s costing our nation billions and it’s affecting life here drastically. I have a friend in the Army and my own brother is signed up for the Marines and will be leaving next month. I’m very upset and I wish he never would’ve signed… but it’s his decision. And it is the decision of the people who took their lives for this nation during this war. I love my brother and I will never be unsupportive of him just because I dont believe we’re there for a good reason. I really hope this war doesn’t last much longer.

  18. I completely disagree with Rachel & Erisalia. I do not think killing innocent people who had nothing to do with 9/11 helps anything-no matter how bad America wanted justice. And I can guarantee you those people who lost family members in 9/11 do not feel any better about it because justice has not been served-we are fighting the wrong people.

    America did “want something done”, but to the people who deserved it.

    And yes, entering the military is an option, but I bet that if those who entered the military right after 9/11–based on 9/11– knew then what they know now: they wouldn’t have. In fact, I have a friend in the Air Force who has said that same exact thing.

    America was tricked into believing that these were the people who did it and these were the people we needed to fight, when they are not, and now we have lost thousands of lives because of stupidity. And for those people who were already enlisted before 9/11, it’s equally unfair for them as well because I’m sure they, like all of us, thought that our “President” and his administration had OUR best interests in mind…but they clearly did not. And I’m sure they felt that any war they were deployed to fight would be with good reason & for a real cause.

    Also, this is said often, but I wish our country would take a look at ourselves and fix OUR problems before we interfere with other country’s problems…especially countries who do not want us there in the first place…. It’s sad that a “President” & his administration who are all old enough to have been living during the Vietnam War did not learn a single thing from it.

    I support the TROOPS not the war. There is a difference…

  19. I agree that we must support the troops-those who have fought or will fight. War is rediculous and a separate issue. But I think that most of the support from us should be given when these soldiers return home. My buddy just got back from 4 years in Iraq, Afganistan, and Pakistan and it messed him up. He was lucky and made it out with no injuries, but part of his childish humor and wit is gone. The doctors think he has post traumatic stress disorder. He’s still awesome but he said nothing back home matches the thrill of near death. All he really likes to do now is have a few beers with the boys and I am happy to support him in that way, even if it means puking the next morning 🙂

  20. I think it’s important that we all try to reach out to our soldiers. I have a lot of friends in the Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Army. My closest friend I’ve known for eight years has been an Army medic for the past three years. He has just come home safely from a year in Iraq. The stories that he has shared with me don’t seem to be real. It hurts just to hear the gory things that he has seen and its sad to here the lives lost. It’s hard to imagine what the every day life is like that our soldiers go through. Even if you personally don’t know anyone that is serving our country, it’s important to support them and get involved in some way. They are overseas risking their lives for us Americans, so as a citizen it’s our duty to give them the support they need to fight and to show them that we appreciate them for keeping us safe.

  21. I never liked George Bush to begin with. I don’t think it was right to send people into Iraq for all the wrong reasons. Killing innocent people is not the way to solve things. It gets us nowhere. I however, do support the people that fight for our lives to keep us safe. I think they are brave and respect them a lot more for risking their lives for us.

  22. Like most of you that have posted comments, I too agree with Bonniejean. As citizens of the United States, I think it is our job to support the troops in Iraq or any where else they may be located. I believe if an individual is sent away from their family or loved ones they should still be taken care of. I am deffinetly not in favor for war by any means possible. My father was in Vietnam and when he tells me stories of the things he has witnessed and had to take part in, i shudder. NO ONE should have to go through any thing like that. Many members of my family have been very active in many wars and they have told me before that they did it in honor of their country. If an individual can go and risk their lives so I am able to live mine freely, i stand behind them 100%.

  23. I see no reason not to support a life. Whether they are fighting in or for something that is wrong, it is still a human life. I agree with Bonniejean, even though I dont have an opinion on the war. I don’t have enough information to be for or against it, but when someone stands for a place that keeps my freedom intact, I see no reason not to support them.

    1. I agree with Alex B that there is no reason not to support a life, especially a life that is fighting to keep us Americans safe. There’s no reason that someone should not support our troops whether they agree with the war or not. We need to always support or troops no matter what the case is because they are the ones that signed up to fight for the US and our freedom. They are our protectors and they are the American Hereos.

  24. I agree with Bonniejean entirely. I do not support the war; I support the troops in the war that are fighting to keep us safe from harm. I also agree that Bush made a huge mistake and Obama needs to focus more on bringing the troops home, than on health care. This war has gone on for way to long now, and I think it is time the troops can come back and be with their loved ones. I get the chills just thinking about what the troops feel like out there and thank God for them and feel grateful to have such unselfish people whom are willing to die for our country. I pray that the troops can come home soon and stay and we can have world peace! I do not support the war, I support the people.

  25. Well put! I couldn’t agree more. I do not believe it is necessary for all of these Americans to be over there risking their lives everyday. But I wouldn’t even know where to begin in saying how much I appreciate them. Having the courage to do something I never could. They are over there everyday risking their lives to ensure all of us, that we live a safer and better life here. To me that just takes pure guts!

  26. I completely agree with Bonniejean on this one. While actions needed to be taken in response to 9/11. We suddenly shifted our focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. Personally, I feel former President George W. Bush went after Iraq to try and finish his daddy’s legacy instead of looking out for the best interest of the American people’s money, lives, and time. With all the lives that have been lost in Iraq. This war has destroyed families, homes, an entire nations political system, and we are now deeper in national debt than ever seen in our lifetime.

  27. I agree with Bonniejean entirely on this issue. Although I also do not support the war, I feel that since our troops are over their and there is nothing that we can personally do about it, we should support them. I feel that they shouldn’t have even been sent over to Iraq in the first place, but since they are there and they are doing there best to support and honor our country, we should all help them out and give them all our support! I have the greatest amount of respect for the men and women in Iraq and even their families, as well! It isn’t easy for them to be there, but in the long run they are doing it for all of us back here, which is an extremely honorable thing to be defending our country!! Hopefully, this war will come to an end like it should have a long time ago and we can finally get our troops home where they belong!

  28. I completely agree with this article. I have a friend who is over in the Middle East on his second tour right now. I find it very difficult to hear about how many of our troops are over in Afghanistan and Iraq and that number seems to be growing with everyday that passes. I in no way support the war. I feel as though it has brought too much tragedy and devastation to the world. With that said, I also feel as though the men and women who have served their country in the past, present, and future are some of the bravest people to walk this earth. It takes a very special and brave type of person to sign up to defend their country. So the least thing anyone could do is to support the men and women troops.

  29. I completely agree with this blog. I am a firm supporter of our troops and hope the best for them over there but I do not support the war at all. I have buddies who are or have been over there and I have heard plenty of stories and it’s not a good place to be for the reasons they are there. I have an uncle who teaches police forces over there and from stories he’s told me and pictures he’s shown me it’s not a good place to be and we should even be there in the first place.

  30. I completely agree with this article. Just because the war is not exactly what everybody really wants does not mean we should not back-up our troops. these men and women are fighting for us to be safe and just because the war may be unethical to some does not mean we should not show support. It is their job to listen to orders and follow through with their duties regardless of the outcome. If people continue to feel that the soldiers are the ones that are to blame then this country can come to have a serious problem with unity.

  31. In different situations, I agree with this blog. Supporting your troops means you are for the safety of your troops. But in some cases it is hard to say this statement if you truly think they are in a war that you are really against. How can you be all for your troops when you strongly disagree with it, because in ways you want to see them fail for that reason that your against it. Also you want to see them fail to prove your point, that the war is wrong. I think to truly support your troops, you have to be all for the war in the first place.

  32. In my experience, most veterans are grateful for the care packages, but feel that if you are not supporting the war, you are not supporting them. My father, United States Marine and Vietnam veteran, always responds when someone says something negative about the reasons for a war-“No one likes war-it is a dying business. But war is sometimes necessary for you to be able to say you don’t like the war.” Our troops do not want to hear that you don’t support the reason why they are over there. They have trained to fight for freedom and democracy. It hurts the morale of the troops, not to mention their families, to feel as if their country feels they are fighting for nothing, and the veterns that I have talked to from the Iraq and Afganistan wars feel that we are unable to leave right now. When I am upset about a deployment, I revert back to my father’s saying “No one likes war…”

    1. I agree with you to a certain extent. I do think that in order to support the soldier you must also support their reason for fighting in the war. If you don’t then it’s basically telling them that their life’s choice is completely pointless. I also think think that there is almost always a different and almost better option for solving issues. Maybe we are just too trigger happy. Or maybe we just think that war is the only option.

  33. I agree with this topic. I do not agree with war at all, but I am very supportive of our troops. I wish Bush would not have made the choice to send our troops over to Iraq, but because he did, we have to deal with the consequences. It frustrates me that so many soldiers have lost their lives because of war. I feel very lucky that there are so many people that are willing to put their lives on the line to fight for our lives, and our country. Hopefully one day, there will be no more wars and soldiers will never have to lose their lives in the line of duty.

  34. I agree with Bonniejean 100% on this topic. I don’t think that soldiers receive enough credit for the line of work that they do. Everyday that risk their lives for America to make sure that we’re ok back home. I feel so honored and proud when I see a member of the services walking down the streets in their uniform. And because they choose to showcase their uniform, they must be proud as well.

    One point that is interesting to me though, is how these individuals only get such little discounts at stores and restaurants. This may seem like a petty topic to bring up, but these people are risking their LIVES! I think that deserve more than 10% off their purchases. I had an encounter with a solider that came into my work the other day. She was in her uniform so I took the liberty of giving her the 10% discount. I expressed how I thought they should get more than that and she simply laughed. She went on to tell me that sometimes when her husband and her go out to eat, someone will pay for their meal. I thought that was wonderful, and wished I had my wallet on me to pay for her purchase as well.

  35. Bonniejean, I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t understand the war on Iraq. I do understand the fact that more and more soldiers are risking their life over seas to defend something but what? I respect the veterans and formers soldiers but I don’t get the point of fighting a war that doesn’t have a meaning. I respect the fact that me personally wouldn’t be a soldier because I think I have more to offer over here than over there. Also, if I knew for a fact the reasons why we’re fighting than that would make a different on my decision of becoming a soldier. I supported them and help out in high school when we were in the club getting donations and everything for the troops. Well soldiers keep up the good work and hope that you’ll get home to your families soon.

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