I, like many other people in the world, have a parent in the military. My dad is a Marine and growing up I was so proud of that. I spent seven years in Okinawa, Japan surrounded by kids just like me and we all felt so lucky to live the lives that we did and travel the world. I actively participated at family events for my dad’s units, attended his promotion ceremonies and even witnessed him take Command of a unit which is a very big deal. I always felt proud of my father for being so highly ranked at such a young age and commanding an entire group of marines.I had always dreamt that he would become a general and even commandant of the entire Marine Corps (this was a long shot).
I started to become concerned as I got more involved with politics and my awareness of the United States Military’s I started to question many of the ethics of the military and why we always felt the need to get so involved, especially in situations where we are hurting so many innocent lives. I continuously try to tell myself that it is with the best intentions that we involve ourselves- someone needs help and we are assisting, but yes people may get hurt along the way.
Social media really began to hurt my spirit around the time when the NFL kneeling began and people were constantly talking about how horrible the military is. It did not seem to matter that our parents might be in it. I saw no problem with the kneeling during the anthem and never understood why people were so upset that “football wasn’t the place for that”. These players have this gigantic platform and went about everything peacefully, so why can’t football be the place to express their beliefs and speak for what is right? It literally didn’t cause any harm. It was also expressed multiple times that it had nothing to do with disrespect for the military, but people online found it as the perfect time to bash service members.
My confused feelings on the military and also being so proud of my dad and everything he has gone through is very difficult for me. He is one of the best and most accepting people I know, so it is difficult to internally struggle with seeing everyone on the internet bash him, not specifically, for all the hard work he has done. While I do not necessarily agree with everything the military does, I know that many members serve with the greatest intentions for their country and hopefully one day there will be a great middle ground where the military is not so intrusive and people are as proud as I am of my dad.