Today, November 10, is the anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Marine Corps. I didn’t know that. Elizabeth Moon, a science fiction and fantasy writer I know, posted about it on her newsgroup at SFFNet. In addition to being a rather fine writer, Elizabeth is a former U.S. Marine herself, one who joined and served at a time when the armed forces in the U.S. were just beginning to accept women in their normal ranks rather than only in special “women only” units. I posted to thank her and the other current and former members of the armed forces for their service.
Her response to that post nearly blew me out of the water, although it wasn’t really directed at me. In it, she addressed the issue of what she believes that we the people of the United States owe to those who serve in our military forces. At my request, she posted her response on her blog. You should read it. This is especially true if you tend to see the military strictly in terms of the harm it does, or if you’ve simply never served in the military yourself and see it as just another job.