This opinion piece by CALC’s Truth in Recruiting Program coordinator Carol Van Houten originally appeared on May 18, 2016 in the Register Guard:

Memorial Day is May 30. For many people it will be a day to shop or the unofficial start of summer. For others it will be a time to honor our military dead.

I wish the honoring would be more like the Mexican Day of the Dead, which has beautiful altars containing details about the lives of the deceased, not our patriotic veneration of all things military.

A recent report pointed to just how bureaucratic and self-protective the military is, and how much energy it puts into propping up its image to sustain the public rating of the military as one of the most trusted and respected organizations in our country.

The report on the October bombing of a Doctors without Borders hospital in Afghanistan says a series of “mistakes” were made — and the consequences for those who made the mistakes was limited to halting their career advancement.

It also says the most-junior person on the bomber crew knew the hospital was the wrong target but was overruled by people higher up in the command structure, so the multiple bombings proceeded, killing 42 people in the hospital.

Let’s honor all veterans and the dead, but recognize that the military is just another bureaucracy that’s made up of human beings, doing some things well and some things very badly.



Categories: CALC News