NOTE; From my archives (one of my first posts) August 8, 2006
The National Military Families Association is an old client of mine and today I'm meeting their former CEO for lunch. She and I had hoped to use her site and some of the "women's" content sites to begin to bridge the chasm between military and non-military families. Who if not the women would be capable of that? I had just read Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, a wonderful book about West Point and leadership so was particularly interested in removing the stereotypes and isolation suffered by the military in my formative, actively anti-war youth. We were unable to interest most of the women's sites into doing anything without payment though; it was quite sad.
When I think of 9/11 and of the Iraq War - and remember how my parents used to talk about the "GIs" and their position in the world during World War II, it's particularly unfortunate that we now have a "military class" that is separate from the rest of us in so many ways - and whose parents and children were also likely to be military -- so much so that we're worlds apart. Today Oliver Stone told the Washington Post that he thought combat experience "softens you, if anything. It makes you more aware of human frailty and vulnerability. It doesn't make you a coward, but it does teach you. " Yet, as he noted in this interview, none of our current political leaders has any combat experience at all. I know we need to end this division, but I have two sons and what seems sensible in the abstract is horrifying in the concrete. I have many friends whose kids have gone to live in Israel, for example, and they seem to accept the fact of their sons' military obligation with equinimity but I don't know if I could. And I"m not sure if it's the scars of Vietnam and even more recent futile endeavors or rank selfishness on my part.... More later.