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We owe more than respect to our troops!

I've seen a lot of postings about how we owe respect and gratitude to our troops and our law enforcement officers. It seems to me we owe them, and our progeny, a lot more than that.

We also owe them our vigilance, so that our government will not even attempt to make secret deals on behalf of special interests, deals that get us or our allies in trouble, trouble that necessitates our sending our young people to fight and die for our blunders. We owe them our constant oversight of that government, so that when our government lies to us, we discover the lies as soon as possible and punish those who originate or perpetrate the lies. Furthermore we owe them our concerted efforts to undo the damage caused by those lies.

We owe them our prudence, so that when our government calls for sending troops overseas to fight battles we should not be fighting, we, as citizens, will withdraw our approval from said actions, and insist that those actions not be carried out. When our government proposes military action to defend what is claimed to be a national interest, we must insist that our government justify its conclusions and recommendations, especially conclusions and recommendations regarding the need to expend precious lives. We must ensure that those conclusions and recommendations specify well defined military and diplomatic objectives that are specific and limited to real national needs, and not readily expandable to satisfy the demands of the pride and ambitions of our government leaders or special interests. Above all, we must ensure that we not be quick to expend precious lives in military action when alternative diplomatic or material measures are available and, with proper effort and foresight, likely to be successful.

Furthermore, when, in our best judgment, war is necessary, we must ensure that our troops have the material support they need and the freedom to carry out their duties as best seen fit by their commanders, so that lives will not be needlessly wasted for vain reasons. We must ensure that our troops are properly trained and fitted to carry out their duties. We must ensure that they are adequately compensated so that their families do not suffer from their absence beyond the unavoidable suffering that comes from separation.

When our troops die in war, we must ensure that those they leave behind receive our moral and material support in a manner befitting the sacrifice their loved ones made for our collective interests. When they suffer injury, especially crippling injury, we must compensate them and their families in a manner that honors their sacrifice and ensures that they and their families sense that the love they bestowed on their country is fittingly responded to with our collective sacrifices.

In order to carry out these obligations we must educate ourselves regarding the operations of government and relations between governments. We must educate ourselves regarding the inevitable tendencies we all suffer to give in to corruptions that wreak havoc on good governance and national actions. We must examine our own motives and our passions for things that appeal to our vanity or our greed. We must come to understand and appreciate our fears, so that we do not act reflexively out of fear but, rather, with prudence. We must study our errors and the consequences that flowed from those errors.

Above all, we must revert, in prayer, to the One who always judges justly and who calls us to live and to act justly in his name. We must pray for the wisdom and courage to overcome our fears and our vanities. We must pray for purity of heart, prudence, and zeal in fulfilling our responsibilities as citizens.

And we must pray for forgiveness when we fail in those duties, and for the grace to avoid such failures in the future. And, when we fail, we must redouble our efforts to atone for our failures, to understand and appreciate how we came to fail and to avoid such failures in the future.

May the Lord forgive us for our vanities, our fears, our greed and our negligence which have led us to our present difficulties, including the costly legacy of so many young people who have lost their lives or their competencies in foolish foreign adventures. And may he guide us to the path of humility, courage and prudence that will ensure we act more justly, prudently and decisively in the future.