What some forget is that, like it or not, the military is social. It’s embedded in a polity, and it’s just one of many familiar social and political institutions therein. There exists no impenetrable wall with soldiers on one side and civilians on the other. A soldier moves from a theater of war to a movie theatre with the alacrity of a wardrobe change. We don’t live in Sparta. Babies don’t pop out of the womb wearing combat boots. Some people’s kids become soldiers, and soldiers have kids – just like real people. And though some people revile the military and profess to oppose all it stands for,the military exemplifies and reifies values many hold dear: honour, courage, strength, and fidelity. In fact, these values are sought in any occupation. Job descriptions usually don’t read: Wanted: feeble, mousey, back-stabbing thief. No, we’re looking for an honest, reliable team-player.
“[W]e remain slightly suspicious of the motives of people who volunteer to serve in the army, navy, or air force, as if there is something nobler – and more Canadian – in playing defence than being on the offensive.”Gatehouse, John. “Life during wartime: We’re all witnesses to war.” Macleans. Online article. October 25, 2014. http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/bearing-witness/