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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OPERATION: Respect for the Heroes

I went to the premiere release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and when the movie was over the whole audience roared with cheer and applause.  This past weekend I went to see another movie, Lone Survivor.  At the end of the movie there was no applause.  This movie is based on real events, on real people.  It is based on the courage and bravery all military members possess.  They put their lives on the line, literally, for us.  For our freedom.  For our safety.

At the end of the movie they begin to show pictures and videos of the men the movie was based on.  I have to tell you, it angered me that some people began to walk out.  And it wasn't just a couple people.  These men risked their lives for our country and most died the least you can do is give them 5 more minutes. (Disclaimer: I don't think this is a spoiler since the name of the movie kind of gives that away.)

When the movie was over and as the pictures faded across the screen I wanted to applaud for their courage and salute to their bravery.  Sadly, I was sidetracked by the people leaving.  The men and women of all branches of military deserve more respect than we as a country give them.

As I was watching the movie another thought that upset me was how little they are compensated for what they do.  In my eyes, based on what they do and put on the line, they should be paid what the "stars" make.  Movie stars, sports stars, the Kardashians, etc. are getting what they should get.  I think it's messed up that a 30 second spot for a "big game" commercial costs $4 million, I think a company would get just as much publicity if they put that money towards supporting the military, but that's a different subject.

Movie and sports stars do what they do for all of us too, but for our entertainment.  The troops are doing it for our safety, and loosing their lives in the meantime.  During a combination of all the wars the United States have fought in, there have been 1,305,836 casualties during war, according to Wikipedia.  That isn't just a number, these are lives.  One or more of those could have been your father, brother, grandfather, sister, mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, etc!  I have a lot of family members that have been in the military and it could have been one of them, if not in this mission then another one.  

If you don't watch the new movies or TV shows that came out this week- will you die?  No.  If you don't watch this weekend's game- will you die?  No.  If there was no military, would you die? Maybe, maybe not but statistically you'd be more likely to without that defense in place.  We'd most likely all risk loosing our freedom and safety.  If we had no military we could be taken over by who knows who.

The least we can do is show these men and woman they have our respect.  I know some people who will say "thank you" when they see someone in uniform.  Let's make this a thing of the norm!  So much so, it becomes as natural as saying "Good morning."

Not everyone will agree politically with every military action or war- but you can show some respect for the brave men and women who are defending our country while risking their lives.

Until the time of world peace comes around, let's practice Operation: Respect for the Heroes!  And it's as simple as that, show military members some respect if you see them.