Betrayal wears many disguises. It can be subtle – a whispered breach of trust- or it can be overt- a public violation of the spoken or unspoken agreement from one to another. It can be an inadvertent slip of the tongue, or it can be the willful, malicious taking of a life. A betrayal’s aftermath can be but a blip on a life’s radar or it can decimate countless lives.
I learned long ago that the conventional deities we’d been told were infallible were not necessarily so. I learned men of the cloth did not all deserve my respect or trust. I learned best friends may turn on me. I learned we are all susceptible to betrayal by our bodies, which may at any time ambush us with a deadly disease. And so on. But one exception remained.
I believed the men and women who pass muster to wear the uniform of this country are the best of the best. The exception to the rule. They were to be unilaterally trusted, revered, and respected.
I will never forget the day following my husband’s death, when a Major he’d known came to offer condolences. As the tears ran amuck down my face, as I desperately asked this man how this could happen and shared my belief that those in the military were of a different ilk than us mortals…and he laughed. Not an all-out belly laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. One of those snippets of a snort that can involuntarily escape our lips when we perceive something to be so ironically un-funny as to be funny. Then, almost like a parent confessing the truth about Santa, he told me the harsh reality – and I quote: “Our military is as fucked up as the rest of society.” And my belief system took a serious hit.
To be clear, I was not entirely wrong. Most of the men and women who serve do indeed earn that respect and admiration. Which makes it an even bigger shame that they be compelled to serve alongside or under those who do not.
Time and again our honorably serving soldiers are betrayed by those they serve with or for.
Most recently in this instance : http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/21/army-kicking-out-decorated-green-beret-who-stood-up-for-afghan-rape-victim/?intcmp=hpbt1
Please say it ain’t so. Surely our military is not seriously betraying one of our own –again. How can this soldier be punished for defending a child and mother? How can this military support the Afghan who betrayed our trust- a man our military aided and trained, who then is not held accountable for raping a child and beating the child’s mother – and instead project that punishment on to the men who dared intervene? The men who said, No. No we will not allow this to happen. We will not stand silently by while an innocent child and mother suffer. We will not allow this man to do this ever again.
What is wrong with those in authority? Have they lost all humanity? Must one relinquish one’s soul on the doorstep of power?
The attempts to dehumanize our troops, to demand their free will be surrendered until they are used up and spit out as a new wave is recruited to replace them, is reprehensible. Must these individuals and their families not only bear the burden of “freedom” but then be denied that very right?
Kudos to Congressman Hunter for defending this defender. May his courage to do so not also be held against him. And to Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland and his team leader – Thank you for your service.
Barb Allen Is A Gold Star Wife, Author & National Speaker. She's a professional veterans advocate who understands the personal and factual struggles of turning adversity into advantage. But this lesson did not come easily and this upper hand must be diligently maintained. Now, Barbara brings her life lessons to her audiences in keynote speeches and custom programs. She relates to her audiences’ lives and challenges, and teaches them how to become gladiators in their own life’s arena.