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Markius Fox

Why we fight.

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The title might not click with some of you. I'm never good with such, but bear with me, at least on that.

We normally shy away from the issues of politics and religion et cetera, because they cause unnecessary drama. I also know that Memorial day has passed in the US. But take a moment and contemplate the meaning of this image, please.

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To the layman, a native is paying their respects to a fallen soldier. It doesn't matter what branch, they are among those still on patrol. What I think really matters is that this native, that could honor that foreigner that gave his life in any way he wished to, chose to honor them with a proper salute. That touches me. And I have a feeling that it touches a lot of members on this forum in one way or another. While the reasons and justifications for our actions are contested and protested by private and public eye, sometimes proven to be bunk, there is no denying that there is good being done that should be credited more to the people that deserve it. Heroic actions do not have a prerequisite for a service member to perish or be wounded.

Take what you will from this. I'm currently lost for words at this moment.

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Guest Ruin Nefarious

I don't mind this topic, provided people don't dip their heads into the politics. The whys are irrelevant when men and women are in harms way. The military is the best of this nation and I am infinitely proud of them.

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I have infinite respect to those who fight for a cause, whatever it might be. For some it might be money, the adventure, seeking new experiences, patriotism, will to serve to the best of their ability, their religion, political stance or will to help. All admirable reasoning.

I have lost a friend to Afghanistan. When he entered service, he swore an oath to his own country, not to anyone elses. He volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan out of solidarity with people who didn't speak his language, whose culture he didn't initially understand and who didn't worship the same god as he did. But he did it anyway, not because of the money or the adventure, but because he thought very strongly that he is bound by his personal beliefs to help those who are the most in need. It may sound naive, even stupid.

But he was a man of extraordinary caliber with competence and will to overcome the toughest of obstacles.

He believed that in order to achieve peace in a land torn by thousands of years of nothing but war, all you need to do is show some loving care to those who needed it. I'm not talking kissing babies or anything like that. Building schools, wells, passing out food, providing medical assistance, protection duty, foot patrols and hikes through the Afghan countryside were all things he did on a daily basis. Soon after his deployment, he became one of two Finnish peacekeepers killed on deployment to Afghanistan. His convoy was hit by a roadside bomb while on the way to a shooting range and he died instantly. Two is an infantissimally small number, but even one dead boy is too much. It hits really close to home when the flag draped coffin finally arrives. He was a hero, not because of how or where he died, but because of how he lived.

Afghanistan is a beautiful country with a long history, but it hosts an extremely unforgiving environment and at some parts, an increasingly hostile population. It has been largely dehumanized by the media. When you think of Afghanistan now, you think of suicide bombings, the Taleban, dead Westerners and Islam. It's a noxious concoction that has developed through more than a decade of a war that never seems to really have come to an end. The process is slow and bloody, but I am confident that the sacrifices of men and women will not be in vain. It is a sacrifice that the Afghan people will appreciate one day. Or learn to hate. Whatever it might be, only time will tell.

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