In another thread, a poster returned from basic training and AIT to choruses of "Good for you!" Rather than derailing that thread with an actual debate, I figured I would post it here.
I have no respect for the military. There is no reason to hold any extra good will towards a man or woman in uniform. The existence of the military, and public participation in it, encourages militaristic endeavors which are designed to extend American influence abroad.
Moreover, military service is not altruistic: several benefits exist which entice young, impressionable men and women into picking up weapons and killing other men and women (and sometimes children, if I may add). These include the chance at a college education; prestige at home and in the work force; benefits such as health care; and ethereal (and I posit non-existent and/or worthless) qualities like 'leadership skills' and 'experience'.
Military service is risking your life, your sanity, and the lives and sanity of other human beings for these benefits. I claim that any human being who would willingly accept this kind of indentured servitude is nothing more than a contract killer trafficking in blood money; or is not in possession of full mental faculty. Such individuals should be as ostracized as Untouchables in the Indian caste system. Caveats exist, of course, which pertain to the existence of the nation at large; however, no such existential threat has been seen in seven decades.
Shame on the military men and women who perpetuate this evil on mankind.