A nice post by Julia Stern (fellow Brown alum) in the NYTimes that discusses the relationship between civilians and service members, as well as some clarifications/basic info on the military.
No one soldier, Marine, sailor, coast guardsman or airman is the same. Nor are their motivations for choosing to serve. (And while we’re at it, not all military members are called “soldiers.”) Servicemen and servicewomen hail from all corners of the country and all religions, socioeconomic classes, education levels and political creeds.
The fact is, we have much more in common than we ever stop to think about. As a generation that predominantly grew up in the wake of 9/11, we all – from the Army Ranger to the Peace Corps volunteer to the college student – have a story about where we were and how we were affected by the events that day. In the decade since, many have set out to accomplish great acts of service, all over the country and around the world; to be a part of something greater than ourselves, whether as a result of 9/11 or a different call to serve. Until we work to bypass our preconceived notions toward people and groups about whom we know very little, we will continue to lose out on a critical opportunity to connect with one another and find common ground.