Infantrymen, I call your attention to this essay written by Ashton Kutcher and published in the Huffington Post:
When I graduated from high school, I had three opportunities -- go to college, get a job, or join the service. Although I considered putting my eight years of Boy Scout experience and love for our nation to the test by joining the military, I did not want to put myself in a position where I might be commanded to take the life of another, and quickly ended my flirtation with military service. Today, serving our country no longer simply means drop and give me 20, this is your rifle, defend this land we call home. National service is becoming a term used to define a much broader and equally passionate category of patriotism. This brand of patriotism is inclusive of a pure humanitarian effort guided by the simple virtue of the giving of oneself for the benefit of another in the name of the United States of America. Americans are on the brink of the Newer Deal where we will join hands in an effort to resurrect the pride in a government that supports us in supporting ourselves. Our new leader understands the value of our collective voices, he believes in our ability to create a greater good, and knows that as a nation we are willing to sacrifice selfishness for a more robust happiness.
The rest of the essay has a similarly tortured sentence structure, almost as if Demi was waterboarding him as he wrote it. My head hurts. I want to like Ashton, I really do. But from what I'm seeing here, it looks like he's saying that the kind of patriotism that inspired him to trade in his 6mpg [email protected]#$er truck in favor of a Hybrid Cadillac Escalade is equivalent to the kind of patriotism my brother displayed by leaving his five day old son at home while heading off to suck sand in Iraq with his unit; or the kind of patriotism Rafael Peralta displayed by joining the Marines and shielding his fellows from a grenade; or the kind of patriotism that most of you readers of this blog displayed just by signing up -- even though you knew you were putting yourselves into a position where you might have to kill someone. Or be killed by someone else. Or to kill someone to save a friend. Or to be killed saving a friend.
But from where I'm sitting, I'm just not seeing the equivalency.
Perhaps I need a better translation of his words. I'd appreciate reading yours in the comments below.