Soldiering is the second most noble profession, after farming. All great civilizations are founded upon the excess productivity of their farmers. Freed from the obligation to spend all day in search of sustenance, people can exchange services in exchange for food. Eventually, people can exchange services for other services, creating a civilization with teachers, artists, and craftsmen, all based upon the economic underpinning of food production. Along with farming, however, the one profession that guarantees all of the others is the military. Soldiers protect the food from being plundered by others, ensuring the basis upon which all other professions exist.
Antiwar zealots often take out their political convictions upon individual soldiers. Recently, a PTA mother made a spectacle of herself by visiting Seattle high schools to harangue military recruiters who were there to talk with interested students. I believe she would change her tune if she lived in one of the many areas of the world where people are killing each other for food.
Our military today is the most professional and humane armed force ever fielded by any nation. I saw the US military disintegrate during the war in Vietnam, and I believe we owe a huge debt to the career officers and NCOs who stuck it out and rebuilt our services after that war. When I listen to our young soldiers talk to news reporters about their mission today, I wonder where we get these intelligent, thoughtful, and professional kids. If I had a child, I would be proud if he or she wanted to be a soldier.