Here is a quick guide to help you.
The first thing you may want to do is attack me. You’ll maybe want to tell me I’m a loser who has never contributed anything to society, who lives in my mum’s basement and has a grudge against the military because they rejected me, or that maybe a soldier stole my girlfriend who wanted a “real man” instead of a coward… something like that.
The problem with that is, you don’t know me. You know nothing about me, so your attacks on me mean nothing to me. They don’t upset me. You’re not actually attacking me, you’re attacking the person you imagine me to be in order to allow yourself to continue to feel superior, and to therefore restore your sense of self worth at my expense. Once you realize this, you’ll probably then ask why I “hide behind a page, instead of using my real name”. You’ll ask me personal questions, “have you served”, “are you a Muslim”, “do you have a degree”, etc. If I answer, you’ll ask for more and more proof, and then if I don’t give you that you’ll call me a liar. You’re just fishing for information so you can attack me with greater accuracy because you can’t hit a target you can’t see.
The real question you should ask is why this affects you so deeply. Perhaps you’re too used to having people suck up to you because of your military record? Perhaps your whole identity is rooted in what you feel you “gave for your country” and now you feel like everybody owes you some gratitude? Maybe thinking of yourself as a war hero is all you’ve got to distinguish yourself? If you are or have been a soldier, you’ve seen war. You’ve seen death and destruction, maybe even lost friends… if you’re so tough, why should what a stranger on the internet thinks make you so angry that you want to swear at them and threaten them with violence? When you do that you don’t make me question my beliefs, you make me think you’re an unstable, violent individual who lacks self control and probably shouldn’t be running around foreign countries with a gun.
The thing is, I don’t need your approval or to justify my existence to you. This page isn’t about me. It isn’t about you either. It’s not a personal attack on you because, hey, I don’t know you either. It’s not an attack at all, it just says that I don’t believe that being a soldier automatically makes a person a hero. It’s about how the hero worship of soldiers translates into support for war, and silences dissent about foreign policy as if to question war is to insult or betray the troops.
It’s about the issues, and attacking me won’t actually make them go away.
I don’t accept that you fought for me. I didn’t ask you to do it, you volunteered. As far as I’m concerned you’ve been used to fight wars which were more about economic gain and global power than they ever were about my freedom. In doing so, you’ve actually created more problems and dangers, and possibly caused innocent people to suffer too. I can’t thank you for that, even if you were well intentioned. I’d rather you hadn’t done any of it, I’d rather you stayed home safe with your family, I’d rather discourage other young men and women from making the same choices. At the very least, I’d like to enable them to make a more informed choice.
It’s people who cheer for every war and tell young people it’s noble and heroic to die for their country who harm soldiers, not people like me who ask questions and try to encourage people to think and consider if military action is necessary or wise. If you’ve truly suffered and sacrificed, you have far more reason to be angry at them for causing you real loss and injury than to be angry at me for hurting your feelings.
Take a breath, read what we are actually saying, think about it. If you still disagree then come and say why in a calm, coherent fashion.