Friday, October 3, 2014


The term Boots on the ground has become an ominous euphemism for combat troops in harm’s way. No longer do we hear our leaders express sending soldiers off to die in human terms.  It wasn’t so long ago that President Lyndon Johnson complained of the difficulties for him having to send American boys, most of whom were draftees, half-way around the world to fight the battles of "Asian boys." Perhaps the ever increasing use of the sanitized term Boots on the ground is the result of having a seemingly endless number of people willing to serve in an all voluntary military force.  Even so, that does not diminish their contribution or the value of their spilled blood.

When men and women are willing to enlist in the military en masse knowing the inherent dangers of fighting other peoples’ battles do they somehow exempt our leaders from expending the emotional capital in the decision making process to go to war?  Does the term Boots on the ground realistically address the nature of the dangers the persons wearing those boots face?

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