To The Veterans And Those Potential Veterans Who Serve

There are a lot of debates one can have about the military. One can ask, as the founding fathers might, whether it be necessary to have a standing army at all. One can ask, as a non-interventionist might, whether it is worth spending American lives on non-essential tasks. One can ask whether our military is used wisely, used justly, and whether its soldiers are acting in the furtherance of societal good or a president’s whim. These questions have been asked and debated here, and rightly so. But not today.

I have the most profound respect for someone who says “here is what I believe and who I am — I will serve my countrymen and pledge to back that up with my life if it is necessary.” It’s one of those traits that I’d like to hope I possess, but one in civilian life, in the peaceful little enclave I raise my family, can never be truly sure. But those who choose the life of a soldier don’t need to question themselves. They’ve already signed up to be the tip of the spear. They’ve sworn an oath and joined an organization and command structure to carry out a mission. Some are never called on to perform the task they train for, but they’ve still earned my respect by offering to shoulder that burden. Others, however, are given that calling, and we call them Veterans. Today is the day to thank them for living up to the convictions they’ve pledged themselves to.

On this particular day, however, I think of one veteran in particular. Thanks, well wishes, and a great deal of concern go out to Major Jeff Warbiany, marine aviator, veteran of the first Gulf War and in theater for a good portion of the second, currently on float on a boat somewhere in the South Pacific. Jeff is my brother, and while one might think that his choice to serve shows him to be the hoo-rah counterpoint to every way that I’m a radical libertarian, he matches me nearly stride for stride in political belief. He understands what he’s doing, and even when he might disagree with the political calculations that have him deployed and away from his wife and son, he knows that he has a job to do and will do it to the utmost of his abilities for his brothers in arms and for those of us here at home. I’d much rather he be home safe right now, and that the two of us were discussing the evils of the Federal Reserve over a beer and a cigar, but since that’s not possible, all I can say is thank you and come home soon, bro.