The Devaluation of the Warrior

Once upon a time warriors were paid in gold, given titles and land for their victories. This was the situation up until the middles ages in most places. In modern times things have changed, as Napoléon Bonaparte said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”.

So, what has changed where those that fight and die for their countries are no longer valued? Just look at a list of the British Military men who have won the Victoria Cross, the country’s highest award for bravery, and see how may have died penniless and were buried in pauper’s graves. These days how may veterans have had to sell their medals to pay their bills? How many struggle financially and to get government benefits and the proper medical care they deserve? And remember, once upon a time warriors were paid in gold…

Maybe it’s true that only the stupid volunteer for war, well that’s how society sees it. The intelligent people get an education and real jobs, right? But I beg to differ, I have met plenty of highly intelligent people serving in various armies, militias, and front-line police units.  There are many reasons these people prefer this lifestyle to that of a normal person. For some it is the camaraderie, a sense of purpose, a structured life, a regular paycheck and in most places a pension. Sadly, most such career warriors are happy to serve, fight and die for some colored bits of ribbon…

Men have always gone to war, not only to defend their lands and families but also for the adventure, so they can prove themselves, feel the adrenaline and hopefully make a profit. These days most of the modern volunteers seeking adventure see little profit, they don’t even get some colored bits of ribbon, while the politicians and oligarchs they are fighting for are making millions of Dollars, Pounds, and Euros.

While men will fight and die without question for some colored bits of ribbon, they will ever be paid in gold. The cowardly politicians and oligarchs who they serve and keep in power will exploit the warriors code of loyalty and honor until the warrior is broken, dead or are no longer of any use.

I was once given a generic-colored bit of ribbon, which I threw in the garbage many years ago. It was worthless, a cheap bullshit trinket intended to appease slaves and servants. War is business and if people respect you and your service they will pay or give you the opportunities to profit. This is the way it has always been, well, until soldiers started to fight long and hard for bits of colored ribbons…

Orlando W.

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