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Addressing moral injury within the special forces: Weapons and Warfare

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In this episode of Weapons and Warfare, the focus is on moral injury — a type of trauma that can’t be seen. Host Ryan Robertson delves into the topic, exploring its definition and the level of understanding surrounding it. The episode highlights experts’ insights and the necessary steps to address moral injury within the special forces community.

Also featured in this episode:

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  • A warning from U.S. intelligence that China is attempting to recruit American aviators.
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposed terms for a cease-fire.
  • The commander of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower turned to social media to battle a misinformation campaign from Houthi rebels.
  • Celebrate Independence Day with America’s patriotically named vessels, vehicles and weapons in this weapon of the week

Crisis Resources

Veterans Crisis Line.

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988, then press 1 or text 838255.

National Center for PTSD.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

HELLO AND WELCOME TO WEAPONS AND WARFARE. FOR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS I’M YOUR HOST RYAN ROBERTSON. THIS WEEK WE’RE TAKING A DEEP DIVE INTO A CENTURIES OLD PROBLEM THAT ONLY RELATIVELY RECENTLY HAS BEGUN TO GET THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT MORAL INJURY. 

ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SERVICE MEMBER FEELS THEY HAVE VIOLATED THEIR CONSCIENCE OR MORAL COMPASS IN SOME WAY. THIS WEEK WE’LL HEAR FROM EXPERTS ON WHAT’S BEING DONE, AND WHAT YET NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN THE SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNITY AND BEYOND.

PLUS, IN HONOR OF INDEPENDENCE DAY, WE’RE TAKING A LOOK AT SOME OF AMERICA’S MOST PATRIOTICALLY NAMED VESSELS, VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT IN OUR WEAPON OF THE WEEK.

BUT FIRST, HERE’S A LOOK AT SOME HEADLINES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED.

AS TENSIONS CONTINUE TO RISE IN THE PACIFIC A BULLETIN FROM THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE WARNS THAT CHINA IS WORKING TO RECRUIT AMERICAN MILITARY PILOTS, AS WELL AS AVIATORS FROM NATO AND ALLY COUNTRIES, IN A STATEMENT FROM DIRECTOR MICHAEL CASEY HE WRITES… 

“To overcome their shortcomings, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been aggressively recruiting Western military talent to train their aviators, using private firms around the globe that conceal their PLA ties and offer recruits exorbitant salaries.”

IN JANUARY U.S. AND NATO OFFICIALS MET AT RAMSTEIN AIR BASE IN GERMANY TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. THEY IDENTIFIED PILOTS, MAINTAINERS, AIR OPERATIONS CENTER PERSONNEL, AND A VARIETY OF OTHER TECHNICAL EXPERTS AS POTENTIAL TARGETS FOR RECRUITING. IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, HAS BEEN CONTACTED YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO REACH OUT TO YOUR SERVICE BRANCHES’ INVESTIGATIVE OFFICE OR THE FBI.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN CRITICIZED RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN AFTER THE RUSSIAN LEADER PROMISED TO “IMMEDIATELY” ORDER A CEASE-FIRE IN UKRAINE AND BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS IF KYIV STARTED WITHDRAWING TROOPS FROM THE FOUR REGIONS ANNEXED BY MOSCOW IN 2022 AND RENOUNCED PLANS TO JOIN NATO.

[Lloyd Austin, U.S. Sec. of Defense]

“He is not, in my view – not in a position to dictate to Ukraine what it must do to pursue peace. Putin can end this war today.””

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

LLOYD’S COMMENTS COME AS HE REAFFIRMED THE TOTAL SUPPORT OF THE U.S. AND NATO TO UKRAINE IN ITS FIGHT AGAINST RUSSIA, AS THE ALLIANCE APPROVED ON FRIDAY A PLAN TO PROVIDE RELIABLE LONG-TERM SECURITY AID AND MILITARY TRAINING.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

THE GREAT MARK TWAIN ONCE TOLD AN ENGLISH REPORTER “THE REPORTS OF MY DEATH ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED.” IT’S A LINE THAT’S PROBABLY BEEN UTTERED ON BOARD THE U.S.S.  DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER LATELY.  THAT’S FOLLOWING REPEATED ONLINE CLAIMS BY YEMEN’S HOUTHI REBELS THAT THEY HAVE HIT OR EVEN SUNK THE CARRIER IN THE RED SEA AS IT LEADS THE U.S. RESPONSE TO THE REBELS’ ONGOING ATTACKS TARGETING COMMERCIAL VESSELS AND WARSHIPS.

[Capt. Christopher “Chowdah” Hill, Commander, USS  Dwight D. Eisenhower]

“I think it’s been about two or three times in the past six months we’ve allegedly been sunk, which we have not been. It is almost comical at this point. They’re attempting to maybe inspire themselves through misinformation but it doesn’t work on us.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

TO COUNTER THE MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN CAPTAIN HILL HAS TURNED TO HIS OWN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT WITH A TROVE OF POSTS TO SHOW THAT LIFE, AND THE MISSION, CONTINUE ON THE EISENHOWER. 

FROM HIGHLIGHTING CREW MEMBERS, TO PROVIDING UPDATES ABOUT DEMO, A LABRADOR-GOLDEN RETRIEVER MIX WHO ROAMS THE SHIP AS A SUPPORT ANIMAL, HE SEES HIS CONTENT AS AN EASY WAY TO KEEP THE CREW’S FAMILY MEMBERS CONNECTED IN THE FACE OF MISINFORMATION.

[Capt. Christopher “Chowdah” Hill, Commander, USS  Dwight D. Eisenhower]

What I intend to do is just continue to communicate like I normally do, regardless of what’s going on. So we’re going to celebrate Taco Tuesdays because it’s my absolute favorite day of the week. That will never end.

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

FOR NOW, THE EISENHOWER CONTINUES ITS PATROL THAT’S BEEN EXTENDED TWICE ALREADY.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

THIS WEEK, WE’RE TAKING A LOOK AT SOMETHING CALLED MORAL INJURY. IT’S BEEN AROUND FOR AS LONG AS PEOPLE HAVE ENGAGED IN COMBAT. EXAMPLES CAN BE FOUND IN THE EXPLOITS OF GILGAMESH, AS WELL AS THE ILIAD AND THE ODYSSEY.

MORE RECENTLY WE SAW AN ONSCREEN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE WRESTLING WITH MORAL INJURY IN CILLIAN MURPHY’S PORTRAYAL OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER.

[CLIP FROM OPPENHEIMER] 

BYRNES: Dr Oppenheimer if what you say about the Soviets is true, we have to build up Los Alamos, not shut it down.

OPPENHEIMER: Mr President, I feel that I have blood on my hands. 

TRUMAN: You think anyone in Hiroshima or Nagasaki gives a shit who built the bomb? They care who dropped it. I did. Hiroshima isn’t about you.

TRUMAN:  Don’t let that crybaby back in here.

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

IN THE 1940s DR. OPPENHEIMER DID WHAT HIS COUNTRY ASKED HIM TO DO. ONLY ONCE HIS WORK WAS ACTUALLY PUT TO USE, DID HE BEGIN TO FEEL THE WEIGHT OF THE OUTCOME OF HIS ACTIONS. 

IT’S ONLY RELATIVELY RECENTLY THE TERM MORAL INJURY WAS GIVEN A NAME, AND STARTED TO BE UNDERSTOOD. 

PART OF THE REASON FOR THAT IS BECAUSE LESS THAN 15% OF ENLISTED MILITARY PERSONNEL EVER SEE COMBAT. THAT’S ACCORDING TO RESEARCH FROM THE NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER. THE PERCENTAGE OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS TO SEE COMBAT IS EVEN SMALLER. BUT FOR THOSE THAT DO IT IS OFTEN A LIFE-ALTERING EVENT. 

WHILE WAR’S PHYSICAL WOUNDS ARE EASIER TO SEE AND TREAT, IT’S THE TRAUMA THAT CAN’T BE SEEN, OFTEN POSING THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO THOSE AFFECTED AND THOSE CHARGED WITH CARING FOR THEM. 

WHILE MOST OF US ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, OR PTSD, FEWER KNOW ABOUT THE DIAGNOSIS OF MORAL INJURY. 

KARI THYNE, AN AIR FORCE VETERAN AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES AT THE JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIVERSITY DEFINES MORAL INJURY AS 

“The suffering when things go wrong, and stakes are high​.” These are invisible wounds but, nonetheless, harm from something seen or done or from something done to us​. The effects challenge trust in others, ourselves, or both​. Moral injuries result in emotions such as anger, guilt, shame, self-blame, and sorrow​. The effects can remain dormant for weeks, months, years, or even decades; they will not remain dormant forever.

THE TOPIC IS GAINING TRACTION WITH MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND EVEN INSIDE THE SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNITY. AT THIS YEAR’S SOF WEEK IN TAMPA, A PANEL OF FOUR EXPERTS SPOKE ON THE SUBJECT AND HOW IT’S BEING ADDRESSED..

[Dr. Kari Thyne, Assoc. Prof. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Joint Special Operations University]

“So what are we doing institutionally to prepare SOF operators and those who support them to not only survive in this environment but to thrive? Not really enough because I can’t articulate a robust program that we have, cobbled together to address the problem. So that in itself is a problem, we need an awareness of the complexity of the sof environment.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

DESPITE BEING SOME OF THE MOST WELL-TRAINED AND SKILLED SERVICE MEMBERS IN THE WORLD, THERE ARE INEVITABLY THINGS THAT AREN’T ACCOUNTED FOR. DOCTOR THYNE SAYS, LIKE OPERATING A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT, IT TAKES TRAINING. 

[Dr. Kari Thyne, Assoc. Prof. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Joint Special Operations University]

“You have to teach people what they don’t know. Or they can be excused for not knowing what they need to know when the time comes. Because you never took the time to teach them.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

PART OF THE PROBLEM CAN BE SEEN IN A VENN DIAGRAM OF PTSD AND MORAL INJURY, SHOWING HOW THE SYMPTOMS OF ONE OR THE OTHER CAN OVERLAP. DR. ERIN MCFEE, A PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE AT THE PERRY CENTER FOR HEMISPHERIC DEFENSE STUDIES, SAYS THAT CAN MAKE DIAGNOSING AN ISSUE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT.

[Dr. Erin McFee, Prof. of Practice at the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

“It’s not a binary Oh, wait, yes, I have moral injury or No, I don’t have moral injury, it’s very difficult to sort of suss out, you know, what isn’t isn’t. And that confusion can sort of add to the distressing nature of it. And that is also part of the phenomenon.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

OF COURSE, A LARGE PART OF THE MORAL INJURY PROBLEM CAN BE THE VERY NATURE OF THE WORK DONE BY SPECIAL OPERATORS. 

[Dr. Kari Thyne, Assoc. Prof. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Joint Special Operations University]

“Moral codes, a lot of times, they just seem like an unnecessary burden. They slow us down, they get in the way. And in worst case scenario, they could put us in harm’s way and cost us our lives, if we’re paying attention to what we should or shouldn’t be doing when we need to be acting. And so that is part of the complexity of the challenges facing SOF operators and those who support them”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

IN A PIECE FOR BRAIN LINE, AN ADVOCACY AND INFORMATION RESOURCE, ARMY VETERAN TOM VOSS DESCRIBES HIS EXPERIENCE WITH MORAL INJURY.

[Tom Voss, Army Veteran]

“You don’t really understand it while you’re in the dangerous situation because you’re in fight or flight, right? When you come back from experience of war or combat, you start to think where we justified in our actions that participate in person can be forgiven or my community accept me if they’ve ever find out what I participated in. So these are the questions that are associated with moral injury. Which is grief, guilt, shame, real core wounds to the soul..”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

SO WHERE DOES CHANGE BEGIN? DR THYNE (Tine) SAYS LEADERSHIP IS A KEY COMPONENT. WHETHER IT’S IN TRAINING, OR IN THE ACTUAL BATTLESPACE. 

[Dr. Kari Thyne, Assoc. Prof. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Joint Special Operations University] 

“Help people understand that they have to protect what is good about themselves, because if they don’t protect what’s good about themselves, they may find it disappearing. People can take it from them. So understand, help them understand that aspect of it as well.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

ANOTHER ELEMENT, ACCORDING TO DR. JOHN EDGAR CATERSON, IS UNDERSTANDING AN INDIVIDUAL’S OWNERSHIP OF THEIR EXPERIENCES. 

[Dr. John Edgar Caterson, Faculty Master Instructor, Joint Special Operations University]

“Dr. Mark Charles Egersund, who was one of the authors in the monograph, and it’d be in the next book, he basically is probably one of the leading virtual ethicist in the world. But he said, individual perception is key, you cannot tell an individual how they feel or what the traumatic experience means to them. It is their experience. And they are the own expert of their own individual soul root wounds, invisible wounds, whatever label you want to put on it, but they are the experts of that. And then we didn’t put in there. But the next paragraph that basically says they will live with this the remainder of their days, it’s just what it comes down to.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

UNFORTUNATELY FOR ALL THAT IS KNOWN, OR STARTING TO BE BE UNDERSTOOD, ABOUT MORAL INJURY, SUICIDES AMONG THOSE THAT HAVE SERVED, CONTINUE AT ALARMING RATES. DEPENDING ON THE FACTORS CONSIDERED, ANNUAL NUMBERS OF VETERANS COMMITTING SUICIDE CAN VARY FROM 17 TO 44 LIVES LOST EVERY DAY. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES FOR HEALTH, PEER MENTORSHIP IS ONE AVENUE FOR PREVENTION.

Dr. Kari Thyne, Assoc. Prof. of Interdisciplinary Studies, Joint Special Operations University  

“So creating actually more intentional pathways for population groups that might not have access to mentors to get access to those mentors. And maybe then just like being a bit hands off and letting it emerge organically, only so much of this could be structured in a productive manner.”

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

 ULTIMATELY THERE ARE NO EASY ANSWERS WHEN IT COMES TO TREATING MORAL INJURY, BUT EXPERTS TELL US  IT STARTS WITH INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO RESOURCES. IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, IS STRUGGLING WITH MORAL INJURY, YOU CAN FIND LINKS TO THE RESOURCES ON YOUR SCREEN IN THE STORY BELOW.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEAPON OF THE WEEK, AND AS AMERICA CELEBRATES ITS 248TH INDEPENDENCE DAY, WE THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE FUN TO TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE U.S. MILITARY’S MORE PATRIOTICALY THEMED VESSELS, VEHICLES AND WEAPONS. 

BRIAN, CAN I GET SOME PROPERLY PATRIOTIC MUSIC, PLEASE?

PERFECT, LET’S GET TO IT. 

FIRST UP THE USS CONSTITUTION, ALSO KNOWN AS OLD IRONSIDES! THE WORLD’S OLDEST COMMISSIONED WARSHIP, STILL AFLOAT, WAS LAUNCHED IN 1797 AND NAMED BY GEORGE WASHINGTON. RETIRED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE IN 1881, SHE MOST RECENTLY OPERATED UNDER HER OWN POWER IN 2012. 

SPEAKING OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, MEET THE USS WASHINGTON, NAMED AFTER OUR COUNTRY’S 42nd STATE THIS VIRGINIA CLAS NUCLEAR-POWERED ATTACK SUBMARINE IS THE SEVENTH CRAFT TO CARRY THE NAM ITS MOTTO IS PRESERVING PEACE, PREPARED FOR WAR. 

NEXT UP THE USS AMERICA. COMMISSIONED IN 2014, THIS AMERICA CLASS AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP IS THE FOURTH NAVYSHIP  TO SAIL UNDER THE NAME. BUILT TO LEAD AN EXPEDITIONARY STRIKE GROUP, SHE MEASURES 844 FEET AND CAN CARRY NEARLY 1,700 MARINES. 

CRUISING RIGHT BEHIND IS THE USS FREEDOM. WITH A HOME PORT IN SAN DIEGO, THE FREEDOM IS THE THIRD SHIP TO CARRY THE NAME. LAUNCHED IN 2008, THIS LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP SAILED FOR 13 YEARS BEFORE BEING DECOMMISSIONED IN 2021 AND PLACED IN RESERVE STATUS.  

OF COURSE, WHERE THERE’S FREEDOM, THERE ARE PATRIOTS AND THIS IS THE U-S-S PATRIOT. THIS AVENGER CLASS MINE COUNTERMEASURES SHIP WAS LAUNCHED IN 1990 AND COMMISSION IN ‘91. DUE TO ITS VERY SPECIFIC MISSION, THE FREEDOM’S HULL IS MADE OF WOOD AND FIBERGLASS, SO IT DOESN’T TRIGGER MAGNETIC MINES. 

WHILE THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS ARE THE MOST PROLIFIC WITH THE PATRIOTIC THEME, THE AIR FORCE AND ARMY HAVE A FEW TO THEIR CREDIT AS WELL.

WITH A PRODUCTION PERIOD OF JUST FOUR YEARS, THE B-24 LIBERATOR LEFT ITS MARK ON AMERICAN HISTORY. USED PRIMARILY OVER THE SKIES OF EUROPE AND THE PACIFIC IN WORLD WAR TWO, THE B-24 WAS A HEAVY BOMBER AND STILL HOLDS THE RECORD AS THE WORLD MOST PRODUCED MULTI-ENGINE BOMBER, WITH MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND ROLLING OFF THE PRODUCTION LINE.

FAST FORWARD A FEW YEARS, AND THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS F-15 EAGLE FILLS A LARGE ROLE IN AMERICA’S DEFENSE PLANS. BORN FROM LESSONS LEARNED EARLY IN THE VIETNAM WAR, THE EAGLE IS A TWIN-ENGINE ALL-WEATHER FIGHTER JET. DURING THE FIRST GULF WAR, THE EAGLE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 36 OF 39 AIR FORCE AIR-TO-AIR VICTORIES OVER IRAQI FORCES.

FINALLY, WE END WITH ANOTHER PATRIOT, THIS ONE IS THE ARMY’S M-I-M 1-OH-4 PATRIOT. A SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE SYSTEM. BUILT BY RAYTHEON, THE PATRIOT IS ONE OF THE D-O-D’S FIRST DEFENSE SYSTEMS TO USE LETHAL AUTONOMY. FOR MOST AMERICANS, THEIR INTRODUCTION TO THE PATRIOT CAME IN 1991 WHEN IRAQ LAUNCHED DOZENS OF SCUD MISSILES AT SAUDI ARABIA AND ISRAEL, AND THE PATRIOT INTERCEPTED 41 OF 42 TARGETS. 

AND THOSE ARE OUR WEAPONS OF THE WEEK. FOR THE RECORD, THIS IS JUST A PARTIAL ACCOUNTING, SO IF WE MISS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITES, BE SURE TO LET US KNOW AND SEND A NOTE TO WEAPONS AND WARFARE AT SAN DOT COM. 

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

TIME NOW FOR COMMS CHECK, AND WE’RE HEADED BACK TO A PLACE AND A CONFRONTATION WE’VE COVERED BEFORE. CHINESE AND FILIPINO FORCES CLASHING IN DISPUTED WATERS OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.

THIS TIME IN MID-JUNE AS THE PHILIPPINES ATTEMPTED TO RESUPPLY A TERRITORIAL OUTPOST AT THE SECOND THOMAS SHOAL. VIDEO FROM THE CONFRONTATION SHOWS THE CHINESE REPEATEDLY RAMMING, THEN BOARDING PHILIPPINE VESSELS. CHINESE PERSONNEL CAN BE SEEN BRANDISHING MACHETES, KNIVES, AXES, AND HAMMERS, AT ONE POINT SLASHING THE INFLATABLE BOATS, RENDERING THEM INOPERABLE.  ACCORDING TO FILIPINO OFFICIALS, ONE OF THEIR SAILORS LOST HIS RIGHT THUMB, AND SEVERAL OTHERS WERE INJURED. 

[Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, DOD Press Secretary]

This kind of behavior, it’s provocative, it’s reckless, it’s unnecessary. It’s also antithetical to the PRC’s claims about respect for sovereignty. And so again, the Philippines should have the right to be able to operate within their legal maritime claims. Those need to be protected. So again, we continue to stand by our ally, the Philippines, and we’re going to continue to call out this kind of irresponsible and reckless behavior when we see it.

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

THE HEAD OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMED FORCES LIKENED THE INCIDENT TO PIRACY. 

FOR MORE ON OUR PREVIOUS COVERAGE JUST CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

ALRIGHT –IT’S TIME NOW FOR OUR WRAP…AND WITH THE SHOW PUBLISHING SO CLOSE TO INDEPENDENCE DAY… WE HERE AT WEAPONS AND WARFARE THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT PATRIOTISM.

ASIDE FROM THE FOURTH OF JULY,  VETERANS AND MEMORIAL DAY–

YOU REALLY DON’T SEE A WHOLE LOT OF UNIFIED DISPLAYS OF PATRIOTISM

SURE, LOTS OF FOLKS FLY AMERICAN FLAGS–AND THERE’S THE NATIONAL ANTHEM BEFORE SPORTING EVENTS

BUT THERE AREN’T REALLY THAT MANY OCCASIONS WHEN AVERAGE AMERICANS DEMONSTRATE THEIR PATRIOTISM TOGETHER.

HISTORY TEACHES US ABOUT TIMES WHEN AMERICANS CERTAINLY PUT ASIDE DIFFERENCES AND STOOD UNITED…UNFORTUNATELY, IT’S USUALLY AFTER A TRAGEDY. 

PEARL HARBOR UNIFIED THE NATION INTO JOINING A WAR…IN MY OWN LIFETIME, THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING AND 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS GALVANIZED THE COUNTRY AGAINST OUR ENEMIES–BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. 

BUT IT SHOULDN’T TAKE A TRAGEDY TO MAKE AMERICANS REALIZE WE PROBABLY HAVE MORE IN COMMON WITH EACH OTHER BEYOND WHAT WE SEE IN OUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVES.

UNFORTUNATELY, IT FEELS LIKE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE ALLOWING POLITICS TO SHAPE NOT ONLY THEIR PATRIOTISM… BUT HOW THEY VIEW IT IN OTHERS. 

INSTEAD OF EACH SIDE RECOGNIZING POLITICAL DIFFERENCES AS JUST THAT, DIFFERENCES, PEOPLE ARE CHANGING HOW THEY VIEW OTHERS BASED ON THOSE DIFFERENCES. 

DEPENDING ON YOUR SIDE, YOU’RE NOW SEEN AS EITHER A GOOD PATRIOT OR A BAD PATRIOT– BASED SOLELY ON WHAT SIDE OF A POLITICAL ISSUE YOU STAND ON…

RATHER–WE SHOULD BE RECOGNIZING WE ALL STAND ON THE SAME GROUND, 

NO MATTER WHERE THE LINE FALLS. 

POLITICS SHOULDN’T DEFINE PATRIOTISM. INSTEAD, THE FACT PEOPLE CARE ENOUGH TO HAVE AN OPINION IS, IN ITSELF, PATRIOTIC. AND WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT IN EACH OTHER.

WE’RE ALL TEAM USA WHEN IT’S THE U.S. AGAINST THE RUSSIANS IN ICE HOCKEY, BUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON WELFARE…OR FREE LUNCHES FOR KIDS…OR HOW OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE POLICY IS CARRIED OUT SHOULDN’T MAKE YOU ANY MORE OR LESS PATRIOTIC–

ESPECIALLY IN THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF WHATEVER THE ISSUE IS. 

BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT–

BOTH SIDES CARE AND HAVE REASONS FOR THEIR POSITION. 

THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO LIKE IT, BUT IT ALSO DOESN’T MEAN THE OTHER SIDE IS ANY LESS PATRIOTIC.

SO AS YOU TAKE TIME TO SPEND WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS ON THIS MOST AMERICAN OF HOLIDAYS, REMEMBER… POLITICS ISN’T PATRIOTISM; IT’S POLICY. 

AND WITH THAT, WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS…PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND SOCIAL FEEDS SO YOU STAY UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST FROM THE WORLD OF WEAPONS AND WARFARE. 

FOR SENIOR PRODUCER BRETT BAKER, VIDEO EDITOR BRIAN SPENCER, AND GRAPHICS DESIGNER DAKOTA PITEO… I’M RYAN ROBERTSON WITH STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS, SIGNING OFF.