Lauren In Tokyo

Friday, October 01, 2004

No free movies for Marines

So I heard on the radio this morning that the DOD has mandated that recreational facilities in the military must justify their existence with a 4% profit. One side effect of this is that the Marines no longer will enjoy free movies at movie theaters on military bases worldwide.

Now, I'm not in the military, nor am I related to anyone who is. I opposed the war in Iraq and have generally had less-than-good experiences with military personnel (we used to antagonize them on Guam in my younger days). However, I think that this kind of boneheaded profit-based management of the military is quite possibly the worst idea to pull in this time of thin resources.

The military is already under considerable stress due to the continuing efforts worldwide to maintain peace and order. Each uniformed individual is personally under that much greater stress because of the unnecessary and ill-conceived excursions into Iraq. The idea that more money cannot be moved from elsewhere in the Congressional budget to fund recreational facilities for military families seems ludicrous to me.

Military families are truly wards of the State. They are neither truly free as we civilians are, nor are they as well paid for what could be considered much more difficult work than the vast majority of us do. They take this burden upon themselves in order to fight the fights that the rest of us choose not to. In a very real sense, their existence and willingness to put themselves in harm's way preserves our freedoms and way of life. This is not always noticeable as civilians, and for that we are lucky that we don't have enemies at our doorsteps. One thing that keeps them away is knowledge that there is a strong military to repel them if need be.

These individuals give up quite a lot to defend their country. Can we not find a way to pay for their movies?


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