Nationalism can be measured in many ways. It can be gauge either by words or actions.
People have different practices to express their patriotism to their respective countries. Some proudly display their cultural heritage while others just settle with just waving of the flag during independence day. In my case, I joined the army to show my support for the American goal of propagating peace, to honor the country that I grew up in and to serve my countrymen.
Until now after 18 years of military service, I still believe and stand by the ideals and mission of the US Army.I started out as a volunteer for the Army Reserves. At that time, the US was involved in the Gulf War.
Unfortunately, I was not activated to join operation Desert Storm. Even though I did not participate in any combat action during the Gulf War, I still maintained the highest standards of being a soldier. But it did not take long before I realized that I was disappointed with the old Army Reserve mentality. As a result, I defected from the Army Reserve division and joined the active service duty of the US Army. My first assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division under Task Force 180 en route to restore democracy in Haiti. But even before I got to set my foot on the airplane, the mission was canceled.
After this, I got another assignment in Germany where I was deployed in Bosnia in support of to 10th SF Group to reinstate peace and order in this conflict-stricken country. This courageous endeavor of American soldiers have been sadly ignored and unappreciated by many people.However, the event of the 9/11 attack have awakened the senses of many Americans about the significance of the US as a sovereign country an as a nation of united Americans. Because of this catastrophic incident, the US waged war against terrorism and called it “War on Terror.” In an effort to eliminate terrorism, the US launched Operation Iraqi Freedom where I joined Task Force Black Jack as the Task Force 15 Commander. At first, we were all very eager to defend the American flag and avenge the lives of many American who have lost their lives in the terrorist attack in New York. But as years passed and hundreds of soldiers have perished, many Americans back home have become preoccupied with their daily routine that they have forgotten that there are thousands of American soldiers overseas risking their own lives just to make sure that events like the 9/11 attack would never happen again in US soil.
It is just disappointing that after 7 years of fighting with Iraqi militants and terrorists, the economy have been on recession and American have become self-centered to the point that they do not want to sacrifice in order to support the troops in Iraq. During World War II, Americans used to ration rubber, gas, and food in order to maximize the resources so that the soldiers would also have ample supplies to support themselves. However, the new generation seem not prepared or willing to go the extra mile to help the American soldiers in promoting peace. What is worse is the feeling that us, soldiers, and our sacrifices have been disregarded.
I just hope that the public would realize that soldiers try their best to serve their country and their fellow countrymen and a little appreciation and remembrance are all we need to boost our determination and perseverance.