This is written in response to the viral belief within the United States that our soldiers are fighting for our freedom.
Take my fictional, middle-aged acquaintance, Jack. Jack is a U.S. citizen, born and raised here.
Jack, while not entirely alone in the world in his beliefs, is about as close as it gets. Jack is polyamourous with a wont for polygamy. He is bisexual, a libertarian socialist, and adamantly agnostic, arguably an atheist, depending on definitions. He is a giving, loving person. All of Jack’s friends are quick to point out that he is the kindest, most caring person they know.
When he was eighteen, Jack was busted with a dime-bag of pot, convicted, and served some time in the clink. Jack, therefore, does not have the power to vote in the United States. It is also illegal for him to own a firearm.
Jack has four lovers, a man and three women. Jack’s longest relationship with one of the aforementioned spans 32 years, the shortest 18 years. They all live together. Jack would like to marry his lovers equally, but cannot.
Jack used to be in local politics, even overcoming the obstacle of the brief incarceration of his past, but was forced out of his political party once knowledge of his personal beliefs and lifestyle gained prominence.
Jack’s oldest lover, the only one legally betrothed to Jack, has battled breast cancer for a decade. Jack and his family had to sell their house to pay for her medical bills, despite her health being insured, and now live in an apartment.
Jack has fairly severe arthritis, particularly bad in his knees, and suffers from fibromyalgia as well. Marijuana use makes these ailments significantly more bearable, but Jack is unable to legally purchase it in his home state, and does not use it.
Jack’s wife finds relief as well from the use of marijuana, particularly after chemotherapy, both to relieve pain and to gain an appetite for food. She is unable to purchase it legally in her home state, and does not use it.
Jack’s Lebanese lover has a brother who attended a U.S. mosque, and was close to the Imam. The Imam had many correspondences with a friend who, unknown to the Imam, donated money to Al Qaeda. Now the Imam, vociferously opposed to U.S. foreign policy in the Near East, Jack’s lover, and her brother, are imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, nearly three years running. No charges have been levied against Jack’s lover or her brother. When the NSA arrested Jack’s lover in his home, they confiscated both family computers, never to be returned, and ransacked their house, demolishing many of their belongings in the process.
Jack has always struggled to keep lucrative work since his political career collapsed since he has always been quite open about who he is, and what his beliefs are. He was working as a car mechanic at the same company for a decade, until the imprisonment of his lover. He was let go from his job shortly after this.
Jack has worked as a janitor since then.
Take heart, Jack. The U.S. has over 700 foreign military bases, approximately 1.5 million active duty military personnel, approximately 850,000 reserve duty military personnel, and a budget of over one trillion dollars (counting non-reported and/or clandestine budgets), fighting for YOUR freedom.