HOOAH!: Bad Stereotypes

Chad Graden
cgraden@css.edu

I hate it when people say that Veterans are racists or that they hate whatever ethnicity they had to fight or protect against. This doesn’t make sense to me and shouldn’t make sense to anyone else. I am not sure where this logic of thinking has come from, but my guess is that it is because Veterans have fought people like the Taliban; therefore, all Veterans must hate Muslims.

According to one Military source, 31.1% of all active duty members are minorities. So, with this being the case, is it really possible that
Veterans, on average, care about what the color of your skin is? Absolutely not. What Veterans care about is protecting their buddies and staying alive. In war time, it doesn’t matter what skin color the guy next to you has. If he is fighting for you, then you are fighting for him.

I went over and fought guys in Afghanistan who wore hijabs (a muslim head covering) and believed in a different God than I do. We didn’t go to war with these folks because of their religion, we went to war against these people because they were tyrants and bullies. Therefore, I do not hate people of this faith or people who dress the way they do. Not all of these people are bad people.

If people had this kind of mentality then that would mean every person of every race, religion, and ethnic background is an evil person. We all know this is not true. We must remember that, throughout history, there have been evil people who have also claimed to be devout Christians and Catholics. The point here is, that we must not judge people by what religion or beliefs they have, but by what kind of person they are as far as their morals. Veterans fall into this category because they have fought such a variety of people; however, that alone does not mean that they hate them based on their beliefs and backgrounds. Veterans are not all racists and small-minded.

Another stereotype that I also hear a lot is that Veterans who were a part of special forces have an extreme death wish. This is also a ridiculous statement to make. People sign up for special forces (Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Etc.) because they have special gifts that are highly needed. To be a part of special forces, one must be extremely intelligent and in top physical shape. A member of the military does not go to war and fight because he/she hates what is in front of them, but because he/she loves what is behind them. Being a bad ass or having a death wish has no credibility for why people join special forces.

After 9/11, this country saw a massive wave of people running to recruitment offices to go and volunteer to put an end to terrorism. People were scared, angry, and felt a sense of duty to this country. The reason so many people enlisted was because our nation was under attack, not because there was a sudden hatred for all non-Christians.

So, in reality, we can all learn a bit of something from our Veterans. Let’s put our petty differences aside and place our stereotypes to rest, because not every person from the Middle East is a terrorist. Most certainly, it really shouldn’t matter what a person’s skin color is, or how they worship their God. We are humans, we do not have the right to judge people. America is, after all, the melting pot of the world.