Heroism, Spotlight

Soldiers and Heroes

Are soldiers heroes?

Before you give your opinion, I would strongly recommend checking out this nuanced, two-sided article from activist and scholar Ari Kohen.

On the State of the American Hero

Not every soldier meets my definition of a hero. But I have to admit there is bravery inherent in signing up during time of war. Bravery or, perhaps, an inkling of the hunger for adventure—one of the greatest practices for developing heroism.

So, are soldiers heroes?

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5 thoughts on “Soldiers and Heroes

  1. Oh Drew. I think I cannot participate in this discussion. As a pacifist, it’s just too hard for me to see the other side. Impossible really. But I’m sure others will make a good discussion of it. I’ll be reading.

  2. In my opinion, no, soldiers are not heroes. Signing up to be in the armed forces does not make you a hero. Going through bootcamp doesn’t make you a hero. Being deployed in war time . . . doesn’t make you a hero.

    I am also of the opinion that what the definition of a hero is, is completely up to the individual. Here is what I mean by that. Say you are someone who cannot enlist and fight for your country yet it is something you have always desired to do. You feel it is your duty and that it would be a honor to fight. Say now that a family member or even your best friend enlisted, deployed, fought. I could easily see how that person would become a hero in the eyes of the person who couldn’t fight. Just because I don’t view that person as a hero, doesn’t mean it lessens the view of the person who does see them as a hero.

    I do not however believe that ever person who serves should be hailed as a hero by the masses. To me a hero is someone who goes above and beyond. Someones who’s actions makes others stop in awe, applaud . . .etc. In my eyes, for a soldier, that bar is set higher than any normal civilians. They may be doing something that is not asked of the rest of us. It is a life and a job that they chose and a standard that they accept. I don’t think a lot of them would care to be called heroes.

    That being said, it doesn’t lessen the value of what they do. I’m the type of guy that when I meet someone who is going to deploy or has deployed, I’ll shake their hand, say thanks, and buy them a drink. Doesn’t mean I think they are a hero, just that I respect them for what they are doing/have done.

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