I have nothing against the military itself; being a military brat and having several family members who served (all of whom have served active duty), I can say I respect the troops. My problem is not with the military but with people who overdo the reverence to the point they worship the military. These individuals, largely neoconservatives, talk endlessly about the military this and the military that. They make it seem like if you didn’t serve in the military then you don’t deserve their undying respect. They donate to homeless veterans and wounded warriors, but when it comes to other homeless people, then they’re just lazy bums who should get a job. I don’t remember our Lord Jesus Christ anywhere saying we should only give to the poor veterans. This is largely self-professing Christians who say these things.
These same Christians who speak nauseatingly about the military almost never (if at all) speak about the pope, bishops priests, deacons, monks, nuns, missionaries, etc. These are people who give their lives to serve the Lord and His Church, many of whom have given up marriage to spend as much as their lives in servitude, to be paid less than soldiers, and work longer hours, and without having weapons to defend themselves from harm. The more reason we should support them. Let’s not forget, the military might defend the temporal lives of people, but priests feed us spiritually for eternal life. It’s a vocation instituted by Jesus Christ Himself for the salvation of souls. We need priests; they consecrate the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ which nourish our souls. They absolve us in Confession and reconcile us with God and His Church. They anoint us in Extreme Unction. Bishops confirm us, ordain some of us to the priesthood and/or diaconate, consecrate others to the monastic life or consecrated virginity for different vocations.
Some of these military worshippers spin things to make it seem you must join the military if you really want to do something about a problem. This isn’t a very good argument because not everybody is called to a soldier like not everybody is called to be a priest, deacon, monk or nun; some are called to be doctors, nurses, intellectuals, politicians, etc. Also, the U.S. already has the military power. Not only that, but also most troops are not active duty but work on a base either in the U.S. or outside the country. They have a better chance joining a militia to fight ISIS than joining the U.S. military for this reason. Besides, if these people are going to dictate to others that they should join the military if they care, then why don’t they themselves join? Does their lack of joining mean they don’t care about the problem? Their own logic seems to dictate so.
Oh, and it’s ironic how a lot of these military worshippers also want to drag our troops into senseless wars, such as a war with Russia, not to mention Iraq. They supported putting troops into Iraq and Libya which only toppled governments that kept jihadi brutes at bay, and since then soldiers have spent most of their time fighting them instead of the governments they were sent to topple. A war with Russia would only enable the Islamic State to grow in power.
We should pray for soldiers and law enforcements, and a healthy amount of respect for them is commendable, but we must remember to put God and His Church before any nation. Properly we should be speaking more and doing more to supporting bishops, priests, deacons, monks, nuns and missionaries than troops.
Many early Christians in the Roman Empire were faced with the same or a similar choice: worship the Roman gods or worship the triune God. Some of these Christians were soldiers who were obliged to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods. They faced persecution and/or martyrdom. It led some to leave the military such as Saint Martin because of the paganism in the Roman military. Today gay veterans like to use their military service as justification for the legalization of gay “marriage” and they along with their supporters can get very pushy in pushing this on other people.
Here is an article by a veteran on hero worship: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hero-worship-of-the-military-presents-an-obstacle-to-good-policy/2014/06/20/053d932a-f0ed-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html