Desertion: A Betrayal of Honor and Duty

4 min read

As a man whose beliefs in our cultural, political, and military systems are firmly rooted in conservatism, the recently disclosed news of a U.S Army private fleeing to the mysterious, secretive, and often times menacing North Korea to be subsequently charged with desertion is understandably a punch in the gut. Well, they say every man is entitled to an opinion, and boy, isn't that just the understatement of the century?

Let's get to the crux of the matter here – desertion is a cardinal sin in the military. It's a vow-breaking decision that not only discredits our brave forces but taints the prestige of our country. And might I say, the fact that this Army private chose North Korea, a nation that is almost a symbol of repression, to be his safe haven, is in itself a chilling commentary on his judgement, or the glaring lack thereof.

It's right there in the voracious spiral down into chaos, that my fury simmers and boils. Really? North Korea? A place where basic human rights are squatting in the backseat while authoritarian rule ravishes the front, is considered refuge? It's mind-boggling and enough to set your teeth on edge. What would have been running through his mind while making this decision? An irrational aversion to America's disciplined military, or a delusional lure towards tyranny?

Shuffling through my memory box, I recall the endless days of our forefathers fighting tooth and nail to repel external threats, and, not least of all, to stamp out internal division. Knowing this, my anger is not devoid of sympathy. I'm furious, yes, but I also feel an immense sadness for the young man deceived by his escape into the jaws of such a regime, trapped and likely disillusioned. By resorting to such a desperate measure as desertion, it's clear that he didn't exactly sign his name on the dotted line with a full understanding of what it means to serve in America’s military forces.

Now, don't mistake me, I'm not giving him a free pass. Hell no. But I am asking, how did we fail him? Is it that our youth are losing sight of the honor of duty? Or has the allure of foreign propaganda seeped too deep into our society? Everyone seems to be seeking quick fixes, easy answers. The lacerating reality is, it's a messy world out there, Gramps' tales of valor and patriotism might sound a lot less glamorous when you're the one standing in line to pay the price.

All this brings me to the handling of the situation now. As he’s held by the U.S military following his likely coerced return, we are faced with a grim question – can a young man, presumably scarred, confused, and misled, reclaim his place in a society he chose to abandon?

While I'm sorely tempted to spout fire and brimstone about how his desertion deserves severe punitive measures, it's important to remember – our moral compass shouldn't be tossed out the window simply because this infuriated us. Let this be squared away with due process, a fair trial, and let him face the full consequences of his actions.

In the end, let this tale serve as a cautionary lesson for all those who might contemplate the unthinkable. The freedoms, rights, and privileges we enjoy are born from the sacrifice of countless patriots who've put duty and honor above all else. Anyone keen on undermining these values by abandoning their post must remember this – there's always a high price to pay, much higher than it might seem while caught up in some misguided flight of fancy.

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