Living with the military
Like many Americans, my family will celebrate July 4 by sharing a picnic with friends. After the usual greetings, jokes, and anecdotes about our children, we’ll no doubt find time for a political discussion. And since most of us are Democrats living in a very Republican county, my husband and I won’t have much trouble triggering a good argument with strong opinions. We are also children of the 1970s, after all, shaped by that era’s skepticism about the military and government. We went to peace rallies as students, and later took our children to nuclear-freeze demonstrations. I know I can provoke a strong reaction if, for example, I pretend to defend Bush’s revival of the Star Wars missile defense project.
And yet topics of patriotism and the military look different to me this July 4. Last year, my 18-year-old son made a four-year commitment to the navy. That makes me a navy mom. And that makes the military part of the family.
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