Donald Trump said yesterday that, because he went to a private military academy, because he wore a uniform, because he learned to march in formation, he equates that with being in the military.
Nope. Sorry. Being in the military means you've learned to care more about the others in the unit than you care about yourself. Being in the military means "real" bullets whizzing about your head, or rockets and mortars soaring into the sky above you, a fiery tail trailing the horizon, leaving you pondering the chill bumps up your arm and wondering where that sucker's gonna land.
Being in the military is going out as a unit, in the last light of day, and drilling that one guy who couldn't master a "to the right, harch" or even keep his feet in synch. And because 30 guys cared about one guy washing out you marched till your legs ached, trying to get that guy through training. Or you stood at the top of a tower and shouted encouragement below to the guy who couldn't muster the arm strength to reach the top and vault over. Or keeping your buddy awake in the bunker you shared by listening to him talk about his home town and his home town sweetheart. Or consoling a comrade who just received a "Dear John" letter.
And you somehow have to find a way to raise a family on $200 bucks a month, or when your next pay raise wouldn't foot the cost of movie tickets for your family.
And you no longer go to the military because you got into trouble in public school. You go into the military to serve your country...and they only take you in if your character is good and you meet rigid physical standards.
But most of all, being in the military is standing at the terminal gate and looking back at your wife and three little kids and taking one last look through misted eyes...cause you know you're gonna have to be away from them for a year. Or having Christmas a week early because you'll be manning a military post somewhere in Korea when Christmas rolls around. And missing your kid's birthday, or their first day of school, or just being there at a time when they really needed you.
Nope, Donald, your private military academy is not the military.