I heard something on the news today that has been bothering me, sort of niggling at my brain. And I know why - it's because I don't understand the military, or politics, or war. I would not make a good soldier - I'm just not that much of a rule follower.
So what bothered me? I heard this morning that we are sending "30,000 troops" to Afghanistan. I'm not making a statement about whether I think this is wrong or right or bad or good. What bothers me is the word "Troops".
It took me years to figure out that "Troops" means soldiers. Mostly men, mostly young, woman also. Why don't we say what we mean - we are sending 30,000 people to war, into a foreign country to face awful danger. I know that mostly the individuals have signed up for this, and I truly honor their commitment and courage. It's not something that I could ever do, I'm way too much of a chicken.
And in army terms - they are "troops" not people, really. But if we did say it out loud, what kind of a difference would it make! Can you imagine a newscaster saying "we are sending 30,000 men and woman into a war zone" - obviously fur would fly, people would protest - which is why we say "troops".
I'm not editing this post, no time - I have to get back to work.
I just thought I'd share my moment of realization - it struck me hard this morning, perhaps because I was warm, safe, drinking coffee in bed and ready to go off to a cushy job.
What are your thoughts about this?