Today is Veterans' Day.

Most everything I could write would be trite an full of crappy rhetoric. So I'll try to keep this brief. And I'll express my thanks to service members past and present, and those considering a role in the armed services, for their sacrifice and contribution to creating and maintaining the benefits I enjoy in my daily life.

Given the current political climate, I sometimes feel that soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen get unfairly stigmatized for the job they do. The debate over how to handle the Iraq situation has led a great number of us to openly question the proper course of action or even outright denounce the proposed use of military force in the Gulf. I count myself among one of those people currently questioning the course of action and wondering if force is the right step.

However, while the men and women of the armed forces will be the tools of force, I strongly feel that it is extremely unfair to direct any ire or anger at the people in uniform. What they do, what they've always done since the military was officially brought under civilian control with the ratification of the Constitution, is carry out the steps of action implicated by decisions made by politicians. It is not theirs to openly question these decisions, only to advise and abide, to carry out unpopular and acclaimed missions.

I think it's probably pretty difficult to take action contrary to your own political and moral beliefs. To be a service member is to accept this element in your life. I applaud that sacrifice.