Have you ever wondered what that statement means and what it implies? While I members of the U.S. military elisted voluntarily, I cannot help but wonder what it means to “support” them. The word “support” has many, many meaning:
- give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
- the activity of providing for or maintaining by supplying with money or necessities
- support materially or financially
- aiding the cause or policy or interests of
- back: be behind; approve of
- hold: be the physical support of; carry the weight of
- a military operation (often involving new supplies of men and materiel) to strengthen a military force or aid in the performance of its mission
- confirm: establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
- documentation: documentary validation
- subscribe: adopt as a belief
- the financial means whereby one lives
- corroborate: support with evidence or authority or make more certain or confirm
- supporting structure that holds up or provides a foundation
- defend: argue or speak in defense of
- the act of bearing the weight of or strengthening
So let us first figure out what possible meanings to “support” in this sentence may be.
Removing all which do not apply to individuals (7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15) I suppose one could argue rather effectively that we already (willingly or not) give support according to definitions 2, 3, and 11, so they shall be removed, leaving 1, 4, 5, 12, and 14.
Considering one does not have to necessarily approve of what the troops are doing to “support them” as stated by thousands of politicians, this removes definition 5 from the running.
Considering most military personnel have little or no say in cause or policy, and most citizens do not have access to information which would allow for a presentation of some kind of evidence to support them as per 12, it similarly cannot be definitions 4 or 12.
To claim to “speak in defense of” all military personnel is a bit of an over-generalization as a number of military personnel have done illegal activities. This leaves only definition 1 remaining.
1. give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
What would be the most psychologically beneficial activity one could do for the individuals still overseas? Support the troops; get them the psychiatric help many of them need. Support the troops; don’t send them on three tours in rapid succession. Support the troops; except the commanders using people as pawns in a very deadly game of chess.
Individuals using this phrase to mean “don’t say bad things about the war or the soldiers fighting for us,” while they imply it only means “comfort them.” Such phrases with hundreds of possible meanings are worse than useless. Do I agree with what they are doing? Yes and no; I appreciate them enlisting in the military, but I do not support the reason for our military being in Iraq (or still being in Afghanistan). Both of these military opperations were as organized as a herd of cats. How about we apologize to our military personnel for putting them in this situation?