"First of all, why is it that all U.S. soldiers (and police, firemen, and first responders) are heroes? It doesn’t matter where soldiers go, why they go, how long they stay, whether they should go, or what they do when they are there—the soldiers are all heroes. It doesn’t matter how many widows and orphans soldiers make, how many bombs they drop, how many civilians they kill, how much infrastructure they destroy, how many bullets they fire, how many missiles they launch, or how many of “the enemy” they injure, maim, or kill—the soldiers are all heroes.
What is so heroic about just joining the military?
What is so heroic about wearing a military uniform? What is so heroic about getting up in the morning when you are told to? What is so heroic about making widows and orphans? What is so heroic about fighting “over there” when there was no chance that you would have to fight “over here”? What is so heroic about dropping bombs from 40,000 feet? What is so heroic about dying for a mistake?
Second, and most importantly: Can U.S. soldiers be heroes? If soldiers go where they have no business going, engage in offensive military actions, fight unnecessary foreign wars, bomb, maim, and kill for the U.S. government, fight unjust wars, obey immoral orders, make war against people that were no threat to Americans, and then die for their country or lay down their life for one of their fellow soldiers—how could they possibly be considered heroes? Some other words do come to mind: mercenaries, pawns, dupes, myrmidons, killers, murderers, destroyers, invaders, occupiers."