"To die for one's people is a great sacrifice. To live for one's people is a greater sacrifice. I choose to live for my people. What do you choose?" Senator Chuchi of Pantora

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's a job you only get one mistake in

This past Friday The Toronto Star published a story on the causality list from 2008. This got me to thinking about a question: Do we need to know this?
Why I ask such a question is that I have always believed that information about the military should be 'need to know'. And as a civilian I don't need to know every detail of the military. Yes I am naive about this I guess.
In this information age do we really need to know every piece of information especially when it comes to the military. This posses a public relations nightmare for The Canadian Armed Forces.
I grew up with both my grandfather and uncle servicing in the military.   My grandfather served in WWII and my uncle was a PeaceKeeper for 32 years plus 10 years as a civilian contractor. My grandfather total me the time he spent during the war in the last few months before he past. My uncle never talked about 95% of what he did. I knew he was a munitions technician. That my uncle's job was to disarm all manner of explosive devices. What and where my uncle was deployed will always be a mystery to me and my family. Don't get me wrong we were worried when he was deployed. But had faith that he would do his job and that what he did was bettering our world.
I do believe that the military needs to operate in some black area. That they are only accountable to a oversight committee. They need the support and ability to conduct the duties of a military force. Canada does need to return to the PeaceKeeping heritage that we are known through out  the world for.
The news that disturbed me about the military was that when my uncle retired he was not considered a veteran. Because he did not service in an active war. Yet he serviced in every major PeaceKeeping theater in his 32 years. Even the troops fighting in Afghanistan had to fight Ottawa to get veteran status.   
I do live in a social media world but I still do not need to know every little bit of information about our military. Because most of it will never change. We need to let the military run the military. And if this means keeping certain information to themselves then so be it. Because they only thing really we need to know is that they are there and doing their jobs. The other thing need to be understood it that the military is different to us civilians. They live in a different world with different code of conduct that we can not come close to understanding.
The thought just came to me the job my uncle did and PR is much the same  philosophy: You only get one mistake in it. One chance to do the correct and effective job.

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