Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. In support of that, I donated to the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.
In the U.S. (as in most jurisdictions), people have an odd attitude toward military veterans. Even those who generally condemn the activities and costs of the (especially U.S.) military as stupid and counterproductive, or much worse, fall into the grip of nationalist religion and “honor” people who directly participated in mass murder. Those who generally support the activities and costs of nationalist armies go out of their way to signal how much they honor and support mass murderers. But, apart for the most compassionate of the former, most zealous of the latter, and some veterans and their lobbyists, generally military veterans are kicked the the curb — thanks for murdering for the nation-state; good luck on the streets and in our fine institutions!
Fortunately, there is a way out of this hero/murderer/reject paradox (other than ceasing U.S. military interventions; yes I want that, but I’m not that ambitious today) — recognize that most U.S. soldiers are children. As such, they should be pitied and rehabilitated. Furthermore, the minimum age for joining the U.S. military ought be raised to at least 21, and a 4 year college degree required (up from 17 and high school, with caveats). Never again should a child be forced to choose between murder and no money for college.