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It's 2014. In the distant past there might have been a danger of another nation's army marching into my country, taking control, and forcing me to live in a dictatorshop. But that was then and this is now.
There has never been an invasion of Canada or of the United States in my lifetime. Or in my mother's and father's lifetime, or even during the Second World War in my grandparents' lifetimes. I suppose you could argue that this is because the United States military makes anybody who might want to do that too scared, but I think it has more to do with the fact that anybody who might want to simply does not have a large enough army to invade and occupy countries that are so big. I mean, if the U.S. had trouble with Iraq, think of the trouble, say, Russia, would have with Canada or the U.S.
So I do not get why people act like the only thing standing between them and the loss of all their freedoms is an army, or why they feel obligated to say to anybody who mentions that they served in that army "Thank you for your service" when they do not even know what the person did. For all they know, the person they're talking to might have been a prison guard in Gitmo, or might not have been deployed anywhere. Even if they had been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, I don't see how them killing people over there somehow protects my freedoms. It might, possibly, do something for the quality of life of the people who live in those countries, but not for me or anybody else in North America.
If people want to be grateful for their continued safety, then it makes more sense to thank law enforcement (even with all the cases of police brutality), or firefighters. Even 9/11 could have been stopped by the FBI and airport security if they'd just been more vigilant. Hell, the guys who planted a bomb in the World Trade Center in the '90s were captured by law enforcement, not the military.
As far as losing our freedoms go, the biggest threat to those freedoms these days appears to be the governments of the U.S. and Canada. You know, the governments that are okay with their agencies spying on you without warrants, or arresting you on mere suspicion you might be a threat without any proof, or want to impose mandatory minimum sentences for crimes, and things like that. The military is not going to do anything to protect us from that.