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We fight for all four corners

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- I recently read an article from a local newspaper where my family lives in Gig Harbor, Wash. It describes the activities on a busy intersection where on one corner stand members from Women In Black, on another corner the "We Support Our Troops" crowd, across from them is a lone figure with his "POW/MIA" flags and posters, and on the fourth corner there was nothing. No matter our feelings on this war, we must remember that we fight for all four corners. 

What do the four corners really stand for? 

We fight for those on the "We support Our Troops" corner. They represent the folks who remember why we are fighting this war; they stand squarely behind the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who serve. They are our friends, they are our families. This is the easy corner to fight for. 

We fight for the "POW/MIA" corner. They remember who fought for us before we ever donned a uniform. They are the ones who have secured our freedoms. It has been eloquently spoken in many forums... it is not the politician, the lawyer, the big businesses, the preachers... it is the soldier who fought and died, some who never returned, who gave us freedom. Again, this corner is easy to fight for. 

We fight for the empty corner. This corner represents those who don't care, those who are too busy and those who haven't thought long enough to form an opinion. Those who don't care are only able to do so because they never knew anything other than freedom and security. Those who are too busy are leading lives we want them to lead; taking kids to school, working, finishing their degrees, fishing, golfing... we fight to keep these Americans engaged in life. We fight to keep their lives normal. Again, it's easy to fight for this corner. 

Women in Black is a national organization whose volunteers stand silently on corners throughout the nation to protest war and violence. They don't propose a specific agenda about how to fight wars; they just want the violence associated with this "non-essential" war to stop. One of the WIB members was asked about her thoughts on wars and why she is protesting. She responded, "Violence doesn't really solve anything." For me, this corner just got harder to fight for. Pick a bad guy like Genghis Khan, Tariq ibn-Ziyad or Hitler....I can assure you freedom, liberty, and the English language were not a part of their agenda. The bad guys only know the language of violence. But nevertheless, we fight for this corner. 

On every corner there are ideas, ideals, beliefs, and expressions, each action representing an aspect of freedom. Dave Grossman, in his article On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, describes Sheep as good productive citizens who "have no capacity for violence," and deny that there are bad people in the world. He describes Wolves as those evil people who, without mercy, seek, harm, and kill the innocent. And he describes each of you, those in uniform as Sheepdogs; those who understand the price of freedom and those who willingly move to the sound of the guns... to find the Wolves. 

We fight for all four corners because we value freedom and we are Sheepdogs, we protect the innocent no matter which corner they choose to stand on. And we hunt for the Wolves.