Have you ever watched those YouTube video compilations of American soldiers coming home and surprising their family?
I accidentally clicked on a compilation video. At one level, it was heartwarming. The bride at a wedding and her brother walks in from Iraq. The daughter at her high school graduation and her fighter pilot father steps out from behind all those robes and turns out to be the one handing her the diploma. The middle-aged primary school teacher mom, helping the kids prepare cards to give their moms since its Mother’s Day and in walks her Navy Seal son, back from Afghanistan, holding a bunch of flowers in his hand. The German shepherd moping around the backyard, bored and suddenly he goes berserk when he hears his army medic ‘daddy’ say, “Hey, Brutus, cumere you!” And he leaps into his arms with a series of loud whining barks and yelps of ecstasy.
I haven’t seen one from other countries or groups. Maybe there just aren’t that many going off to fight wars in distant lands, trying to “make the world a safer place”.
Or maybe there aren’t that many coming out alive. Perhaps the concept of family is a different one in places other than America. Or maybe serving in the military just isn’t such a big deal in other nations. I know for a fact it isn’t, in my country of birth, India. And yet, Indian soldiers are among the fiercest and most dedicated. Have you seen any similar videos of Israeli soldiers? I haven’t.
Do only American soldiers have family or does the American military actually stage these as “surprise homecomings” and then flood YouTube with the videos, as a PR exercise? Don’t believe me? Just enter “American soldier surprises family…” on the search box and you’ll have hours and hours of those tear-jerkers, non-stop, every last one of them an American soldier.
Of all of them only the German shepherd would freak out with exactly the same intensity, even if it was only the corner store that you were coming home from. He won’t give a flying eff if you were a soldier or you were not.
Stop the drama, America.