More Than Support, the Troops Deserve Our Respect

Memorial Day got me thinking: There's been a lot of talk recently about supporting the troops. You hear it from all the candidates and all the pundits.

But talk is cheap. There are no words that can compare to sending your son or daughter off to war. The only word that comes close is "respect."

Seven years ago, on the night of his 19th birthday, I stood at the door to say goodbye to my stepson, who was heading off to join the Marines. I still wasn't sure he knew what he was getting himself into. Like a lot of families with teenagers, we'd been through some rough times: a lot of lectures from me about responsibility and discipline, a lot of eye rolling from him. Not a lot of mutual respect or tenderness.

So when Felipe looked me square in the face and told me he loved me before heading off to boot camp, I was shocked. It wasn't just that I hadn't heard it from him in years. It was that this was an expression of love from a man who had a full measure of its meaning.

I realized then that he knew exactly what he had committed himself to and deserved my full respect for his decision.


I know it's still just a word. But it means a lot more to me than hollow talk about "support." Kids deserve our support, not necessarily our respect. But these are not kids. These are men and women who know exactly what they're doing. They've made a decision to risk their life for our country.

What deserves more respect than that?

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David Asman is the host of "Forbes on FOX" which airs on the FOX News Channel, Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET.