Jocko Willink and Leif Babin write:
When American servicemen and women travel the world, they are often exposed to things that most Americans do not have to see. This includes unspeakable atrocities by vicious and brutal oppressors who use torture, rape, and murder to impose fear and intimidation on innocent civilians.
It includes slavery -- not some diminished, modern version -- but sadistic and disgusting enslavement where human beings are owned and treated as property. Many of these slaves are just children, with no hope and no dreams -- only suffering and misery.
Being in the military, deploying around the world, gives American service members insight into how a large part of the rest of the world lives: hungry, abused, uneducated, submissive, fearful, and hopeless.
"If you have seen war and its horrors," Willink and Babin continue, "if you have seen the savagery of evil people against innocents, if you have seen what real class warfare looks like, or what truly unchecked domination from a despotic regime does to its people, then you cannot be anything but immensely thankful and appreciative for the right and privilege to be an American."