You have to have had someone in a war like Vietnam like I did to understand the impact of war. We're very immune to the reality of it all. While my husband was in Vietnam, I was protesting the bombing of Cambodia. I went around with a petition and an older man who answered the door said to me, "You're killing our troops by doing this." I answered, "My husband is serving in Quang Tri, South Vietnam." "Well, you're going to get HIM killed," he responded. People don't understand young people's motivation for going to war. There was a tremendous degree of patriotism as the reason for going into service in Iraq after 9/11. But always, patriotism is wrapped up all around a young person's individual life situation. There's a memorable quote by the main character in Tim O'Brien's, "The Things They Carried." He said something to the effect, "I enlisted because I was embarrassed not to." It was expected from his father a World War II veteran, regardless of the fact that the young man had no understanding of the reason we were in Vietnam. You should always be sure of the reason you go to war!
There's a few memorable lines in the poem "Women My Age":
"And don't you think I didn't pay, I watched my husband go away to Vietnam,
and I tell you straight, a bomb's a bomb and CHILDREN die,
and I ask why no one's out protesting THAT abortion.
And former Rumsfeld's are never replaced by neo-Ghandi's
now that's disgrace
of the third order or the fourth estate or of our fate,
it can't be hate
and to all of that I SCREAM F***
(But nice women my age don't say F***.)
The implication of your question is exactly right, Christin. You can support the people whose conscious told them it was the honorable thing to do while at the same time you yourself conclude that the war they think is honorable isn't honorable to you. All in all, none of us can say with certainty whether any war has been or is honorable or not. We each have to do what our conscious tells us and respect the other person for a choice made with knowledge and honor.