I dream about the military almost every other night, about Afghanistan more often than Iraq, sometimes about training. The dreams are usually tense, but not disturbing. I think my training prepared me for combat. Amazingly, the most troubling dream involves my returning to Ranger School. A bureaucratic error requires me to go again. It’s recurred more times than I can count.
Ranger School was effective because it was so God-damned hard — a 40% graduation rate when I attended. I’ve never stopped being proud of having earned the Ranger Tab, not when Ron Paul and Chuck Hagel convinced me our foreign policy was misguided, nor when the Constitution convinced me the state threatened my liberty far more than any external enemies. Even after Rothbard and Hoppe and the impossibility of a monopoly on violence, I remained proud.
The warrior ethic has likely been a virtue ever since primordial men banded together to bring down game too difficult or dangerous for lone hunters. Libertarians shouldn’t discard it because of its co-opting by the state.
Perhaps state stewardship of warrior culture makes it a lost cause and its scrutiny a moot point. Fair enough. If so, then chalk this up to sheer sentimentalism: