Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Over and Out

Well I guess this is it. I have spent the past three or so months exploring the ins and outs of the United States Military Academy in an effort to expand my knowledge of it. I must confess, while this blog may be drawing to a close, my journey of attempting to understand West Point is not. Trust me I’m not out of ideas or questions, just out of time. However, that’s the way it should be. Knowledge should be permanently under construction, and we should never ever halt our efforts to develop better understandings of all that surrounds us.
Over the course of the nine blogs (not including this one) I have written, I have explored a variety of themes: West Point’s history, the school’s Mission Statement, the difficulty of a military lifestyle, the motivations behind cadet participation, the role of doubt in a “no turning back” environment, and the function of language within West Point’s walls. I have used a variety of resources in my examination including personal interviews with attending cadets, the United States Military Academy website, outside books, and applicable articles. I won’t lie, it’s been a process. There have been times when I’ve felt physically angry at what I’ve read and/or heard. When I first received this assignment I thought “this will be easy,” but much to my surprise, I was wrong. I had to suspend my own beliefs (cultural relativism anyone?) and challenge my preconceived thoughts regarding the military.
I have learned a lot during this process of discovery. I have gained a deeper knowledge of West Point than I ever saw myself being capable of. I have been reminded that as civilians, we must separate our politicians from our soldiers. They two completely different categories of people, and the United States Army is not responsible for whatever armed conflict that we are involved in. I thought I was aware of this distinction before I began this blog, but I see now that I wasn’t nearly as understanding of it as I should have been. My views of the people who attend West Point have also changed. I see the men and women in attendance there as brave, selfless people, who have extremely strong motivations. They have made the choice to apply those motivations someplace very different than I would have, but that choice is not wrong in any way. It takes a very special person to attend the United States Military Academy, just as it takes a very special person to be a surgeon or a minister. I have a deep respect for those who choose to attend West Point, and I know that their talents and abilities will be put to good use.
I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to explore the United States Military Academy and then reflect upon it in this blog. A warm thank you goes out to the cadets at West Point who were willing to give me their opinions, and everyone who has left their comments.

1 comment:

Petey Flow said...


This is my blog, and I made this site for students who will be future cadets and will be attending West Point. This site has all the tools you need to prepare for upcoming Cadet Basic Training.