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Not everything should be seen from the barrel of a gun but that’s usually the first thing that springs to mind when one thinks of a soldier. Maybe that’s because the ugliness of war has been well chronicled over the years. That script seems to play well for Hollywood.

As evidenced by the w/u’s above, there seems to be some varying opinions on whether there is something noble about being a soldier. Hey, to each is own but there’s something in all of those nodes that seems have gone unnoticed or forgotten. From the Berlin Airlift up to the present there’s one thing you can count on and that’s when the shit hits the fan in the form of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or some other type of natural disaster, it’s usually the soldiers that are the first ones with their boots on the ground in an effort to provide some humanitarian relief.

In the year 2006 alone, the United States military took part in over five hundred and fifty humanitarian projects in ninety nine countries.

You can find them in places like Ecuador working alongside their civilian counterparts in improving things such as water supply. In Bangladesh, they’re out there building flood barriers to try and stave of the effects of the monsoon season. Small contingents of soldiers are routinely shuffled to such underprivileged countries like Uganda and Kyrgyzstan to deliver medical supplies and help to build the countries infrastructure. In other countries in AIDS plagued Africa, they work right alongside the Red Cross and other world health organizations to try and stem the tide of the disease and to educate the population in prevention methods.

Across the globe, they dig wells and ditches. They pave roads and assist in the construction of hospital and schools. They fly in food and medical supplies to places such as Pakistan or just about anywhere else in the world when earthquakes topple buildings and the populace is in danger of starvation or of contracting disease. They evacuate refugee’s when other countries can’t or won’t.

When the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake struck, the United States military dispatched 12, 600 troops to the area to help deal with the catastrophe. They brought with them 21 ships, 14 planes and 90 helicopters to help evacuate the people who were victims and to drop off much needed supplies in the form of food, medicine and medical equipment.

Stateside, soldiers do their best to assist civilian populations in holding back rivers that have breeched their dams. The fiasco that was Hurricane Katrina was largely due to the ineptness of the civilian run agencies such as FEMA and not through any fault of the military.

Going back to 1947 and continuing through the present, the United States Marine Corps has brightened the faces of countless underprivileged children through the Toys for Tots program.

They do all this and much much more but rarely are their efforts talked about on the nightly news or emblazoned in headlines in your local paper.

They do so without asking for any credit. To them, it’s all part of the job.

To me, there’s something noble about that.