There is no place for intolerance in our armed forces. And yet Milwaukee shooter and army veteran Wade Page has done his damage
In the wake of a tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, my heart is particularly torn. As a Hindu, I share a bond with the Sikh faith rooted in Dharma; more tangibly, their immigrant community in American suburbia closely resembled my own childhood. I can visualize the temple coming under siege, and parents and children alike — not unlike my own uncles and aunties — permanently scarred for life in their worship.
Yet at the same time, I’m a veteran, just like Wade Page. In most news articles, Page’s military service is somewhat tangential to his biography, mainly because he served so long ago, from 1992–98. He never had to see combat, and his record was tainted with alcohol abuse and AWOL status. It’s easy to marginalize him as just an anomaly of the Armed Forces. But to those who continue to read headlines about the lack of cultural civility in our combat arms — whether stories on “Kill Teams” in Afghanistan, the Haditha shootings or Abu Graib in Iraq, or even the suicide of an Asian service member after being racially targeted in his own unit — the 98% of Americans who have no relation to the military service start to see this as common place about the way our service members regard diversity.