21 Assumptions Revealed by 21 Words and Pieces of Plastic Claiming to Support Soldiers

We seldom stop and think about how much we assume and how much our world assumes of us. In this blog article, I do a detailed analysis of such a situation working form the following display. I’m not pointing to anything being “right” or “wrong” here – just doing a very detailed analysis, similar to the one I did for this blog article about a makeup advertisement. 

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The sign, found on the Internet taken in a Chick-fil-A, reads: Please take a solider home and place it somewhere that will remind you to pray for those who serve our country. The sign is resting in a dark blue box surrounded by light-green and grass-green toy soldiers. The box has a red, white, and blue bow-flag around it. 

These twenty-one words, plus the display collectively, are overflowing with assumptions when you stop and think about it.  Assumptions embodied in this display include (there are many more!) the following: 

  1. That you have able-bodied vision (with or without corrective lenses).
  2. That you will notice the display. 
  3. That you can read and understand printed English. 
  4. That you agree / will follow its request.
  5. That you are unaware of semiotics.
  6. That you accept shaped green pieces of plastic as an appropriate representation of soldiers. 
  7. That you are okay with all soldiers and all of their bodies and differences being represented by one or two models. (What about these disabled in the army?)
  8. That you understand figurative language. 
  9. That you have a home. 
  10. That you need to be reminded about soldiers (and the nation’s many wars).
  11. That you pray. 
  12. That prayer is effective and necessary. 
  13. That you are Christian. (This one is implied.)
  14. That you accept Christian Nationalism.
  15. That you accept United States Nationalism and see it as ethical. 
  16. That only active soldiers serve the United States. (What about doctors and professors and janitors and mothers?)
  17. That active soldiers serve the United States alone.
  18. That only currently-serving soldiers need attention. (Tense and history matter.)
  19. That you are a United States citizen. 
  20. That spending money/participating in capitalism is necessary to support soldiers.  
  21. That you won’t critically analyze that which you encounter.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda



Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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12 replies

  1. Some others who I think serve our country and probably promote peace far better than the soldiers do: Vista volunteers, Peace Corps workers, those working for various charities in poor and needy neighborhoods, Teach for America teachers, community organizers. These people are truly making America great, and I think of them before I think of soldiers when I am asked what America does that contributes to its greatness. Soldiers often leave both good and bad feelings among the people they are fighting to save. Oh, yes, some Peace Corps staff were found to be abusing other staff, but in general, the Peace Corps has been welcomed to the countries that they serve because they do so much good.

    When I think of those helping to keep our freedoms intact, I think of the free press, of radio, TV and other news gatherers who work very hard to find and tell us of scandal and success in America. We do not hire soldiers to protect our voting process. Instead, our own government works behind the scenes to root out election corruption (although, some might say their rules often restrict voting access and some in the government want to restrict voting by some of us). I also think of all those who opt to work in the public sector because they are often subjected to economic deprivation by governments looking to “reward” the wealthy for funding their campaigns.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to “hear” from you! 🙂

      Agreed all around, except in terms of elections–from what I see the government is working behind the scenes to suppress voters. I think the United States would do well to fully recognize that there are many different ways in which to serve the nation — many ways that are much more active, direct, and individual. Soldiers have a much more “passive” role, per se.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The military is not there to “promote peace”. Peace has little to nothing to do with our job. Our sole priority is not peaceful because the people that would love nothing more than to see American culture and civilization destroyed are not peaceful people.
      I find it very sad that you think of others before you think of our military when you think of what makes America great because without those soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen… you wouldn’t have this country to enjoy. But its ok… we get it. We do the dirty work so you don’t have to think about it or us.
      You’re welcome.

      Like

    • Hi Sara,
      Some countries and their citizens only hate the U.S. because it can’t mind its own business and because it is always super hypocritical. Dr. Hyde’s points are indeed good!

      Like

    • We don’t go to war with other countries just because they hate us. The American military is the worlds police force. We have allies that depend on us.
      I would love nothing more than to close off our borders and take care of our own and let everyone else fend for themselves… but unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works and if we don’t take the fight to Hebron enemy, they will come here. Heck… maybe that’s what needs to happen so average American citizens can see and learn to appreciate what we do.

      Like

    • Don’t forget the lessons about geopolitics. 🙂

      Like

    • *** to the enemy.
      Excuse me… my phone has a mind of its own. 🙂

      Like

  2. I loved your analysis. The Comp I in the fall does an analysis of a visual, so this put me in the mood to look for things like this. Did you find it on line or see it in person. If on-line, how? Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Rae! I saw this display in person at a Houston Chick-fil-A, but the image was something I encountered on the Internet, while doing something. I don’t remember! Apparently a number of CFAs have this display. The one in LJ does not.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I say that the government tries to protect our elections since there is increasing evidence of election tampering by the Russians. There may be others who have tried as well but were stopped by our own FBI/CIA. We do not hear about all the attempts.

    Liked by 1 person

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