"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country," he said in an interview to mark his 21st birthday. "That may sound very patriotic, but it's true."
It's gotten all the press it deserves already, but I have my two cents still to offer.
First, William may get all the fawning press given his position in the succession, and Harry has rightly been seen before as a dumbass teenager, but bully on him for doing the right thing.
Second, I agree with National Review's Iain Murray: it *is* a trifle disturbing to hear the third in line to the British crown have to defend his own patriotism. Has Western civilization really become that cynical?
I admit-- I am a coward. Not a physical coward, mind you; if me, my loved ones, or an innocent in my vicinity were ever directly threatened, I have no doubt I'd do whatever would have to be done.
But I *am* a moral coward, for I never had the courage to do what I always wanted to do: serve in the armed forces. I was always THISCLOSE to doing it, but the lure of other pursuits, the knowledge that I'd make more money by NOT going into the military, and finally, pure laziness prevented me from doing what I've often wanted to do.
That said, I do believe that my instincts at least left me in my civilian life with enough admiration and respect for our men and women in uniform, and the efforts they make on our behalf, that will at least give me the chance to enter an O-Club to buy them a beer anytime, anywhere.
I'm a firm believer in civilian control of the military-- as are the vast majority of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Wearing the uniform doesn't make one correct by default, and respect is not synonymous with deference.
That said, I respect the hell out of these guys and gals-- always have, and always will.
Except for the Air Force. Seriously, I can do without them. They're the "Office Depot employees" of the Armed Forces. Unless you've got the brass to hump 20-hour tanker flights outta Tinker, I've got no use for you desk jockeys.
(I keed, I keed. . . my best coworkers were Air Force. They know their Powerpoint and hole-punching, that's for sure! Plus, the ladies love your soft hands.)