We don't need hyperbolic statements that our military is the "finest fighting force" ever, or that our troops are the world's liberators and bringers of freedom. Such words are immoderate and boastful. They're intended to win favor with the troops and with the people back home; they're politically calculated. And in that sense, they're ill-advised and even dishonest -- they're basically nothing more than flattery.
Easy talk about "boots on the ground" grates on the senses. It seems an awfully cavalier way to talk about the American battle dead buried at Arlington and in cemeteries across the country. Of those I have known, in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other conflicts, each one was proud of being "boots on the ground," serving his or her country, proud of what they were accomplishing. Weary, perhaps, but resolute in their determination to see the job done. None, needless to say, wanted to die this way. But they were willing, trusting that the decision to send them was a thoughtful, considered judgment necessary for the good of the country.