When someone in the military does something irresponsible, it’s not a military problem; it’s a people problem.

At the beginning of the month, there was a story reported in The New York Times about a video of four U.S. Marines urinating on the bloodied bodies of Taliban soldiers; literally everyone in the United States government, excluding Rick Perry, detests that action, and it’s something I think should be condemned not just on the account of human dignity, but for the sake of our country’s reputation.

So there’s my opinion on that — the actual action committed by four isolated guys who in no way represent the entirety of the branches of the U.S. military, which leads into my second and more elaborate opinion: The second you bash the military or pretend that every American soldier would take pictures with or piss on dead bodies of the people they just killed, you become an idiot in my book.

Walk into a class at West Point — every single one of those people will be willing to give their life to protect our country, yet you’ve got the nerve to label them all as hyper-nationalist jerks; yeah, that’s an opinion you should be ashamed of.

My late uncle was a captain in the U.S. Navy. Two of my uncles fought in Vietnam — one on my mother’s side and the other on my father’s. Four of my good friends will be graduating in 2015 and then going on to serve their country — one at Wake Forest ROTC, one at Marquette ROTC, one at MIT ROTC  and the fourth at West Point. Two good friends of mine will be entering into military programs soon. Not a single one of those people would ever piss on an enemy’s body. And though they respect their country too much to be seen doing something that ignorant, I think it’s pretty damn offensive for someone to act like the entire purpose of each individual in the United States military is to act as some kind of terrorist to every country we enter. There’s a mission, and you do it — period. And regardless of your political beliefs, how much you hate George W. Bush or Barack Obama, you do what you need to do to protect your country.

It takes a big person to serve this country — not necessarily in stature, but in character. It’s a service that I can guarantee half of us take for granted: that our country will always be the land of the free, and will always be fertile to an “American dream.”

But someone’s out there every day risking their life to protect yours. What these guys did is regrettable; arrogance in all forms leads to, at best, strained negotiations and for every military that gives its enemy ammunition to use against them. But arrogance isn’t the policy of the U.S. military.

The policy of the U.S. military is to protect my rights, and to protect your rights. So you really should think before you’re critical of an entire organization based on the actions of a few extreme members, and that doesn’t just apply to the military, but to the Occupy movement, the tea party, the Boy Scouts, the Roman Catholic Church, Republicans or Democrats, the rich or the poor — I mean really, guys … I kid sometimes, but if we can just realize that not every individual represents an entire movement, we’d really learn to get along.