The growing cult of militarism in Britain should set alarm bells ringing
Over the past decade soldiers have increasingly come to be viewed as some higher form of life.
This trend has taken many forms.
Pax Christi recently drew attention to the army recruitment visits made to thousands of schools each year.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) admits that the visits are "a powerful tool for facilitating recruitment."
The excellent organisation Forceswatch pointed out that the army visited 40 per cent of London schools from September 2008 to April 2009, with a disproportionate number of visits to the most disadvantaged areas.
The government has suggested an expansion of cadet forces within schools to encourage the military "spirit" and that ex-soldiers mentor youngsters.
Another sign of the growing profile of the military in society is the charity Help for Heroes.
The charity has raised millions of pounds to help out those soldiers returning home wounded from the various conflicts where British troops are deployed.
It has high-profile support from the royal, sport, media and dramatic spheres. It does good work and receives incredible levels of publicity but it never asks the question why it has to exist.
Why is a charity like Help for Heroes having to provide money to support returning wounded personnel? This is an MoD responsibility - it was the government that sent the soldiers into these conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Neither does Help for Heroes question why British forces are in Afghanistan and Iraq - and what of the expanding mission in Libya?
The attitude to Help for Heroes reflects an kind of psychological numbing among the public. They see the tragedy of returning wounded military personnel and dig deep to give to a charity that helps out.
The charity has laudable aims and so it receives massive media exposure but the questions of justice are not being asked - namely why are the troops deployed and being damaged in this way?
Then there is Armed Forces Day, which seems like a general celebration of an increasingly militaristic culture.
All of these are factors in the growing profile of the military in society.
The heroic image is reflected in a belief that if something needs doing properly then the military are the ones to call in to to do it.
Former prime minister Tony Blair was believed to have a particular liking for the "can-do" attitude of the military.
But a closer look at the military's record over recent decades would suggest a more patchy record.
The Northern Ireland conflict, Iraq and Afghanistan can hardly be called overwhelming successes.
Indeed many would argue the opposite, although in defence of the military, in most of these recent conflicts it was never set out exactly what the objectives were supposed to have been.
Any criticism of the military is generally a taboo in the British media.
It is rare for the army to be criticised for its actions at home or abroad and there is always ready media access given for any soldier who wants to voice his or her opinions regarding equipment shortages.
Once committed to a conflict overseas, any criticism of "our boys," who are after all killing foreign people in their countries in the name of Britain, is considered in terms of betrayal.
The rising cult of militarism could become a dangerous thing.
The effects of the myth that "if you want something done give it to the military" can be seen increasingly in society.
Indeed, the government is pushing at an open door with many schools on the subject of military involvement.
It is worrying that some schools seem to be so popular with parents not because of the holistic education they offer but the military-style discipline.
Some parents, it seems, would like nothing better than to send their children to military academies.
People need to open their eyes to what the military is all about and not simply go dewy-eyed at the sight of a soldier in uniform.
The military deserves support but it must be made accountable for its every action like any other public servant.
For more of Paul Donovan's writing visit www.paulfdonovan.blogspot.com
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.