Today, while most Americans celebrate, quite appropriately, the killing of a mass murderer, Osama bin Laden, we are likely to hear encomiums to people in the U.S. military. In the May Econlib Feature Article, one member of that military, Major Chad Seagren of the U.S. Marine Corps, takes on General Stanley McChrystal’s narrow view of service. Chad is an economist with a Ph.D. from George Mason University and as assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. I am proud to call him a colleague and, increasingly, a friend.

Here’s an excerpt:

Many people think that service to one’s country must mean military service. I agree with McChrystal that this interpretation is far too narrow. But if the General would only take his own advice and widen his vision of what it means to serve, he would see that literally millions of Americans diligently serve their country every day. Simply put, in a free society, a person who participates in the market serves his or her countrymen in an immensely powerful way.

In discussing those who serve their fellow men and women, Chad writes:

They repair air conditioning units, wait tables at restaurants, operate machines that make Petri dishes, build websites, and drive delivery trucks.