I had this discussion recently. I was with a friend watching the news. The theme was the return of injured soldier from a war. My friend said he was sorry for the soldier, and I replied that pity wasn't the feeling I felt.
I can't feel pity for a person who's choice was to be ordered to kill and be shot. It is a matter of personal choice. As I can't feel sorry for someone not overcoming an addiction. I know that some of them do want pity, but I'm not ready to give it to them. Pity is deserved to people who don't deserve their treatment. I don't say that we should leave them with their pain. Help is only fair, but not as pity, but as an offer for them to obtain their redemption from their bad choice. I know my vocabulary is rather religious- but I'm only talking about ethics.
My friend then answered that it was maybe not a choice, that the army is sometimes the only way for social or economic elevation. I will not deny that his got a point. But then my pity is toward a society that permits that. How can we promote still an army today. I understand that we do try to make less casualties now, but only on our side. It is good that we only have volunteers. But we shouldn't send them to gratuitous war only if they conscent. And then I shouldn't feel any pity. Pay them less and see who's coming. If we invest less in the simple soldier in the army, but as an elite of conflict resolution, I'd say that I'd feel pity if they'd come back really injured, only maybe.
I won't feel pity again for selfish reason. I dream of a warless world, and I guess most of the sane world do too. If we'd think about all doing it, won't we feel safer ? If i was a head of state of a powerful country. I'd start by stopping our nuclear weapon program. Lead by example. That's one of the only motto I really like. I hope I may be understood for my lack of compassion for the crippled soldier.