Yes, I guess I bundled a lot into that without really unpacking and may have given the wrong impression. Let me try to explain further...
I agree that you can serve your country without serving your government. By writing his public letter to Senators Murray and Cantwell, I would argue Schoonover is serving his country (although it might be better characterized as serving humanity, since people all over the world have an interest in seeing the U.S. government's excesses reined in, even if this is most vital for those of us living directly under the thumb of that government).
But by paying taxes to government (transferring resources out of the productive sector of the economy and into the non-productive sector), Schoonover serves the government. I'm not saying this makes him stupid or a bad person or anything – virtually all of us pay taxes in one form or another, the overwhelming majority of us in lots of different forms. It's difficult to get out of; like you say, some (though not all) who attempt to avoid being robbed in this fashion get kidnapped by government goons and locked in cages.
I was in the U.S. government's military myself (Army Reserves). In my experience, most of the people I met there were in primarily for the pay and benefits or other personal reasons (one guy in Basic Training who was much older than the rest of our platoon seemed to be motivated by wanting to prove (to himself? to others?) that he could hack it (and indeed, he outperformed most of us!). I could not say for certain that I encountered a single person who was there mainly for altruistic or patriotic reasons. In other words, if they hadn't been getting compensated, I believe few if any of those soldiers would have voluntarily been there.
True, I volunteered in the sense that I was not drafted, but I did not volunteer in the strict sense of working as a labor of love or duty. I did it because I thought it would help me in my life. And again my impression was that the same was true of virtually all of my fellow soldiers. In fact, I was probably more idealistic and patriotic about it than most – at the time I was much more nationalist and in favor of government military interventionism than I am now, and my support for actions like opposing Saddam Hussein's regime was one of the things that prompted me to sign up. Nevertheless, it was still a job, done as an employee, for compensation. That is why I generally use the terminology of saying I and others "worked" in the U.S. government's military rather than saying we "served" (so please do not thank me for my "service"!).
Anyway, I digress. What I want to say is that while I was fortunately never put in such a situation, if as a soldier I'd received an illegal or immoral order to violate someone's rights, then I would have been faced with the choice of whether to serve my country (i.e. the cause of freedom, humanity, etc.) or to serve the U.S. government. Certainly it's untrue to say that no one in a government military organization is serving their country, but unless they insist upon thinking for themselves and using their own moral judgement, rather than just being a sheep and doing what they're told, soldiers likely will be serving government rather than country. Belonging to Oath Keepers (www.OathKeepers.org) is one characteristic often shared by those in the U.S. military and law enforcement who have their eyes open and are consciously resisting being tools of evil.
But a lot of people, including Bill Schoonover it sounds like, aren't exercising enough critical thinking and taking the trouble to distinguish in their minds between things that help the U.S. government, and things that help people in the U.S., or people in general. This is unfortunate, because if you measure your enemies by who is actually doing you the most harm, the biggest enemy of the American people is the U.S. government. Just as the biggest enemy of the people in Russia is the Putin regime, the biggest enemy of people in France is the French government, etc. It's a global problem, and the people of the world need to exercise more solidarity against those who would rule, rob, and control us, instead of allowing them to pit us against each other!
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))