I am also a soldier. I see the news reports of the Iraqi prison abuse scandal, and wonder who let that happen. I see the atrocities comitted by both sides in the current conflict, and I constantly have to rethink my commitment to serve. I believe I am serving for the 'right' reasons, but I may also be naive. But that's for another node.
I look at my 3 year old daughter, and I HAVE to have hope. I would go mad otherwise. I live for her smile. I live to hear her laugh at my corny jokes. I live to see her eyes light up as I read her favorite book (currently Horton Hears a Who).
I am an atheist. I do not believe that hope can be found in religion. I know that this is not at all a popular stance, but who we are, where we are is all we've got. I also know that there seems to be little hope to be found outside of religion, but still will I hold out for it. As I said, I may be naive.
Our current 'democracy' also leaves little room for hope. I voted for the current president in 2000. I do not regret that vote, but I will not do that again. I am not sure that his opponent will be any better. Politicians are interchangeable anymore, and there is no 'greater' or 'lesser' evil. Except, perhaps, Chthulu, but I don't know how to get on his campaign staff.
It's difficult, maybe impossible, to find hope for our collective future. Otherwise there would be no point in existing. So I will still wait for it. I may have found it in my little girl's smile.