In this inspiring TED talk, Dutch Army General and Chief of Defense General Peter van Uhm reflects on his choice to work to make a difference in his country and the world through military service. He speaks about his father's experience as a Dutch soldier during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and of his own desire to follow in the footsteps of soldiers who sacrificed and fought to liberate their country. He states, "Sometimes only the gun can stand between good and evil. And that is why I took up the gun. Not to shoot, not to kill, not to destroy. But to stop those who would do evil, to protect the vulnerable, to defend democratic values." He considers the gun (and the armed forces) to be an essential instrument of peace and stability to implement a democratic government's legitimate monopoly on violence. Armed forces empowered by democratic governments support and make possible increased peace and stability and decreased conflict and violence.