Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

I seem to say this often, but it so often bears saying.  I think we should respect the fact that soldiers go to war with the propaganda of chauvinism in their minds.  they are told that they are doing something wonderful for US citizens, regardless of the moral justification for whatever war they are fighting. Once in the war, they kill and they often get killed. they watch their comrades die. they live lives of fear and drudgery and horror. and they come home often with terrible physical and emotional wounds the rest of us can barely imagine.

for those who believe the propaganda, i feel sorrow and respect. for those who go so they can get better education, and/or support their families, and/or offer their children better lives than they have had, i also feel sorrow. i do not feel thankful--at least not towards veterans of any recent war.  world war 2, yes.  korea, vietnam, iraq, afghanistan, no.  i am sad that they have been used as cannon fodder for the rich and powerful in the US, but i am not grateful.

what i do feel that we owe them is far from what they get all too often--help, consistent, steady medical and emotional help for the aftereffects of what has been done to them.  that there are homeless vets, unemployed vets, suicidal vets, vets living in misery and confusion because of the wars they've fought: this is a national disgrace. instead of easy flagwaving and more propaganda, our government should offer as much healing as is possible for the permanently scarred men and women among this much-heralded and little-helped population. for that, at least, i would be thankful.

No comments: