I did not do my customary blog entry on Veterans Day yesterday. To be honest, it was more out of embarrassment, than anything else.
As everyone went about engaging the socially acceptable platitude of “Thanking a Veteran”, I could not help but be very uncomfortable by what I have been watching happen to our Veterans in recent years. The day as a holiday yesterday, made me even more miserable about being an American.
It is no secret, nor is it news in any way, that War is waged on the backs of our youth. That the Political Will, embedded in a Nation’s employing of Imperialism, is carried out under order by our Military.
But what has happened to us when as a Nation, we have leaders who think nothing of kicking Veterans in the mouth when their active service is complete, as a matter of policy?
As I watched the President issue his rhetoric-driven Veterans Day message yesterday, I could not even be angry about the amorality of it, as I have come to expect that sort of thing from the man, as it is part of the job description for Politicians to tell us what we want to hear. He exemplifies the most pointed aspects of bad leadership to me. An expensive mistake in many ways.
But those people who went to War deserve more than words. In fact, they need much more.
I am seriously embarrassed by what I am seeing Vets go through today.
Here is a telling piece from the New York Times on losing a son to a broken system.
Yesterday I was sent a very inspiring story written by Kevin Cody, which is about a Surfer named Peff Eick, and a music video the veteran of Vietnam had made, and the man’s continuing service to his fellows. Read the article and watch the video here.
Bill Moyers writes on it all, here.
Tom Waits nails it all down, in Hell Broke Luce, and shares it here.
Hell Broke Luce was informed by this story.
I hope this series of links serves to better inform us all regarding the larger scale of our Veterans, who I see not as victims, really, but as highly trained assets that were a part of a disciplined fighting force. A great leader does not flush high value assets. You care for them.
You also never leave your people behind, let alone kick them when they are down. This is a Military standard, not a generally accepted public one. We maybe ought to consider changing that.
Thank a Vet? Bullshit. Words are cheap. Do something for them. There is a high value in that. And it is not because it feels good or gets you some sense of belonging, but because it is the right thing to do. Maybe if we all hold ourselves to that standard, at some point we will begin to elect people to office who will as well.