Today is indeed Veteran's Day, a day which the country gives thanks to those who serve(d) in the armed forces. Many in the media, traditional and social, remind us of how we should honor those in uniform by showing our gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted.
I know many veterans, but none of which signed up for any sense of patriotic duty. I may be mistaken, but the norm amongst my social circle was that they joined up to enjoy the benefits of service, get an education, see the world, learn a trade, etc. Regardless of their intentions they do deserve a thanks and much, much more.
While I'm sure all who we honor are grateful for our thanks, I can't help but feel that it might ring hollow. While they cheat death at their jobs an apathetic nation sits back in their Snuggies while consuming shallow bits of pop culture and make little to no attempt to shape policy in their favor. When's the last time any of us have written a Congressman to extend medical benefits for them? Oh I forgot government run health care is evil socialism. Sorry.
Worse still is we Americans don't give two shits about our foreign policy. We turn a blind eye to the lessons of history and shrug our shoulders when soldiers are sent to perish to put third world tyrants in power or protect corporate interests. Look at our news today. It's never about the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq where many lose their lives. It's all about self interests, our economy, Taylor Swift, etc.
The military doesn't make policy, we civilians do. Instead of exercising our rights to benefit those in uniform we instead make Facebook status updates and blog posts...wait what?
If we really want to give thanks we'd take action instead of just reciting words we're told to say. So while I do give praise to those who serve; past, present, and future I also have to apologize for not doing enough to make their service a better one.
So today dear readers I give you one of my favorite military songs that was used in one of my least favorite war film:
"On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind." - Dan Lipinski