11/11/14

Heroes . . .

It may (to some) sound trite or cliche but Veterans Day, to me, is a really important thing that probably deserves more respect and reverence than it gets.

Let's be clear - Veterans Day, in the American-culture we all hate to love and love to hate, is as much about day's off, no mail, banks being closed, and sales and discounts galore in the marketplace as it is about honoring the men and women that have served our nation (more over our ideals (freedom, etc.)) over the years. Certainly for SOME the holiday still holds its intent but, like Christmas, Easter, July 4th, and Arbor Day - we've sorta lost our way on this occasion.

Here's the thing . . . I am fat, lazy, of poor vision, and pretty much a pacifist. The idea of being a soldier and fighting for something bigger than me, my child, or the last handful of Fritos is truly daunting. The idea of putting my life on the line (for anything other than Fritos) is nearly too much to consider.

Yet MILLIONS of people (not just here in the US but around the world for every flag of every nation) will sign up and do it. For free, for pay, for a job, for a career. Men, women, all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors. Military service may actually be the ONLY thing that every country of the world agrees on (sad, right?).

Sure, sure. There are lots of times when military action is "too soon" or "too much" or "too not advised" and - sure, sure - there are many incidents where individual (or smaller groups) of soldiers have done horrible, horrible things. I'm not defending either but find me an organization or group of people that has not made similar mistakes or acted in horrible ways.

I'm not sure exactly what we should do to honor our Veterans. Maybe just say "Thank you for your service." Perhaps buy them a nice, cold soda pop (or beverage of choice). We might offer them a meal or party. OR we could do basic things . . . give them an honest income, ensure their spouses and children are taken care of when they are off defending us and our ideals, offer support for them when they are struggling in service and after, give them training and tools to find jobs and careers after service, make sure they have a roof over their head and a meal on their plate. Never forget them. That doesn't seem so difficult, does it? And yet, here we are.

I guess we should go back to the even easier basics and say "Thank you for your service."

I very much appreciate it. Now pass me the Fritos.