First, a few points as we celebrate this important holiday …
1) “All” means everyone who wore a uniform and agreed to serve in any of the military forces of the United States of America.
When I was growing up, this meant men who served in World War II and Korea. That has changed and we are all better for that change.
We should thank God and our countrymen who have made this word “all” really mean something. The military is much more diverse now because brave, thoughtful, and decent people opened the way and championed the ability to serve, regardless of sex, gender, race, national origin, creed, or other dividing identities.
2) “Served” means did some job somewhere in the line of that service.
Not everyone who has served went to war. Not everyone who has served did heroic things in that service. Some of us just tried to do our jobs, where we were, to the best of our ability, under sometimes challenging conditions. Not everyone who served qualifies for veteran’s benefits.
Some who served did so under horrific and brutal conditions for long periods of time. Some qualify as true heroes in anyone’s book. Others just did the tedious work of support and administration.
Some trained and prepared for violence which never came. Other had unexpected violence thrust upon them.
All served … this is about honoring that service.
3) Military service is honorable work, not a political statement.
Serving in the military is a full-time job in the fullest sense of that phrase. Just ask a vet about overtime pay:).
Honoring our veterans should say NOTHING about your position on war, on the use of violence for political means, who you voted for or against, or what ideals you spend your time defending and promoting.
With this firmly in mind, I propose the following action steps for us all today:
Find a veteran
Look them in the eye
Shake their hand
Say “Thank you for your service. We do appreciate it.”
Repeat as needed
All military service in the name of our country is being honored today ~ in the past, present, and into our shared future. No exceptions, no exclusions, no qualifiers.
I just wish we did not need a special day to remind us of this sacred duty.
Looking for a few good hands to shake in the Heartland ….
John, MAJ, USAR Retired
- Hi, I’m a Veteran. No Thanks are Necessary (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- Thoughts on Veteran’s Day 2012 (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com)
- A Veterans Day Like None Other Before (theatlantic.com)
- Texas man remembers eight war veterans from same family (star-telegram.com)
- Veterans Day 2012 – Fly your flag today (timpanogos.wordpress.com)
- Veterans Day commands attention (newsobserver.com)
- Obama honors veterans, promises benefits (cbsnews.com)