Happy Veterans Day, if you’re one of them. If you happen to just be inconvenienced by two Tuesdays in a row that were kind of a holiday but not really, then….sorry?
I think it’s wonderful that we have a day to celebrate those who have served so that we don’t have to, and I mean that whether or not you agree with anything that our armed forces actually do – we can all agree that the actual troops aren’t the ones making these choices. I work with a lot of vets for a variety of reasons, and so I have a list of things that it would be nice if we remembered every day, but especially today.
- I already said it: the wars aren’t their fault.
- We are here because they VOLUNTEERED for this job, which by most definitions blows. There are lots of reasons that people join the armed forces, but the long and the short of it is that at this point in history we don’t have a draft because there are many who are willing to just up and go. I’m glad for that.
- The vets who were drafted in the past fought just as hard as those who volunteered for any assignment. And, drafted or not, the mental health upon return from assignment of our soldiers is usually a hot mess, to put it frankly. They see things that humans shouldn’t have to see/do/hear, and it wears on them in really big ways. There is very little forgetting once those experiences have occured, and coupled with the military’s “get over it” attitude, it’s TOUGH to re-enter society.
- Any member of our society who has served in the military, whether or not they’ve actually seen combat, needs to be treated very gently, with respect and kindness and love. Even if we don’t have the words to say or a true understanding of what it might be like to be in that position, being kind is always useful. Saying thank you never hurts, either.