Monday, September 24, 2007

A Rant, If I may

I'm going to say something unpopular today, and as much as I am loathe to give offense, some of what I say may offend some of you. Hold on tight.

Here is the thing: I'm getting a little tired of all the, what I call "veteran worship" going on these days. Although I think that our veterans are worthy of respect simply because in a society where fewer and fewer people are willing to serve their country in uniform, credit belongs to those "in the arena".

Our veterans are (mostly) good people who have given our country the benefit of their service, usually deriving no small benefit of their own from their military/naval experience. Indeed, where I work, you'll find that 80 percent of the men are veterans.

Our veterans have served their country in war, peace, "police actions", counter insurgencies, and wars that have no names. Our veterans have done things most Americans will never have to do... or even imagine having to do.

I come from a family of military men. My dad was a career soldier, as was my brother. My father-in-law is a navy veteran of combat in the pacific during World war Two.

I am proud to be a veteran, and proud of my fellow veterans.

What I am NOT proud of is listening to a bunch of @*#&%$* politicians simpering out how American soldiers are serving in Iraq to protect our freedoms, etc...

Our military men and women are being done a disservice by our country. While they are serving our country and fighting a war at the command of our government, this should not be misconstrued as fighting to protect my freedom... or yours. They have been ill-used by rascals and scoundrels of both major parties, for political reasons, and I am disgusted by it.

Most of my male friends are veterans. Soccergirl's Godparents are vetereans. I have friends that have served in Beirut, Lebanon, the first Gulf War, the Invasion of Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and fought Philippine rebels in the jungles (didn't hear about that one, did you?... well, none of them were to wear the Purple Heart medal for their combat wounds). Some of those friends are terribly embittered. Not because our country didn't fall over itself, kissing their asses when they got home, but because they realize that their efforts were frequently for nothing.... because they were ill-used by their government.

Oh sure... the rhetoric can be downright heart-breaking, with bumper stickers like: "If you value freedom, thank a vet" which is nice, but unless you are thanking a veteran of world war two, you are probably wasting your time. Our soldiers haven't fought to physically defend America since then.

Anyway... our veterans deserve better. Our active duty servicemen and women deserve better. They deserve better than being the wounded, maimed, fucked-up, political ponies that our politicians are making out of them.

19 comments:

Desert Songbird said...

Amen. But I'm still sending the care package to my nephew currently in Iraq, and I'm STILL including the thank you notes from my blog readers. I'm proud of him for his service, so I'll do my part.

PunditMom said...

Absolutely NO offense over hear, GF. You are absolutely right.

dawn224 said...

You've earned the right/privilege/whatever is the most applicable word to state your thoughts on this. No offense taken here - continue to speak your peace, I'm coming back for more.

Janet said...

Well said. As much as I miss my father, I am glad that he died before we invaded Iraq. I know it would have broken his heart. He told me once that he felt he had been sold out, that they had fought World War II to end wars and bring peace and people had done nothing but start more wars ever since. I learned from him that the best way to honor our veterans is to pursue peace.

Gunfighter said...

DS,

I would never discourage you from sending anything to a serving soldier.

PM & Dawn,

Thanks!

Janet,

Your father was a wise man, and you, my friend are your father's daughter.

cathouse teri said...

Very well put.

Mamma said...

Couldn't agree more.

Madame M. said...

Yup. What you say rings very true. It's pretty horrible, to use innocent people to make a point.

Linda said...

As the daughter of a Korean War/Vietnam War veteran who died from exposure to Agent Orange and as a veteran of the Air Force myself, I just wanted to say that this post is very well stated and I agree with you completely as I'm sure my father would have were he not over four years gone from this world.

Politicians use anything they can to better their advantage and to use our troops like this is appalling. Thank you for stating it so well.

PT-LawMom said...

Amen, GF! And where are the politicians when the troops come back maimed and disfigured and can't get the long-term medical services and other benefits they were promised. It really sucks! Good for you for not towing the party line. :) You can support the troops and not support the war.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I couldn't agree with you more here, GF. Well stated, my friend, sadly and truly well stated! Every time I see a maimed solider at the store (I live hear Walter Reed), I want to express my gratitude and apologize simultaneously. It is shameful that we our president and his minions use our willing young men and women in this way. Simply shameful.

Heather said...

I see your points. My Dad is a Vet and he often gets angry about people's attitudes toward Vets and current military. Truthfully, that is their JOB to be where they are "needed." The needed part is what is in debate.

I wish we didn't need military, but it sure seems impossible to have an entire planet "get along." If only it were that simple.

Becky said...

Yes. You may.

Jen said...

Couldn't agree more.

MedStudentWife said...

In this, I'm totally with you GF -

Here is a bit of a rant I have been trying to figure out how to post... guess I'll start here - for some reason this blog just seemed a good place to comment.....

You know the silent story ? I don't know if its the same in the States, but here ( part of what I see in what I do), our ex-members ( and members), who may not have served in a Nato, or UN or a "war" or what ever, are at this moment our major "physically wrecked & ruined" from their day-to-day training over their years of service to be "ready".

There are a lot of "disabled",or those that need some sort of workplace accommodation, let alone the limitations they have at home, the pain, the grumpiness... people out there, who are somewhat silent, because the military taught them not to complain,yet they need the help.

I just wish there was a way of recognizing this. I'm trying in my workplace, in my small way to have people see a slightly bigger picture of this issue .... but it isnt going anywhere other than me doing what little I can do on an individual basis.

Rant over -

Tsiporah said...

As a veteran myself I thank you for this.

CableGirl said...

"Our military men and women are being done a disservice by our country. While they are serving our country and fighting a war at the command of our government, this should not be misconstrued as fighting to protect my freedom... or yours. They have been ill-used by rascals and scoundrels of both major parties, for political reasons, and I am disgusted by it."

Hear hear!!!!

I find it offensive in the extreme that our government has no compunction about using our soldiers for political ends. People who are willing to sign their lives over to protecting our country and our people should not be maltreated for personal of political ends. They should command the respect from the body which they serve.

Anonymous said...

What branch of the service were you in and what years were you on active duty? Just curious.

Gunfighter said...

USMC 1981 - 1989