But for some reasons veterans and their families are left to fade into history with haste. To be sure, those veterans who received accolades and medals, should be household names. Folks like Audie Murphy or Alvin York or Joe Foss are the stuff of military legend because someone decided that they should be legends.
Most others though, aren’t immortalized by books or movies. Guys like Richard Naputi, Gregory Huxley or Justin Carter will be remembered with love within their respective family circles, but not very far beyond that, and that is America’s shame. It is beyond logic that, as an entire nation, America has forgotten that there are millions of veterans in the world who suffer the same emotional and physical scars as any other person who has seen combat or the horrific results of combat. Each one of them walks around every day full of the screams and smells they slogged through, each one having experienced enough horror for any ten people. All bottled up like soda in a shaken can, waiting to pop.
Then there are the families. The families go through their own kind of hell. They watch young girls and boys, full of wonder and excitement, as the slip off into the distance and become men and women in uniform. The tension doesn’t start until the news comes that a deployment is imminent. There is a need to touch the person who enlisted and spend time with them before they leave. Anything could happen, good or bad, but the bad always overshadows anything good that might happen. It is never spoken, but everyone knows that the hug or kiss before they leave might be the last.
Then, there the family tries to settle in, attempting to force a normalcy that everyone involved knows is a lie. The television news becomes a frustrating cluster___, first because the content is fabricated crap meant to drive ratings and dollars, then because they never seem focus on the real news. The family unit is under stress so negatively powerful that it is no wonder the bonds sometimes snap. Trying to hold together a family emotionally is hard enough, but trying to hold one together financially is nearly impossible. Military wives and husbands deserve our absolute gratitude and the children who grow up in the void caused by deployment deserve a national hug every day.
Funny how easy it is for all of us, including the Conservative Collective, to remember that special dog or girlfriend or boyfriend, but we are very hard pressed to know the name of even one veteran outside our personal circle. So, next time you see a guy or gal wearing a veterans hat or you see someone who is obviously active military, just walk up to them and say “thank you.” Just a handshake and a sincere “thank you”. The World War 2 veterans really enjoy a show of thanks. If one can find a Korean War veteran or Merchant Marine veteran, you would be lucky indeed and you should be honored by meeting them.
That’s not asking a lot. Or given What America has been transformed into, maybe it is and if that is true, then we are pathetic. So you say you don’t want to be pathetic? Then go find a veteran TODAY…shake his or her hand and tell them THANK YOU…really and truly… THANK YOU!
Then, do it again tomorrow.