Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Memorial Day NOT Veteran's Day

Folks, it's NOT Veteran's Day. It's Memorial Day.

Know the difference.

Thank you for those who died while in service.

On Veteran's Day, I will concentrate on letting those who are still living have their special day. But today, it's for those who DIED. Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are not the same, and if you get them mixed up, it makes you sound uninformed.

It's also not the case that there is not respect on other days or every single day, but holidays are such that, for instance, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day on Christmas Day or Mother's Day on Father's Day. Get my meaning?

Another thing: I grew up a military brat. My father, uncles, and stepfathers were in the military. I nearly went into the Air Force, in fact. So I respect the military and those who sacrifice.

I do not agree with the wars we've been fighting because I respect the troops enough that I hate the fact that so many have lost their lives or been injured/maimed because George W. Bush had a hard-on for war to avenge his daddy. And hey, let's face it: war is profitable (it was for Cheney and Halliburton!). The sad part is it's not just money that's spent, it's human lives.

I respect the troops enough NOT to spend their lives cheaply -- and these trumped-up wars, in my view, cost countless lives in unnecessary ways. But anyway, the point is that I value our troops enough that I do not like when politicians send them to war unless it's absolutely necessary.

Finally, please hear me out: people who could not serve in the military, for whatever reason, are NOT any less human beings than those who have. I get tired of being seen as a second-class citizen simply because I am not in the military. This trend of seeing the rest of America as 'less than' or bottom of the barrel just because they haven't served -- for whatever reason -- is divisive and unnecessary.

This is a relatively recent thing, though, because I do not remember this being an issue back in the 70s and 80s when my family was in the military. I do not remember any of my family -- my dad, my uncles, my stepfathers (both of them) -- looking at civilians with disdain or as if they weren't good people or as deserving of respect because they were civilian.

There are plenty of civilians here and abroad who also do important jobs -- many for the military, as support. So please, do not treat civilians as if they're beneath you and less patriotic somehow, because we are not. Two that come to mind are our friends, David Carter and Michelle Lee Carter, who are currently stationed in Germany. So please, do not cast shade toward civilians. Especially when you want us to respect you.

This is our country -- all of us. We are in this together.

Happy Memorial Day, and thanks.