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A More Nuanced Veteran’s Day Message

Today is the day that everyone thanks all the veterans for their service and if you are a thoughtful person who doesn’t think that every single veteran deserves thanks, you are un-American apparently. Last year I wrote a similar blog and some people didn’t bother to read what I wrote and just labeled me a veteran hater. So let me try this again.

There are many veterans who serve this country. Many of them serve with honor and distinction. Many veterans are true heroes. Many veterans risk their lives because they believe in the principles of freedom and democracy. But many don’t.

My uncle is going to turn 90 years old soon. He is a veteran of World War II. He has received the Purple Heart and is a true hero. I want to honor him for his service, but I don’t want to lump him in with some of the soldiers who have joined our military for less then honorable reasons and/or who have acted dishonorably while serving. To do so would be a disservice to those true heroes who are honor worthy.

Let’s face facts here; some soldiers can’t wait to go to Iraq and/or Afghanistan so they can shoot people for fun. Some soldiers have no problem killing civilians just for sport. Some soldiers act dishonorably. Some soldiers are just assholes. Some soldiers are not fighting for any noble purpose, but rather just want to blow shit up. That to me is not the same as the genuine heroism of other soldiers who are out there fighting for the principles of freedom and democracy and serve with honor and distinction. It isn’t fair to them to praise and thank all soldiers unilaterally when some really deserve it while others don’t.

My point here is that not all soldiers are the same. Some are genuine heroes who fight because they have a sense of honor and duty while others are just bullies with guns. So on this Veteran’s Day, I have a more nuanced thank you to those veterans who I think truly deserve it. So for all the veterans who have served with honor and distinction and who fight to protect and preserve our freedoms and democracy I want to thank you genuinely for your service and your sacrifices. You know who you are.

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