World War I was horrible. With its trench warfare, barbed wire, no man’s land, mechanized warfare, and poison gas, it was a nightmare that ended because of sickness. The Spanish flu incapacitated and kill so many men, peace was declared because there wasn’t enough cannon fodder to go around.
That was Nov 11 1918.
The following year President Wilson proclaimed Nov 11 as Armistice Day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. You know how that turned out.
By May of 1938 Armistice Day became a national holiday. Following the next declared world war Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954. Politics wasn’t done yet with a day dedicated to the men and women who served, fought and died to preserve our way of life.
1968 made Veterans Day part of a three day holiday for federal employees and the rest of the nation followed. This made the day float to the nearest Monday. Bowing to political pressure, President Ford moved the day back to Nov 11 starting in 1978.
Since WWII, we have seen many undeclared mini world wars which have been described as police action or nation building in distant lands. In any case Americans stepped up, went to fight, suffer, and die because we asked them.
They come back to a nation that often acts embarrassed by them. Many veterans have trouble finding jobs, adjusting to ‘normal’ life and suffer health issues, both physical and mental. Many in our nation would like to sweep these inconvenient troubles under the rug with substandard facilities and treatment. We are so wrong to do that.
I see veterans with the face of a dead comrade tattooed to their leg. I cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of the loss that would have them carve another’s likeness into their flesh.
On the very day set aside to remember their sacrifices and losses, veterans walk into Denny’s, Bob Evans or their neighborhood bar and they find some asshole wearing Army issue boots, Navy insignias and Air Force wings claiming to be a special Army Seal. The reality is these fakers are nothing but an advertisement for mil surplus stores and the power of the Internet.
At best these Thieves of Valor deserve nothing but our scorn and public shame.
This is a picture of a thief outed by people who know more than I do. I couldn't bring myself to give him even a crumb more of publicity, even bad publicity
Put your flag out on Veterans Day. Remember both the living and the dead who stepped up to the plate so you can celebrate this day and any other day in just about any manner you wish. But if you really want to do something, next time you find yourself working with a veteran, cut him or her a little slack if their head doesn’t seem to be in the game.
I’m sure they have more important things on their mind.