What does Donald Trump know, or care, of Minute Men – Yanks & Rebs – Doughboys – GI Joes & Janes – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Veterans are what become of those we send off to war to kill or be killed, even bleed-out in foreign lands, keeping us free to stay behind, without a peek at war’s grime and grind.
Veterans are what’s left of the 1% we tell, go to war is hell, who return battle scared, physically wounded, too often, visibly or not, mentally and psychologically maimed. War leaves neither Veteran nor nation, the same.
With or without ticker-tape parades, Times Square kiss or posthumous presidential proclamations, post war homeland lacks opportunity, welcome home jobs or life of peace. Admit it, after war, for most, supporting Veterans is an empty boast.
Dog Tags no longer saluted as badge of honor; cheers and support our troops, like government and civilian population, fade away. Our Veterans are not left behind by combat buddies on the field, but rather deserted in the waiting rooms, employment offices and absent from duty affordable housing and healthcare deal.
No, not the Veteran, but those who give the order, wave fare-thee-well, pawn the volunteered blood, sweat and tears to die, if necessary, to preserve, protect and defend the ruling corporate empire, once again. No, not my friend and yours, the Veteran, but those kept safe from harm on American shores – they are the ones who turn away, when Johnny comes marching home from wars.
There is little less American than those who continue to deny the truth unseen by averted eyes: We are the world begins as often in a Wall Street board room, as a Middle America home for Memorial holiday, memorializing e-coli on the family grill.
Yes we love defenders of our piece of the millennium of conveniences to which we’ve become too digitally attached to see beyond the tip of our noses to the melted tip of icebergs, mountain top removal, intentional Coal Ash runoffs and What The Fracking regurgitates.
Pretend, or even blind patriotism can run amok when as new national pastime, we rest on our laurels, heads bowed, eyes lowered, whether to Bible or iPhone. Focused on making the next buck, we toss aside promises now easily disposable at the expense of those we deem expendable.
Yeah, who needs Veterans anyway, or our defining moment, an Emma Lazarus ideal torched by The Statue of Liberty? When will our Red, White and Blue be Brown, Yellow, Black and Native American enough for the King in you?
In search of quick and easy answers, we fail the fallen in advance and forget the heroes who follow. Now home, lay down the sword, honor the dead, heal both mass shooting assassinaters and families full of dread. Live to serve all who’ve sacrificed and been sacrificed to violence and war. For those who stayed and those who’ve returned, let not one patient’s needs be ignored.
We are better served not by decapitating heads like Veteran Eric Shinseki, but rather guaranteeing safe food, clean water and educational equality; then abolishing privatized prisons for profit and growing police state – a banking and government investment merger to marginalize the brown immigrant and black slave descendant.
What all Americans need, civilians and Veterans alike, is for the served, protected, loved and missed now receive in-kind, more than meaningless clichés replacing substantive Congressional leadership with political fantasy; more gender, educational and economic equality of opportunity; more active grassroots for Out of Many, One advocacy.