What Do We Owe Veterans?

Every year on Veterans Day, I’ve always started my blog by taking a moment to say thanks to the members of my family who have served in the military: My husband, my daughter, my son, and my brother.

My daughter, Dany, was in the Army and son, David, was in the Marines. They spent many years debating which branch was the best, and still have a friendly rivalry. Dany did not serve during an active war, but David served during Desert Storm.

My husband was in the Air Force, and, like Dany, he was lucky enough to miss conflict.

My brother, Michael, served in the Army in Vietnam. It was the worst two years of his life. Need I say more?

Going further back, every generation of my father’s family had men serving in the military all the way to the Revolutionary War. As I walked the small family graveyard in West Virginia a number of years ago, I looked at all the headstones with no small measure of sadness. Many of those men gave very short-lived lives for the wars in which they served.

Was it worth it? Is any war worth the lives it claims?

While serving in the military is something that I support and honor on a patriotic level, I also agree with what the wise and irascible Andy Rooney said on 60 minutes back in 2009. He wondered why we don’t have a day that honors not going to war.

He said, “Too many young men and women with a whole life ahead of them are getting killed before they have a chance to live it – and for what?

Of all the things that men do – historically mostly men – fighting a war to kill other men is the most uncivilized.”

I loved those short segments Rooney did at the close of the show each week, and he never failed to nail a message straight on. No dancing around a sensitive topic for him.

I thought of that comment from Rooney today when I listened to a podcast from Comedy Central – The Daily Show with Trevor  Noah – who interviewed Jeffrey Wright about his HBO documentary “We Are Not Done Yet.” The film showcases his work with veterans who are dealing with PTSD and are processing that through poetry and theatre.

In the interview, Wright made a statement that brought pause, “We need to do more for veterans that merely say, ‘Thank you for your service.'”

And, as Andy Rooney suggested, maybe we need to stop sending young men and women off to killing fields, so we don’t have to say thank you at all, and they don’t have to spend a good part of the rest of their lives fighting a personal war.

Before I sign off for today, I want to let you know about a contest that I’m sponsoring with a number of other authors. We all have our books at discounted prices, so you can get the Kindle version of my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant & a Paycheck, for only $2.99 for the span of the contest, which runs from now through November 23. The book is also free for Kindle Unlimited.

The contest is run by The Kindle Book Review and you can enter for a chance to win a $400 Amazon eGift Card just in time to shop BLACK FRIDAY. You can enter every day, so bookmark the page and go back often.

That’s all for me for today, folks. It’s a damp, drizzly, chilly day here in my corner of Northeast Texas, so I think a cup of hot tea, a good book, and a quilt are in my near future. What about you? Plans for today? The week? Whatever is on your agenda, be safe, be happy.

Do leave a comment sharing your thoughts about Veterans Day.

2 thoughts on “What Do We Owe Veterans?”

  1. Maryann, this is a lovely post. <3 We are just starting a movement to knit and crochet poppies to decorate the area where we live for next year. It feels like a loving reminder to remember the sacrifice made every day and hopefully, will pull our community together a little more. <3

    1. Jane, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Every time I think of war and the aftermath, the song, “Where Have All the FLowers Gone” comes to mind. In fact, one year I linked to the song from my Veterans Day blog post. I love the idea of knitting the poppies. I belong to a knitting group that might like to do the same so I will ask the ladies.

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