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Veterans Day 2015

November 11, 2015

Break out the poppies ‘cause it’s no bed of roses.
Is it any tougher to be a Veteran today than it was nearly 240 years ago? In some ways yes, in others no. For those who served and survived combat, surviving the awkwardness of life after it has always been difficult. Some Veterans have been honored and supported. Some have not. It is our individual responsibility to give respect and support to our Veterans and active military. Veterans Day 2015 - it's no bed of roses

Back in the day…
Veterans find their return path to home strewn with obstacles of many kinds. Those who fought on their home front in the infancy of this country possibly received more understanding and deference than those who served in the great World Wars. Soldiers returning from Korea and Vietnam received a disconcerting mix of negative and positive responses. 40, 50, even 60 years passed before those particular sacrifices and service were acknowledged and appreciated. Far too late, unfortunately, for many.

Another fine mess…
Young and old soldiers alike have been deployed to the Middle East for over 25 years now, rotating in and out of deserts, rocky hills and devastated cities. They want to make a difference in the world, to build rather than destroy, and to make the world a safer place to live in, but politics thwart their every move. A sad fact that undoubtedly has plagued virtually all armed conflicts since the dawn of humanity. Leaders at the highest levels appear to be at cross purposes, intent on their unshared personal agendas. They ignore what the boots on the ground have come to know. Our soldiers do not want to be disposable pawns in this insane game of chess, nor do they deserve to be left hanging out to dry when unspeakable nasty stuff hits the fan.

Meanwhile back at the ranch…
Professional agitators stir the melting pot – not to blend, but to separate us. Salt is poured into partly healed wounds while creating fresh ones that should never have been made. Caught in this vortex of fear, ignorance, outrage, and blatant corruption are our military. Strident voices shockingly call for the castration or even dissolution of our forces, at a time when they are needed most on the home front.

Stand by your man/woman (in uniform)…
A growing tide of voices clamor for a lifetime of promises made to our men and women in uniform to be fulfilled – while silently praying that all those oaths taken to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic will hold millions* true to their word. It may be that the most difficult battle for our active military and all living Veterans has yet to begin. I pray that battle will not need to happen.

* — According to a March 19, 2015 newsletter article at fivethirtyeight.com referencing statistics from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans Day 2015 - break out the poppies  - it's no bed of roses

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