Veterans are people too: Let’s remember that on Veterans Day
by Mike Killalea, NSD president
Naysayers not withstanding, the USA has improved significantly since I was a kid. One of the biggest advancements, of course, is the albeit incomplete pursuit of racial justice. We are a long way from perfect, but it’s sure better than in the 1950s.
Another decided improvement since I served is public appreciation of military people and veterans. I served during (not in!) the undeclared Vietnam War. Vietnam stirred up more emotions and divisions among Americans than arguably any other war — even more than Iraq.
I was a lowly sailor, trying to keep my head down, do my job, and avoid the BS that’s the due of all enlisted grunts.
The BS hasn’t changed, but the attitudes of the American people sure have. During my fun-filled four-year military tenure, we in uniform were really not people at all.
We were symbols. For the hawks, we were symbols of all freedom-loving patriots throughout American history. For the doves, we were either baby killers or hapless dupes in the service of evil policies.
I’m grateful that most Americans honor the bravery of our sisters, brothers, parents, and all who have served our nation and the sacrifices they made to protect our freedom.
Please remember that not everyone returns whole. Let’s honor them all, and help those who need it.
Happy Vets Day! And remember the breakfast this morning at the fire station on Bronco Lane — 8-11 am.