By Rosetta Miller Perry (Navy) and Ms. June (Air Force)
Veterans that have had to endure the American flag being bastardized, the national anthem being politicized, and constant disrespect has become a sad part of life. It is extremely disappointing that citizens who have never served in the military have so many opinions and have become emboldened to disrespect Veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The observance of Veterans day represents individuals with courage and enough love for their country to volunteer to put their lives on the dotted line. Outside of the draft period the military of today is truly an all-volunteer force. A force that loses dignity, goes through humiliation and degradation beyond belief in the form of basic training only to rise and become a soldier. An individual can be a doctor, a lawyer, a pastor or a pilot but unless they have served their country and worn the military uniform, then a soldier will remain as one of the most honorable and dignified jobs on the planet.
The world’s largest bully that hails from the White House is beneath the newly minted soldier without rank, the leading double triple free throw player in the NBA is nothing compared to a petite female soldier with a M-16 assault weapon and at the end of the day, not everyone can do it. But those who can and have served deserve better acknowledgement and gratitude than what the United States is serving them.
Veterans Day is a time to thank the families that gave all as their military member lies beneath a headstone in a graveyard, a time to thank the Veterans that have lost vision and arms or legs and even those so full of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from military experiences they could snap anytime and kill everyone in sight. This is a time to pay it forward and check on the military widows, read to the children that has lost their military father or even buy a hot meal for a Veteran at Operation Stand Down.
It is the responsibility of every American that knows a Veteran to “thank them for their service” on Veterans day, to eliminate the politics from football and keep the knee and the police brutality issue in proper context. Other than those that die in battle, some soldiers get to retire and hang their dog tags on the mantle, some are still here but homeless on the street due to politics and closure of VA medical centers while others have thriving careers as civilians but are still soldiers to the core. One thing for sure is the fact that from the Army to the Navy, the Air Force to the Marines and the Peace Corps, soldiers don’t die, they fade away. Veterans represent freedom, values and liberties enjoyed by every American and the least one can do is say “thank you.”
This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.