By Madison S. Hughes (11.11.2011, revised 11.10.2013)
Veterans Day, like many if not most American holidays, is a paradoxical celebration at best, a fraud at worst, and intentionally so. Be it known to those who have not “served” in the military, that military personnel are not the heroes the media, and politicians make us out to be. We are simply economic conscripts trying to survive in an oligarchy of which most of us do not realize we are of part.
So, as one celebrates this Veterans Day, think less about the veterans themselves, and more about why we as country continue to have such an unquestioning demand for their inhumane services. For example, one may reflect upon the huge, tax evading, profit driven multinational corporations run by an oligarchy that rule the country that many mistake for a democracy.
I do not want to appear disrespectful or ungrateful, but should we meet on the street one day, do say “Hello,” or “Fine day” or other such nicety, but please do not thank me for “my service” as a United States Marine. I make this request because my service, as you refer to it, was basically, either to train to become a killer or to actually kill people and blow shit up.
Now, that is not something for which a person should be proud nor thanked. In fact, it is regrettable, and for me a source of guilt and shame, something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, as the past cannot ever be undone. So, when you thank me for my service, it disturbs me … a lot. First off, it brings to mind my wasted youth and lost innocence, and the horrible and unnecessary deaths of good friends and comrades. Second, it reminds me of my responsibility and culpability for the pain and suffering I caused innocent people, again something I would rather forget, but cannot. Third, it reinforces my belief that you have absolutely no idea about the nature and reality of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, because if you did, you would understand that thanks are inappropriate. Fourth, it reminds me that many of those who feel the need to offer thanks were apathetic about – or even supportive of – the war, while they refuse to participate themselves or did little or nothing to end it. And lastly, I have to admit that I doubt the sincerity of these expressions of supposed gratitude, as “Thank you for your service” is just something to say not because you care about what I did or sacrificed, but only to demonstrate your supposed good character, or patriotism and/or “support” for members of the military and veterans.
h/t: Daily Kos
h/t: Do Something