Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans' Day 2019

Veterans' Day always weirds me out a bit... our society has a strange, split relationship with veterans. We are exhorted to 'thank the troops', but social programs for veterans are often on the chopping block when budgets come up for a vote. Veterans are used as props in political ads, but are swept under the rug when it comes time to address the social difficulties they encounter.

I'm glad that my two younger brothers are now retired from the US Army. The idea that they would be serving under an ignorant, incoherent autocrat-wannabe who has weakened alliances and gutted the diplomatic corp was disquieting. I've long maintained that our foreign policy should not take the form of a 'military response first' strategy, and the idea that Trump plans on using the military as a mercenary force is utterly abhorrent.

At the tail end of this Veterans' Day, I still have mixed feelings about our treatment of veterans. As a society, we need to do better, not only for the men and women who serve in the armed forces, but by the other residents of the globe, who deserve a more measured foreign policy, one in which high-speed chunks of metal aren't the first recourse of a nation which claims to embody lofty ideals.

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