Friday, November 11, 2011

Plans, Not Platitudes

Today being Veterans' Day, I imagine that politicians of all stripes will bend over backwards to participate in photo ops with current members of the military, and will spew meaningless platitudes about "honor" and "duty" and "service". The sad reality is that veterans are currently facing high unemployment and potential cuts in benefits. Additionally, the rate of suicide attempts among veterans is nothing short of alarming.

One of the most offensive developments of an offensive decade was the development of the "If you are against the war, you are against the troops" meme. Meanwhile, the horrible persons who flogged this meme were massive profits while placing soldiers in danger by cutting corners.

On a more personal level, two young veterans have been injured in incidents of police brutality while protesting the unjust economic conditions which are disproportionately affecting veterans.

I don't have a television, so I will be spared the spectacle of military personnel and veterans being used as props, while their genuine needs are being unmet, and the "props" will be abandoned on the 12th. That being said, I still find this sort of hypocrisy appalling.

I take this sort of thing personally- my two younger brothers are commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, and my brother Vincenzo is currently in the greater Kandahar metropolitan area (coincidentally, he's "pinning on" a new rank today). My baby brother, Gomez, returned from Afghanistan earlier this year. My brother-in-law is a commissioned officer in the Air Force. My family members aren't background players in some egotist's drama, to be paraded in front of... the largely working class kids who they lead into harrowing conditions are not toys for power-tripping sociopaths to play with. I'll sit out the kitschy displays of faux patriotism- the real test of one's devotion to the men and women who served their country is a continuing dedication to their well-being. Our society needs a plan to assist the veterans, enough with the platitudes.

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a scathing social commentary about the situation faced by young military personnel, sung by an empathetic member of an occupied populace... it's never inappropriate to blast Stiff Little Fingers' Tin Soldier:


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Mittens is preparing for war (if that will help him get elected...otherwise, he'll be against it again). And no doubt, none of his sons will be involved (per usual).

Jennifer said...

May your family stay safe, and taken care of, as they were promised.

Laura said...

Congratulations to your brother on his new rank! :)
Families like yours, are the real hero's and the ones we should be listening to on this day. Not a-hole politicians who have their own agenda. You are the ones making sacrifices.

I was watching Piers "Flippin" Morgan last night and he had Colin Powell on. Even though I suppose he's just part of "the machine" too, I did like what he had to say at the end of the interview.
He talked about doing more for the vets. He even gave good examples on would could be done. Not just the usual slap on the back with a "Good on ya"! Offering them jobs or finding affordable housing etc-really meeting their NEEDS.


Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

One thing that makes my ass want to work buttons is that so many armchair generals have never served. They spew a bunch of garbage about revering the military but really use military folks as nothing but props--as you said--to bludgeon people who differ politically from them. It's sickening.

Hamish Mack said...

Head Commissar Eisenhower was probably as fat as Al Gore.
Stay safe BBBB's family.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody!