Veneration of Veterans

I thought this op-ed in the Washington Post was right on the money. A lot of this current veneration of veterans is just for show, to make the people who express it feel better, not to help the veterans. Most businesses that make a show of hiring veterans do it as publicity to win customers, rather than as a service to veterans. Colorado claims to be veteran friendly, but seeing what is happening with the VA hospital here, Senators Gardner and Bennet and Governor Hickenlooper would hardly be less supportive of veterans than if they went around and punched each veteran in the nose.

Here’s my comment on the Washington Post op-ed by Will Bardenwerper:

If you have to choose between the homecoming for Iran & Afghanistan vets of sham love and support and the homecoming for Vietnam vets of hostility, I would choose the former. But you can’t expect too much. The 1946 movie “The Best Years of Our Lives” illustrated the shallowness of public support for even veterans of much venerated World War II. If you choose to fight for your country, that probably has to be reward enough. Others should be nice, but you probably have to content yourself with believing that virtue is its own reward. Perhaps Vietnam vets (like me) can take some solace in the fact that Vietnam has become a functioning member of the community of nations while Iraq has become a snake pit of anti-American hatred and hostility.

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