When I was writing my blog yesterday, I ran into a lot of material about Veterans Day in particular and veterans more generally. Now I’ve always thought of Veterans Day as a time to honor all those men and women who served our country during war time and even more so, maybe, those who were actually involved in the war itself.
But it seems this is a narrow view and that it is more generally accepted to honor anyone who ever enlisted in any armed service for any reason. And although this is likely an unpopular view, I think that’s ridiculous. I mean, career service people, YES! They can’t control whether we go to war or not and have totally dedicated their lives to the service of our country, but . . . .
What about Johnny who enlists for college money and spends his four to six years sorting mail in Hawaii? Or what about Janey who enlists “to see the world” and ends up in Ohio mowing grass and edging the base’s green areas for a few years before moving back into the civilian world with her shiny new landscaping degree? Or what about Jimmy who goes into flight school, becomes a pilot, knowing he’ll make more money more safely flying for Jet Blue? Or what about Joanie who trains in IT during her short stay with the armed service of her choice and doesn’t re-up but leaves to make six figures in the civilian industry?
Do I think that these people made wise decisions about their futures and respect them for it? Of course I do. Do I admire their planning and tenacity and smarts? Of course I do. But I also feel the same way about anyone who makes good, but I don’t honor Oprah or the Donald (for example) on any day of the year. I dunno, I don’t really have it in my heart to honor the short timer, the person who isn’t serving to serve the country but only to serve themselves.
Drew Carey (pictured) served in the Marines from 1980-86.