Sunday, November 17, 2013

Commitment to veterans

Veterans always seem to want to "fit back in with society" but the truth is, they never did. There was always something different about them. They were always wanting to do more than others did. The proof of this is in the top five jobs they seek when they come out of the military. Their number on choice is law enforcement to protect society. Number two is firefighting, yet again, to protect society. Then comes emergency responders, medical professions and teaching. All of these are jobs done for the sake of others and not self serving like the rest of us. We depend on people like them everyday.

Yesterday I was talking to a veteran of today's wars. He said how he had a time fitting back in. I asked him why he would want to and then asked him to think about what he was like before he got into the military. Sure enough, he noticed that he was always different from his friends. Oh, by the way, he's still in the Reserves.

Expecting them to be what they are not, it is easy for us to just tell them to get over it and live normal lives. Do we really want them to do that? Isn't that why they were willing to risk their lives in the first place? Do we really expect a National Guardsman to be like the rest of us when a storm destroys everything? Do we expect them to stay home and just take care of their own families and property? No, we expect them to show up and help the rest of us. We never seem to be able to think of them as being like us. Why on earth should we expect it out of them when they come home from combat?

While they are similar to us with their own families and issues, they are not like us because in times of need, they show up.

Column: Commitment to veterans
The Bulletin
By John Costa
Published: November 17. 2013

I don't know another newspaper that has demonstrated a greater commitment to our veterans.

These are the folks who have risked life and limb to defend us, and public recognition is the least we at The Bulletin can do for them.

Last week — the week of Veterans Day — I attended the annual economic forecast breakfast sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

The moderator asked anyone in the audience of hundreds who had served in the military to stand up.

Very few got to their feet.

That's a product of our times, a product of volunteer services and no draft.

It's also a problem.

There are a lot of pluses to a draft-less society, but the steep downside is that there is a fading attachment between citizen and soldier.
Tuesday is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address, the finest commemoration of citizen soldiery in our history.
read more here

I left this comment.
I couldn't agree more. I track veterans news reports around the country because the major news organizations no longer do it. The only reporters interested in telling their stories and covering their events are local, usually small news outlets.

Had I not read this, I would have forgotten about the anniversary of what Lincoln said at Gettysburg even though I use the quote often. Thank you!

Gettysburg Address Bliss Copy
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863