Tuesday, November 11, 2014

At Innocence's End

I have never worn the uniform of a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  I am proud and thankful for the members of my family - including uncles, cousins, nieces and my big brother Bill - who have done so.  I am proud of and thankful for the members of every family who have done so, who do so presently and who shall continue to do so.  

Today is Veterans Day.  You might be forgiven if - in the blitz of advertisements for car dealerships, department stores and chain restaurants - the genesis of as well as the purpose of this day has momentarily escaped you.  Your mission - and mine - is to recapture it, to understand it and to do all that we are capable of doing to honor those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. 

And not merely with parades and platitudes but with the things they truly need such as job training and health care - including but not limited to mental health in an effort to help those who have spent any part of the past dozen years in combat try to come to grips with the horrors they have witnessed firsthand.

Doing the right thing, today and every day, for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America is neither a Republican thing nor a Democrat thing.  It is an American thing.  And it is most certainly the right thing to do.  

We, the people of a grateful nation, should not simply say, "Thank you for your service."  Instead we should say, "Thank you for all you have done for me.  Now, what may I do for you?" 


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