Veterans: In Harm’s Way

I don’t usually pay much attention to holidays. That does not mean I’m a Jehovah’s Witness: It just means that I think most holidays are a major pain in the ass. Some of them, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, are notorious for putting incredible stresses on families, and sometimes breaking them up.

The men and women of our armed forces typically did not join because they wanted to serve our country. I think most wanted to lift themselves out of poverty and take advantage of educational opportunities that would jump start their post service careers. Unfortunately, in the process, they often put themselves in harm’s way fighting our nation’s interminable wars.in Korea, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, et cetera ad infinitum.

In those “little wars,” some 100,000+ Americans gave their lives. And a much larger number came back with debilitating physical or mental scars.

I consider myself fortunate that my brain surgery operation in 1966 gave me a Selective Service rating of 4F, so that I would not have to fight in Vietnam. Truth to tell, I would probably have been 4F in any case, as I had been walking around with a pituitary tumor for ten years or more and was not in great shape.

During the Vietnam Era, many war protestors held a grudge against the armed forces. I didn’t. Most of them were just trying to survive under difficult circumstances. Instead, I wish them well.