• A More Nuanced Veteran’s Day Message

    Today is the day that everyone thanks all the veterans for their service and if you are a thoughtful person who doesn’t think that every single veteran deserves thanks without any skepticism at all you are labeled un-American. So let the hate begin, because I am about to be a little nuanced in my praise of veterans instead of dogmatic patriotism.

    There are many veterans who serve this country. Many of them serve with honor and distinction. Many veterans are true heroes. Many veterans risked their lives because they believe in the principles of freedom and democracy. Many veterans risked their lives to save others. But many didn’t.

    My uncle is World War II veteran. He has received the Purple Heart and is a true hero. I want to honor him for his service and heroism, but I don’t want to lump him in with some of the soldiers who have joined our military for less then honorable reasons and/or who have acted dishonorably while serving. To do so would be a disservice to those true heroes who are honor worthy.

    Let’s face facts here; some soldiers can’t wait to go to Afghanistan or some other nation because they want to shoot people for fun. Some soldiers have no problem killing civilians just for sport. Some soldiers act dishonorably. Some soldiers are just assholes. Some soldiers are not fighting for any noble purpose, but rather just want to blow shit up. That to me is not the same as the genuine heroism of other soldiers who are out there fighting for the principles of freedom and democracy and serve with honor and distinction. It isn’t fair to them if I praise and thank all soldiers unilaterally when some really deserve it while others don’t.

    My point here is that not all soldiers are the same. Some are genuine heroes who fight because they have a sense of honor, duty, justice, and freedom while others are just bullies with guns. So on this Veteran’s Day, I have a more nuanced thank you to those veterans who I think truly deserve it. So for all the veterans who have served with honor and distinction and who fight to protect and preserve our freedoms and democracy I want to thank you genuinely for your service and your sacrifices. You know who you are.

    If you are an asshole in a uniform, then I want to take this opportunity to tell you that you should be better. You are giving the heroes a bad name. You know who you are and you will not get a thank you from me.

    I also want to take a moment on this Veteran’s Day to thank those who have served and worked tirelessly and thanklessly for the cause of peace. More than killers, I salute the peacemakers.

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    Category: HolidaysVeteran's Day


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.