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Why would someone who served in the military dislike a holiday that honors military service? What am I, some kind of hypocrite?

More after the fold.

I don’t like how politicians take the holiday and wrap themselves up in the US flag to justify more war, try to lock in votes, condemn the other side for having a war, and to drown out any rational discussion of what the roll of the Soldier is.  (this applies to BOTH parties)

I don’t like how the holiday is used as an “I forwarded some photos in facebook saying I liked US troops so I’m done for a while of having to think about the sacrifice the military makes for me”. (Super Bowl Ad - WE WON!)

I don’t like how the holiday is the only time people don’t degrade the military, treat military service like something only stupid people do, or as some kind of shameful choice.

I don’t like how the holiday reminds me of the people I knew who are now part of the 6,648 (and still a growing number). These are Soldiers I trained, served with, or just had common experience with.  

I don’t like how the holiday reminds me of my friends who have been injured, physically and emotional, of family members who have been injured in past wars.  

I don’t like how the holiday is used by businesses to show how much they like the military because of the high level of training and experience the have, but at the same time they don’t hire military vets for more than entry level jobs because that high level of training and experience “just does not translate” to the job.

I don’t like how the holiday is about the only time Soldiers are praised, the rest of the time they are portrayed as ticking time bombs suffering from “PTSD” (like military service related PTSD is worse than any one else’s so we need to use it as an excuse to keep Soldiers from owing guns off duty but still use them on duty).

I don’t like how the holiday brings out the glory seekers like the infamous Phillip Mark Thompson – Army SEAL (Army SEAL Team Member and Phony Vets of Foreign Wars ) and many others who suddenly feel it is ok to say they served in the military because they thought about joining when they were 18. (Half-way Heroes -yes, it is humor but very true)

I don’t like the holiday as it is used to justify getting into more wars. (Syria I’m looking at you)

I don’t like how the holiday is used to imply that the wars are over even though we are still fighting and losing people, but hey, no one is protesting and it is not in the nightly news about how Soldiers are not being given the equipment they need or the weapons to do the job or how their hands are tied.  So the average person is forgetting the war in Afghanistan, down the memory hole with it.

I don’t like how the holiday is used to gloss over the 30% of all US Soldiers killed in the wars have happened under Obama’s leadership and implied that all deaths in the wars were Bush’s fault…but now its over thanks to Obama.  (you know, just like Gitmo is closed)

I don’t like that we as a nation have turned Military Service into something that we give lip service to a few times a year but then discourage our children and others from joining.  This holiday just highlights it.

I don’t like how on this holiday, I get thanked for my service.  I find it awkward.  I have not done anything, too many others that I know have done so much more. Some have not come home whole, both physically and emotionally. Others not at all. (MAJ Tory Gilbert, SGT Bowe Bergdahi).  My Father was in Vietnam when I was born.  Friends have been overseas when family members died and could not attend the funerals, weddings, graduations. The most I’ve experienced is the inconvenient status being in the field for training. How does my service come close to theirs?  There are so many others who should be thanked before me.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually We Honor the Military On Several Other (9+ / 0-)

    holidays.

    Mothers' Day, which was originally to honor the mothers who lost sons in battle; Armistice Day, originally to honor the onset of a peace which has been renamed and repurposed to honor veterans; and the 4th of July for obvious reasons.

    You might remember that Congress outlawed the closing of Gitmo.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:53:24 AM PDT

    •  Part of our problem is that too many (9+ / 0-)

      of our holidays have to do with the military, but as the author points out, it's not really the military we honor.

      If we did, we wouldn't have such a high homeless rate among vets, for example.

      Nah, I did my time during Vietnam, but not in Vietnam, but since WW2, we've really only been in business wars, not ideological or whatever other propaganda they'd like us to swallow.

      Memorial Day would be a real memorial day if we would remember not only those of our own that we let die for nothing, but also also those other poor souls whom we sent to their deaths through no fault of their own, almost a million Vietnamese, a million Iraqis, the list goes on.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:08:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, as a vet ( well, Army Air Nat'l Guard,) I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, AoT, melfunction, blueoasis

    couldn't agree more.

    Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

    by sturunner on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:55:33 AM PDT

  •  And Memorial Day is to remember the dead. (8+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:55:44 AM PDT

  •  And parades (9+ / 0-)
    "The one thing I never want to see again is a military parade."
    Ulysses S. Grant

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:58:06 AM PDT

  •  Aren't living ex-soldiers honored (10+ / 0-)

    on Veterans Day? Isn't Memorial Day specifically to honor those who died while serving?

  •  I am conflicted about Memorial Day (8+ / 0-)

    It is all too convenient an opportunity for a salve to the conscience of those who give lip service to supporting "the troops "
    And yet, we need as a nation to honor those who sacrificed their lives for their comrades in arms.

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

    by onceasgt on Mon May 27, 2013 at 07:28:56 AM PDT

  •  looks like you don't dislike the day itself (7+ / 0-)

    which is an honorable attempt to recognize those who died in service to their country.

    what you dislike is what the culture has made of it.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 27, 2013 at 07:45:47 AM PDT

  •  I think everyone should feel uncomfortable on (11+ / 0-)

    Memorial day, thinking about all of the people who died in our wars.

    Reflecting on the costs, not glorifying the actions.

    As it stands, it is just another day when we attempt to place military personnel and war itself on some pedestal.

    We speak in platitudes: "All gave some, some gave all" "Freedom isn't fee", and pat ourselves on the back for being pious.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 07:54:52 AM PDT

  •  You do realize... (6+ / 0-)

    ..Memorial Day, Labor Day, (i.e., all national holidays that fall on a Monday) are for one reason & one reason only:

    To justify a day off work for the blue collar riffraff.

    Memorial Day seldom recognizes the soldiers who died in any war fought after 1950.

     If you died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Korean War or WW I or II, then Memorial Day is meant for you exclusively.  The soldiers who died in Vietnam & Iraq?   Shit out of luck.  You'll have to wait until Tom Brokaw writes a book that validates your existence.

    Labor Day?  What a fucking joke that one is.

    This nation's politicians have done everything in their power to destroy labor unions, yet they still have the nerve to observe something called "Labor Day."

    But it's a day off work for the blue collar riffraff, so who gives a crap.

    To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

    by wyvern on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:00:55 AM PDT

    •  Everywhere else in the world, Labor Day is in (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wyvern, se portland, AoT, blueoasis, gffish

      early May to honor the Haymarket Affair, which took place in Chicago.

      We purposely moved it to September to disconnect it from those events.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:07:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I called this one with 100% accuracy:
       

      If you died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Korean War or WW I or II, then Memorial Day is meant for you exclusively.  The soldiers who died in Vietnam & Iraq?   Shit out of luck.
      Notice which war is represented in the diary's most prominent  picture...

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

      by wyvern on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:08:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I worked at a restaurant (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wyvern, ranger995, gffish

      where one year the owner and manger took Labor Day off and made the rest of us work.

      I couldn't help but laugh.

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At least you... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland, AoT, gffish

        ..merely laughed.

        I would have quit.

        In a nation that places as much emphasis on class privilege & distinction as ours, & persecutes its labor force at every turn, it's a cruel joke this country actually celebrates something called "Labor Day."

         

        To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

        by wyvern on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:18:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't like how Memorial Day (7+ / 0-)

    is confused by the press and most Americans with Veterans Day. Today is to honor those who gave their lives serving in the US armed forces.

    For me it's about the long list of friends and brothers who have their names on a long black wall. If not for the heroic acts of some of them, my name would be there as well. My obligation to them is to lead a life that would make them proud, and I have tried my best to do that.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:06:55 AM PDT

    •  Veterans Day is on November 11th for a reason (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, VClib, operculum, melfunction, gffish

      That was the day World War I ended. The war to end all wars. In its inception, Veterans Day was a indictment AGAINST war. Let's us remember the sacrifice our soldiers made and pledge not to do that again.  

      Here is the preamble to the concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (I added the bold text).

      Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

      Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

      Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

      It is not suppose to be a celebration of our war mongering. It is suppose to be a reminder that we do not want to do that again.

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:23:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The press is always confused (6+ / 0-)

      Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

      by BOHICA on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:24:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just the U.S. armed forces. Even at ... (8+ / 0-)

      ...Arlington, there are hundreds of CSA graves.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:49:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the holiday was different before 1968 (8+ / 0-)

    I am old enough to remember Memorial Day when it was always on May 30th.

    When it fell during the week, it was much less of a shopping/partying day.

    People remembered the dead in their own families.

    People put out flags.

    People went to graves.

    It was solemn.

    But when it fell on Fridays or Mondays, businesses noticed the buying power of the three day weekend and pushed for all the holidays to be on Mondays.

    The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 was created to exploit the buying power of three-day weekends.  Blame that.

    It is interesting that Veterans Day was moved back to November 11.  A lot of companies don't even give the day off anymore, trading it for a four day Thanksgiving weekend.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:15:13 AM PDT

  •  ....mmm....I grow weary of this stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    Service members are given a lot of respect throughout the year.  Watch what happens when someone says something that even be slightly construed as bad against the military.  The military has one political party that would abdicate power to the military, despite the fact that's pretty much against the constitution.  So I don't know about not being respected.  It's probably that most people haven't shared in the experience and are just trying to show their feelings the way they know how.  I've never served so I automatically am not going to know what it's like.  That shouldn't be a black mark.

    Sure, it gets corporatized.  No doubt.  That's to be expected given our volunteer army culture, where everyone is thankful they don't have to be forced to do stuff they would never want to do and are shamed by inference.

    No one here thinks the wars are over, thanks.  Or that they will ever be over, so please don't mistake being resigned to a war like culture as not knowing stuff is going on.

    I'm sorry people are still dying.  I'm sure if rational voices had won out 10-11 years ago, they wouldn't be.  But that would require a level of introspection this country doesn't have, let alone any country for that matter.  Last time we lost a war, we went hard right and caused even more death and destruction.  Not sure how the future will turn out.

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Mon May 27, 2013 at 09:50:48 AM PDT

  •  I think the only real solution is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, gffish

    required universal service for everyone, with no BS exemptions like minor injuries or avoidance through "connections".

    Note the high number of chickenhawks who promoted the Iraq debacle. These guys have no idea the sacrifices by people actually fighting the war, so it's easy for them to commit troops to a fool's errand.

    There is no real pressure from the populace either, because they really have no skin in the game. I would bet you $10,000 dollars public pressure would be immense against any sort of silly foreign adventure after the Vietnam experience if the public's sons and daughters were sent to war to fight for oligarchs.

    It was also huge plus in ideological balance in the armed services. What is it, 80% plus of the officer corps in the military are Republicans? It might also break up the kooky fundamentalist crowd that seems to be rampant in the Air Force these days.

    And finally, maybe the oligarchs and other rich people will  do what their ancestors did and actually give back to the country instead of sucking out treasure and sending out the poor to fight their battles for them.

  •  I don't like it because the military does not (0+ / 0-)

    defend our "freedoms" - it defends our national borders and increasingly our foreign interests.  

    Our nation is not a set of borders.  It's supposed to be commitment to a set of principles, the principles in the Constitution and our commitment to those is protected by lawyers, teachers, judges, occasionally even politicians, yes, sometimes, and each of us every time we vote or work on campaigns or at pollling places.

    Let's honor all of those people and have a holiday for recommitting ourselves to the values of our Constitution.

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:03:54 PM PDT

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