Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

A True Gift for Veterans - Peace

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rowan Wolf       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 11/11/09

Author 6285
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -

The U.S. is deeply embedded in the mythology of the heroism of the warrior culture. There is a lot of rhetoric about the courage and sacrifice of the those who have fought (versus those who have served) for our "freedom." Never is that "freedom" defined. However, it is true that many have served - willingly or not - under the belief they our protecting our "freedom" and "our way of life." I will not besmirch those sacrifices, nor will I be silent on the utterly shameful way that both the government and the people of the United States have met the needs of those who have served. We call them "heroes," but as a nation living with heroes is a more difficult task than remembering (once in a while) those who have died.

Many return from their service transformed All too often, they are too uncomfortably transformed to fit into the "civilian" flow of life. For some, it is more comfortable to return to bloody combat and the risk of death, than to return to friends and family, and co-workers, and a clueless populace. The adrenaline, and violence, and death-linked comradery is a real embrace. The invisibility and lack of understanding of "home" is a different kind of death.

For some, there is no return to war zones, and for better or worse they wrestle the demons and some "win" and some "lose." Some rebuild their lives. Some end up on the streets, or in the jails, or numbed by drugs of choice. Many, and certainly their families, cling with all their might to the comfortable myth that "it was all for a grander purpose."

I have heroes who are veterans. I have watched many face the demons of war (and military "actions") that remain with them - often for a life time. One of the sacrifices they made is the tattering of a glamorized entertainment myth of war and fighting in the face of bloody reality and burned indelibly upon their mind's eyes, and upon their hearts. It is a cost beyond bearing, and one that goes virtually unacknowledged by the populace.

- Advertisement -

Instead, they all too frequently face a betrayal by those societally tasked to know - and support - them. Namely, the Department of Defense, and the various military services, and the Veterans Administration. Conditions such as PTSD and psychological issues are frequently ignored, or those who have served are dissuaded from pursuing services. Then there are those other things that the military does not want to acknowledge, and therefore refuses to provide service - the "atomic" vets, agent orange, depleted uranium, Gulf War Syndrome, the effects of vaccinations, the paltry benefits left to the families of the fallen, the list goes on and on. The realities of serving - or surviving serving.

Once a year (twice if we count Memorial Day) the nation is called on to recognize these heroes - standing and fallen. This sanitized recognition does not mean embracing the reality of the service or the true sacrifices made. This sanitized recognition does not even recognize the human and national costs of that service. Certainly, nothing is said in this war glorifying culture regarding what the best recognition should really be - a commitment to ending war and working for peace. Yes, peace is work - ongoing work. However many veterans DO make this commitment, and for veterans that commitment comes at a higher price than for most who have never served.

So I want to say thank you to the most courageous of veterans who I know - those veterans who struggle for peace. They have fought, and continue to fight, incredible internal battles while waging the most significant of struggles - the struggle for peace. Thank you veterans for this ongoing service to an ungrateful nation. Thanks also to those veterans organizations that struggle untiringly for peace and truth, and support those who have served in this critical struggle.

- Advertisement -

Please thank a veteran, and thank a Veteran's organization such as those below. Importantly, also commit to fighting for veteran's rights and to creating a world where such sacrifices are never needed again.

Veterans for Peace

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Veterans Against the Iraq War

Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

Rowan Wolf Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Occupy Wall Street: The Roots of a Social Movement

Acinetobacter Baumannii: We Need to Know

High Crime - and Profit - in Jailing Kids: Monopoly Capitalism at Work

Keeping an Eye on Turkey

Gas Shortage Across Southeastern U.S.

Economic Globalization and Speculation Coming Home to Roost