"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."-John Fitzgerald Kennedy
My buddies at the VFW center talk a lot about WWII, even though most of them fought in Viet Nam. One veteran told me it was because he felt it was the war that actually meant something.
field of stars at the national WWII memorial
During Viet Nam I did volunteer work for Viet Nam Veterans Against War. I was very young and it was both exciting and humbling to meet soldiers who had returned from the war. The war was also the beginning of my awareness of a larger world around me. It was the catalyst for my interest and involvement in politics and for my decision to never remain silent about things I felt needed changing.
"the wall" - at the Vietnam Memorial in DC
The brightest news this Veteran's Day is that the soldiers in Iraq will be home at the end of the year. Yet they come home to an economy that is the worst in decades and to already poor services that will continue to be cut. These men and women and their families should be met with jobs and healthcare and housing.
women's war memorial in DC, right next to the Viet Nam Memorial
Iraq Veterans Against War is working to do just that. Of all the veteran groups I researched they are the only one clearly offering services to all veterans including women and soldiers from the LGBT community.
Military families can turn to Military Families Speaking Out for support.
At a time when a war veteran can be beaten by police at a peaceful demonstration (Occupy Oakland) I hope we all rise to the challenge of putting our actions where our flag waving is.
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky