Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Giving thanks for... veterans and our military

This is a day late but I really am thankful for all those who serve in our military, in part because I could never do it myself.  I know that a lot of people have mixed feelings about the military, and there are a lot of things about the institution that I have big problems with (the latest stats about sexual abuse being just one example). But I also know that institution is made up of thousands of individual men and women who are willing to put their lives at risk so that we can all can sleep more soundly at night. They spend months away from their loved ones, sometimes in physical environments that would have me bitching and moaning within minutes.

Although politicians love to talk about our great servicemen and women, and pose in front of flags with people in uniform, this country often does a pretty poor job of taking care of people once they leave the service, especially if they leave wounded, either physically or mentally. While there are some wonderful organizations whose mission is to help veterans (the Wounded Warrior Project and the Bob Woodruff Foundation have gotten a lot of press lately), I sometimes think the fact that there are so many private organizations playing that role is an indication of how badly the government screws it up. We would all love to live in a world where having a strong military was unnecessary. But since we live in the real world, the least we can do is show our gratitude to all those who serve by making sure that they are taken care of once they come home.

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