Fading of Veterans, History - The Missourian: Editorials

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Fading of Veterans, History

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:00 pm

We’ve had another Veterans Day and the observances of gratitude to the men and women who served this country in the military were heartwarming. Most veterans don’t say much but they are grateful for the recognition given to them.

Veterans Day brings back memories to those who served and unfortunately every year we have fewer World War II veterans, who participated in the Big War. They are passing on and with them goes a great deal of history. Individual stories of training and fighting battles, heroic actions they witnessed, die with them because they never talked much about what happened.

The same is true of the veterans of other wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf fighting, Iraq and Afghanistan, and a few other conflicts. They don’t talk much about their experiences. One reason is that it is difficult to explain combat and what goes on, and veterans would like to forget about some of the things that happened. It is never easy to explain the killing that occurs. It’s difficult to explain the deaths of fellow troops.

Combat veterans live with the question, “Why did I make it and he or they didn’t?” There is no answer.

The recognition shown to veterans today is inspiring. We must never allow again what happened to veterans of the Vietnam fighting. They were called and they served in an unpopular war. The Vietnam veterans were not treated with respect. That has changed. They now are recognized in a manner befitting all veterans . With the Korean veterans, they mostly were ignored. But they also are respected for their service.

The men and women serving now are treated with admiration and respect. They certainly deserve it. The National Guard and reservists from all the other branches have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, some for more than one tour, and that kind of situation is very difficult. One day they are engaged in their careers in civilian life and the next day they are in their military uniforms, serving in foreign countries. That kind of military obligation is hard on family life.

The patriotic atmosphere in America today exists even though the wars we are fighting are questioned as to their value and interest to this country by many citizens. The draft was the main reason the Vietnam War was so unpopular.

The Veterans Day programs at schools are so important because they are educational and could be called an American history session. Speakers relate their experiences in the military and that of others. The messages given usually are inspiring, patriotic and students get a look at veterans who served. There are veterans available to schools at other times to speak to classes to relate their experiences and the history of that era.

Any event that honors military veterans is appreciated by the men and women who have served or are serving their country.

/opinion/editorials

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