Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow vets out there. Happy hangover recovery for my Marines. My head hurts too.
Go get you some delicious discounted food, but tip your server the full amount! Don’t be a cheap ass.
Now, is it just me or does this Veteran’s day feels… different?
It’s been hard to put into words, but with the wars in Ukraine and Gaza flaring, after the twenty year fight in Afghanistan so disastrously closing, it just feels hard. It’s hard to be a GWOT Era veteran who either deployed, or supported our brothers and sisters who deployed to harms way, and see so little to show for those efforts. We didn’t get treated like Vietnam vets back in the day, but we’re lost as to what we spent all the effort on. It is hard to see the war flaring again, and another war in Europe that we’d been promised was done with the close of the Cold War.
This is hard to watch for veterans right now.
It’s even harder to watch the active military struggling with so many compounded issues. From the brass blaming their troops for housing problems, to the recruiting crisis as the military wholesale abandoned its core mission of being the honed weapon of the United States for some nebulous DEI friendly outlook antithetical to its core missions and personnel, it is rough to serve and rough to be a vet who has served.
Serving was never easy, but the real crux of the matter is that the hardest parts about serving started to become the parts that the men and women in uniform shouldn’t have to worry about. Getting paid on time, having their family’s taken care of and moved properly, traveling on orders being covered and not bankrupting a service member, having gear that works, being able to schedule and access the services that are benefits to them, being fed or allowed to feed themselves when they are on posts in first world nations for pity’s sake. None of these things should be stressing the service member so that they have the bandwidth to train and work on the hard and dangerous points of their job.
The military has done a bang up job tarnishing their image as a desirable place of employment in numerous ways. But to those serving who do try their damnedest every day to make it work and keep their troops well, I see you too. The behemoth of the DoD isn’t making your lives easy either, as you try and cover down on your troops and their welfare while keeping them mission ready.
And to young people who are looking at serving as an option, don’t let our burned out seething keep you from considering it. There are still a mountain of benefits to serving, you can make it a rewarding career, you can do good work and work with fantastic people. But it is hard. In a lot of ways it is hardest in all the ways it should not be. But it is a serious choice and for some of you it could be a damn good one.
Alright, off my rant box here.
Thank you for your service.
I mean that in the most heartfelt way, to all of you alive who served in each of the eras of our nation’s need. Thank you. To you who showed up each day, good and bad, and got your jobs done. Thank you. To those of you who were chosen and stepped up to lead, and train, and take care of your teams, even if it cost you sleep, money, and personal time. Thank you.
You who honorably served and showed up to take your place in the profession of arms in this nation…