WHY DO WE expect Americans to fulfill their patriotic duty by serving in the military only to treat them so shabbily when they return?
That’s the values question we ask this week. (Scroll down to read earlier pieces.) OurValues.org readers offer several explanations…
Ambivalence: We neglect veterans, Allan Schnaiberg says, because “we are at best ambivalent about the last wars they have been fighting.”
Resentment: “Many Americans resent these wars,” says Benjamin Pratt, and see our military as getting paid for their job and think that is all they are due.” Moreover, “the military carries the message of war which many did not want in the first place. Therefore, kill the messenger who carries the message.”
Lack of personal involvement: Benjamin also noted that most of us “have not been really asked to make a sacrifice which would make us personally connected to our military. Every citizen made a sacrifice during WW II.” Without personal involvement, it is too easy to distance ourselves from our soldiers and veterans.
Delegation: In the same vein, Eoghan notes that we have delegated the combat: “Why do we treat our veterans poorly? Because Americans are lazy and want ‘someone else’ to do the job for them. Then, darn it all, those who do the job survive. Talk about an embarrassed populace. ‘Hey—you guys were all supposed to die.’ Then the non-contributors wouldn’t have to face us.”
What do you think? Why do we neglect our veterans? Do you agree with these explanations? What would you add?
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