It’s the eleventh day of Blogtober, a month that so far has not been one without anything dramatic to write about, between the weather and the election.
A month that also has in it the eleventh day of the eleventh month: Armistice Day, which became Veterans Day for those who didn’t log in as much time on the inappropriately-named “War to End All Wars,” and Remembrance Day for those who were there from the beginning.
I wish I had more to say, but there’s the looming fear of being glib and wounding some folks close to me. I have by way of very, very few degrees of separation folks who are veterans who should be taking advantage of all the free meals being offered today for active personnel.
Save for the fact that despite their prior service, their country still needs them.
This is one of those “don’t hate the player, hate the game” moments you see thrown around elsewhere, where in those cases the stakes are far smaller than life, death, national security and geopolitics. One of the results of putting war on a credit card was similar to deferring maintenance on the car: You keep with the old parts until you absolutely have to replace them. They applied the same principle you would to your break pads and put in place stop gaps to keep active units and federalized national guard on the front lines for multiple tours of duty.
People, unfortunately, aren’t brake pads, and treating them as such does no service to them or their cause. Our cause, I should say, though in order to fight the wars of the last decade the home front was kept as far from actual contact with it as possible, forcing us to take the blue pill and not ask the serious questions a people going to war should ask their leaders.
Would we have gone into these wars the way we did if we owned more of them? If we had a more active stake, maybe a bond drive, or even a draft the way there had been during the First World War and the other long engagements before this, would things have come to this point?
My hope for those waiting to finish their tours as I remember them and everyone else who gave the ultimate service is that, if we don’t end all wars this time around, that we at least shut them down for the near term, and not need to send anyone else for a while. Do take a moment, if you can, to remember those who’ve gone out, whether they came back or not.
And if you can, offer a hope that those still out there can come home soon.