Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

Supporting the troops is more than a bumper sticker and has nothing to do with "haji" hating. (Believe it or not, many nonracists actually respect and care about those who serve, and actually do love their country.) It also has nothing to do with lapel pins (Someone please notify CBS Sports. Seriously, talk about an anachronism. Shannon, Boomer, Coach and Dan might as well be wearing top hats and monocles) or using troops as stage props for political speechifying.
During Veterans Week you're going to hear people -- particularly those for whom Veterans Week merely means we're one week closer to the Iowa Caucuses -- tell us to "Support Our Troops." And when they do I'd like us to politely ask them to put their pom poms down for a moment. I'd like us to tell them that if you really want to honor our troops you won't use them for an easy applause line, that you won't use them to get votes, or, most insulting to them of all, to divide us into real Americans and fake Americans. I'd like us to ask them what, other than saying it, are they actually doing to support our troops? I'd like to ask the people who say government's bad what they think of the Department of Veteran's Affairs. When we're fighting two wars, should they get more money or less? And where is that money going to come from -- magic or taxes? Mostly I'd like to ask them three questions, but out of respect for President Bring it On, who couldn't get it together to protect Florida from Alabama, I'll skip the first two and just ask the bumper-sticker patriots Question #3: What's PTSD?

If you have to turn to an aide for an answer to that, please get off the stage. There are real leaders like Mike [U.S. Army Sgt. Mike Pereira] and Jennifer [Specialist Jennifer Crane] we'd like to listen to. And that's how you can support our troops.
Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all who have served our great nation with honor and valor.

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