Some people may like to assume that because I am a self-identified liberal, left-of-the-spectrum, peacenik hippie chic that I don't respect and value the United States military and it's servicemen and women. It just isn't true.
We do have heroes in our military. We are indebted to many men and women who are working hard both here and abroad for the safety and protection of our country. Today is a day to honor those who have served, and I do.
Some of the freedoms that our military serves to protect are our freedom of speech, our right to assemble, to disagree, to voice our opinions, to strive for higher ideals, to become a better nation.
I don't agree with everything our servicemen and women have been sent to do by the leaders of our country. Isn't it a beautiful thing to be able to say so without the fear of being imprisoned, fined, or worse? I think it is.
I would like military recruiters to stop making lofty promises to the foster youth I work with, who have been made false promises for too long by the adults in their lives. Isn't it a beautiful thing to be able to say so publicly on a blog without fear of retribution? I think it is.
I have friends, and family, who are and have been in service, and what I want most is for them to be home safely with us and not put into harm's way for unnecessary reasons. I protested the Iraq-war with about 3000 other citizens who agreed with me. Isn't it a beautiful thing to be able to do so in order to send a message to those who would put them in danger and ask them to think twice? I think it is.
My military friends and family might also disagree with me. They can say so, and we can talk about why without whispering in secret. Isn't this also beautiful? I think it is.
I also want them to know that their time has not been wasted, and I appreciate them for being brave and committed. I want them to come home from service and have access to the services they need, such as mental health to treat PTSD, housing, medical benefits, and educational opportunities. There are far too many forgotten heroes homeless on our streets, and I am hopeful that we will take care together to make some changes and better honor our Veterans in the future.
So here's a shout out to the Veterans of the United States, who have sacrificed so much, from a left-wing, tree-hugging, pansy-arse, anti-war liberal who is grateful to you. Thanks.