Talking “antiwar” with fellow veterans

iraq and vietnam veteran

Over at my Tumblr blog, I posted the image above during the Memorial Day weekend. Apparently, it was sufficiently provocative that an anonymous reader’s father reacted negatively:

When I showed the picture of the Iraq vet and Vietnam vet to my veteran father, he was outraged over it. As a veteran yourself, how do you handle those who react like that to the anti-war movement?

How do I explain my antiwar views to my brothers in the military? I explain to my fellow veterans that as a child from a military family and as a former member of the military myself, I make the distinction between the service members who are part of the military and the civilians leaders who are in charge of them. Most of our civilian leaders have never “served” in the military and our lives and what we go through are as alien to them as the lives of foreigners we kill to us.

It is “us” (the military and our family) versus “them” (the clueless civilian leaders). I also make the point that we are used as pawns in their political gains. They pose with us during campaigns, they praise us and throw parades for us, but when it comes to actually helping us, the veterans and our family, they are absent.

It is not them or their children who die in these wars. It is not them or their children who are dragged from country to country to maintain our expansive overseas empire. It is not them or their children who have to live in dilapidated military housing. And on and on and on.

Many fellow veterans might disagree with me about the value of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but we can agree that Congress and the president does not give a sh*t about us.

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