Talk About Yourselves, Veterans

Far too many Americans’ knowledge of military veterans can be summed up by knowing only this:

They left home.

They came back.

While they were gone, something important happened somewhere else in the world – or didn’t.

That’s just plain wrong, not to mention dangerous in a world filled with enemies of Americans and our ways of life.

Men and women who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard can change that, but only if they do something to which many of them are unaccustomed. They ought to talk more about their time in uniform.

As a rule, many of them don’t say much about their service, for various reasons.

For some who went through hell on earth on our behalf, talking about it is painful in a way non-veterans cannot understand. Some, serving among hundreds or thousands of other courageous men and women, just don’t think it’s right to talk about their own bravery.

We need to know about women and men in those categories. Americans who don’t understand fighting for one’s life – and those of comrades in arms – is not a game of “World of War” will not be the kind of home front our military depends upon.

What about the millions of veterans who have never seen or heard a shot fired in anger? Were they just “doing a job” like those of us in civilian life?

Only those very veterans, people who understand the sacrifice of any service in the military, can set the rest of us straight on that. When we go to work in the morning, we know we’ll be home for dinner, not in some strange land or in the middle of an ocean somewhere. We also know that, even in relatively hazardous jobs, we are not dealing with equipment and tasks that, by their very nature as tools and tactics of war, are far more threatening.

And as far as “peacetime” service goes, has anyone stopped to consider that the only reason Americans are not constantly at war is that much of the rest of the world is scared stiff of those who serve because of those who have served?

Talk about yourselves, veterans. Let your families and friends – and hopefully, your communities – know what you did for us.

Remind us of why, on Veterans Day, we ought to thank God for you.

Myer can be reached at: