A Nation Who Chooses To Forget Its Defenders, Will Be Forgotten Themselves
By Esperanza Brubaker, Isaac Hernandez and James Macario
The normality of society today is to honor and forever remember those who died in the brutalities of war. Yet, what about the veterans who are still waiting to enter that sleep of eternity, are they themselves forgotten or just their soldier part? We tend to remember the fallen but fail to pay homage to the soldier who lives to tell the horrific truths society ignores. Is it right to assume by society’s actions that Military discounts and disability benefits are to suffice the pain they endured during their military experiences?
Our Veterans whom given our country a great service, were equally accompanied with courage, bravery, strength, and passion; gives way to the security of the place we call our home, The United States of America. However, those who choose to be dismissive of their valor and that instead deliberately elude their conscious thought to otherwise, believe the conjugated safety projected by society. But, in that safety by which people have become accustomed to lies a price, that only Less than 0.5 percent of the population, will ever know.
We must ask ourselves what it is we find a soldier to be to ever truly understand and embrace who and what a soldier really is. So we may furthermore, embark on the path to appreciation. A soldier is more than merely the definition entailed by the dictionary which so eloquently describes a soldier as:
- a person who serves in an army; a person engaged in military service.
- an enlisted man or woman, as distinguished from a commissioned officer.
- a person of military skill or experience.
- a person who contends or serves in any cause.
But, what a soldier really is, is more than what the shielded eye sees. A soldier is one who stands strong in face of aversion in place of others even if it means death. It is one who sacrifices their individual self to exist merely as a soldier that strives to survive for those, who they themselves could not or would not take the risk to do. It is one who defends the rights of citizens of the US, who takes for granted that gift and right.
It is by this understanding that we as a Society, as a Nation, and as Humanity can begin to acknowledge the past in order to persevere a better future. For their time they gave to our red and white striped banner will not go unnoticed. A soldier remains the flesh and blood that we are made of, the differences between the two bodies that live today aren’t significant, except mentally. A man can be taught to eat and hunt, but it takes conditioning training, and grueling hours of sweat, blood, and tears to become prepared to protect a country on a moment’s notice. Those sleepless nights that eat away at our female and males soldiers’ sanity have too the weight of innocent lives rest upon their shoulders. Yet, in the same token to not forget themselves in the chaos and the mist of the world around them. “History , despite its wrenching pain, it cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
The popular saying “Support our troops” is known across the face of the Nation. What exactly does it signify when you donate the change that lies around your car floor to our soldiers? To donate your pennies, nickels, and dimes? It is true that a little can go long way and any effort to help is needed. Nevertheless, we should express our gratitude towards our troops to a greater extent, which really gives an insight and inkling our pride to our defenders that allows our safety and serenity in our minds to prolong our gratitude for the generations to come.
America, in the brutal truths of reality must remain humble, grateful, and appreciative to the things we are oblivious of. There shouldn’t be a need to be told to support nor respect our troops, but the essence of genuine courtesy should come out as if a natural response to our humanly qualities of a caring nature. That point in their lives is A hug given, shows affection and brotherhood is worth more than nickels and dimes found from the insides of your pockets.
Instead of becoming apart of the public that “supports” our troops, take the time to acknowledge that people that have served our country. To listen to our veterans and their experiences gives them a sense of acknowledgment. To give them thanks for their service and how they have given this country its freedom. This is worthwhile to gain as time restores all wounds and reinforced values that helped this nation to where we are now. New perspectives listen to old worries adapt to a new aspect and this new companionship built just by listening. So go on, meet the figure that makes America thrive on freedom, and the figures who make America the best military and the strongest country.
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11–20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11–20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
- Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
- Vietnam War: About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime
- *To paraphrase the ground breaking Gloria Anzaldua, WE write to record what others erase, when we speak to rewrite the stories of others have miswritten about me, about you, about humanity.
*Clichés aren’t usually meant to be analyzed, but this one illuminates imperialism so succinctly that to think seriously about it is to necessarily assess jingoism, foreign policy, and national identity. The sheer vacuity and inexplicability of the phrase, despite its ubiquity, indicates just how incoherent patriotism is these days. (Salon, Salaita)