Veterans’ Day is a day set aside to honor the men and women who have served America in foreign wars and have put their lives on the line in various capacities of military service. Both veterans alive and killed in action deserve the honor and respect for making the supreme sacrifice or putting their lives on the line.
There were justified accolades pour out on returning American soldiers from the major campaigns of World War 1 and World War 2 where America’s military were welcome back with a hero’s welcome. Ticker tape parades were lavished on veterans in adoring fashion thanking them for their successful service to our country.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II
Things changed dramatically in what is called the “Forgotten War” or the Korean War. Though no fault of America’s military, the birth of the dreaded limited war was born as American policy. The war was fought by the politicians and field strategy transferred to meeting rooms thousands of miles away from the fighting.
The test was more of political will than military strength and tactics. The stalemate in Korea and the result became a model for future conflicts.
Veterans coming back from the Korean War were just tolerated by the public. It was nothing like the euphoria displayed less than ten years earlier when American troops came home from the European and Pacific theaters.
What transpired from the public from returning veterans of the Vietnam War was a travesty. Troops returning home from Vietnam were treated dreadfully. An ungrateful public ridiculed, spit upon, and ostracized returning soldiers. The first war televised by the media wearied the public not used to the realities of battlefield carnage.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War
The unpopular war enraged some Americans so much, they traveled to the enemy’s country and went as far to take publicity shots with the North Vietnamese communists. Treason charges would have awaited American citizens if the same behavior took place during World War 2.
America’s ire was taken out on the returning veterans with the American media not doing much more in giving credit to the military’s heroic and selfless sacrifices made during the unpopular Vietnam war.
Even though our military never lost a major engagement in Vietnam, it became an obvious issue that the America’s public will to continue was waxing old. The relentless video of the horrors of war and weekly casualty count trumpeted by the media numbed American psyche.
American military prestige took a beating and veterans were treated with impunity for decades following the close of the war. Hardly a soul recognized the sacrifice of the 58,195 Americans that gave their lives in the war to stop communism. It was not until 1982 that a memorial wall dedicated in Washington D.C. began the healing process.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial
The Gulf War or “Operation Desert Storm” in 1991 reestablished the United States as a dominant military force as America led a coalition of 34 nations in a vastly successful mission to free Kuwait from Iraqi aggression. American pride in the military and national prestige was resurrected as a result.
American resolve would be tested 10-years later as a terrorist attack on 9/11 which destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City that left nearly 3000 people dead. Reprisals against the Taliban who sheltered Osama bin-Laden and his terrorist network were launched less than a month later in Afghanistan. The war on terror was extended to Iraq as America established a zero tolerance level for terror threats from foreign countries.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks
Tens of thousands of surviving veterans were added to the roles of those serving our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Although attitudes towards our military has vastly improved, there are still severe issues veterans must deal with as having to wait for months and even years for health services for war injuries or adequate mental health assistance for things as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Giving honor to those with honor due is a Biblical standard that directs adequate recognition and appropriate compensation to those that fought for our country.
Veterans’ Day is a start, but it needs to be followed up the other 364 days of the year.