Thank You, Veterans / warning: political views

I’m friends with a few folks who have served in the military. It sounds like if it weren’t for the wars and battles parts and the putting one’s life at risk and the training for that which can be stressful, traumatic, even deadly, the military has some cool stuff to offer its service people. But I guess that’s the point, is that it’s called military service because ultimately it’s a service. The deal is better for me and my fellow civilians, the ones being served, than the servicemen and women keeping me safe.

So thanks, Veterans, thank you very much. I’m sorry we don’t spend as much to help those of you who need help after you’ve provided your service as we do to help you provide your service.

I’m not talking about the fallen, that’s a whole other thing. I’m talking about the broken, the wounded, the traumatized, those who return and need support to heal in whatever way.

I can’t imagine going through any kind of combat, however remotely, and not benefitting from some kind of – high quality - formal support for mental and emotional healing. It seems like any enterprise where one knows the full cycle of impacts and knows the after-effects and costs and does not account for them is wrong. Not accounting for and providing for all the mental and physical needs of our Veterans is wrong.

So on this Veterans Day I feel guilty to be the beneficiary of the incredible service people have provided so I can be living this life. And I know my friends who've provided that service would prefer I simply feel grateful.

Grateful. And curious about how I might be of better service to them, what I can do to reduce the need for military conflict in the first place and how I might contribute in some way to the healing and flourishing of those who have served after the fact. I’m open to suggestions. I’m going to keep going.