Facebook and other online venues were filled with Veterans Day graphics yesterday. Some people went further and told of their parents’ and grandparents’ service. I like seeing those graphics and stories because they give me hope that a fair number of people see the holiday as more than a day off work and appreciate the work service members do on their country’s behalf.
One poll from 2019 shows that 49% of the veterans surveyed don’t like being thanked for their service. Basically, they feel awkward about it and don’t really know how to respond. I don’t mind if people say that to me, but in a way it’s become a cliche like saying “I’m sorry for your loss” to the family that’s experienced a death.
The consensus seems to be that armed forces composed of volunteers end up with better (and/or more committed) people and less turnover; and then , too, those who serve get help with college and with or without college bring their skills training back into the workplace. Perhaps Veterans Day discussions remind us that while there are many health and related issues suffered by veterans that need to be better addressed, most veterans are not living on the street with PTSD and substance abuse problems.
This day also reminds us that more and more women are being permitted to serve in areas that used to be off limits to them. Personally, I think that everyone who volunteers should have the same rights and opportunities. Reading stories about female fighter pilots and admirals is a positive thing.
Veterans Day focuses our attention on the needs we have for a military as well as on the beliefs of those who feel called to serve.