VETERANS: A RETROSPECTIVE

Nov 14th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

A Senior Perspective on War

Having been introduced to the world on December 31, 1938, I was also made aware of the looming war and its hideous threat as my early years opened up the realities of war and its evils.  I was also made aware, however, as the war wound down that good also has a place in war.  America would be a huge part of that place.

For years thereafter, my perspective on war has been shaped by WWII.  As a youngster, I often played “army” in the rain, replete with my helmet and other gear purchased at a Army-Navy store.  My neighborhood buddies and I acted out the war scenes we had viewed in black and white movies that came to our town.

Veterans were evident on the streets of our small town.  Some still wore their brown khakis or navy blues.  Every time there was an election, those running in the contest always pointed out their service in the war: “Veteran WWII.”  Along the way other appropriate homage was paid to those who had returned:  the GI bill, medical care, real estate loans, college assistance, etc.

Now, all these years later, we are still at war, as well as having gone through several others in my lifetime.

And now, there is political discourse over what should be and should not be provided to aid those returning veterans, those who have been wounded, those without work as they make their way back into the mainstream of American society.

Assistance for Veterans is a Moral Issue

There really should be little, if any, major differences on how and what Veterans should receive as their claim for service in these most recent conflagrations. Lip service and periodic flag waving are surely not enough.  That is why this article appears after Veteran’s Day has passed.  A reminder that they who have served are now coming home or have already completed their tour of duty.

They have come home with all kinds of side effects.  Some, never before experienced in previous wars. They (the veterans) are having to undergo all kinds of surgeries, mental and emotional problems, various other life impacting and health influencing situations that have become a part of their survival.  Others have arrived, where possible, in government provided caskets.

Any who have served are deserving now of our affection, support, reinforcement, political and popular influence which will add to their adjustment to coming home. No platitudes will be sufficient.  No phony petitions or short lived tributes.  No “hale and farewell” salutes.  It is ours to hold accountable all of us who have been at home, while they were away, undergoing terrors we cannot even imagine.  It is ours to lobby, insist, influence those whose power it is to make the choices and decisions which will give those who have been there now to be here in as fulness of a life as they can possibly have.



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