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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Veterans Day Sale?! A sign that we don’t really care

    In the United Kindom they celebrate Armistice Day on Nov, 11 the same day that we celebrate Veterans Day. How do they do it?

    They observe a national period of silence and people flood the streets wearing black arm bands and holding poppy flowers in order to signify their mourning for all the soldiers who died to defend their country. Armistice day was created to signify the end of World War I.

    How do observe the day? We drive to work and school in our cars happy to have a day off and on the radio we hear about a wonderful matress sale! I can now get a matress 20 percent off. We use the day to catch up on work or to relax.

    What I’m trying to say is that there is no observance of Veterans Day in our country. Sure there is a symbolic observation of it. The President has a ceremony with military men and women at Arlington National Cemetary. For those who have friends and family in the wars overseas and for those who have lost people overseas spend the day thinking about their loved ones and how they wish they could be home to spend that day with them. Our national conciousness however barely seems to bat an eyelash.

    This is symbolic of our overall un caring attitude towards veterans and soldiers in our country. The other day, I was speaking to a homeless veteran who was telling me that he was denied care by the VA even when he was dying of liver and kidney failure.

    Apperenly, the government doctors didnt think that he was sick enough. Eventually, however, after enough obvious signs from him that he was dying the VA agreed to cover his medical costs as they are obliged to do for soldiers.

    There is a huge disconnect in our country between the military and the general population. Perhaps the British appreciate their men and women in uniform more because their nation was in the cross hairs in both world wars and the very existence of their country was in question.

    They realize that the only reason their society exists is because of the millions of soldiers who died defending them. Here in America, we eat our fast food and go to classes, go to parties and barbeques and never stop to think that we are able to do all of this because there are some families in our country who sacrafice alot or even sacrafice it all to make that possible.

    While you might not agree or think that the wars we are in are really relevant or even justafiable there is no denying that throughout our history there were wars that were also undeniabely being fought for our very existence as well. Why is there such a disconnect in this country and why are those who go fight for us then thrown away like used trash when their service is done. Perhaps our culture of loving disposable items transfers over to human beings as well.

    When their usefulness is exhausted they are tossed out by the machine of our society without any thought. All that cares is the bottom line and how much taking care of veterans costs.

    The almighty dollar and our culture of spending, using and then discarding things without thought all to maximize the bottom line is leading to the destruction of our environment, our lives and is creating nightmare scenarious for veterans returning home to a reality that might be worse than the one that they just arrived from. The last piece of advice from that veteran I was speaking to was “Hey kid don’t ever join the U.S. military, it chews you out, spits you out and leaves you on the side of the road and no one gives a damn about what you did.”

    It’s sad that veterans get treated like this let have to worry about anything in their lives after their service. Many of my friends and family are in the military whether here in America or in other countrues.

    Those who serve in other countries tend to tell me that it was the best decision they ever made, they never have to worry about housing healthcare etc. and are treated with repect and thanks by their fellow citizens.

    The soldiers in our country however are more likey to be homeless, be ill or not have jobs than civillians after their service. There is something very wrong with this picture.

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