Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Veterans Day response at The American Conservative blog

As a veteran myself, I am saddened by what I see every Veterans’ and Memorial Day. Most soldiers are remarkably like the rest of us and just want to be respected and treated fairly, not labeled with phony “hero” and “warrior” tags, not to mention the maudlin patriotism coupled with the outrageous huge American flags displayed at athletic events. My friends who were killed in ‘Nam died for nothing and it would have been better if they had been commemorated with a pledge of “never again” instead of the post facto regret that we weren’t given our due (we sure weren’t). In my small town here in Virginia the 23-year old kid who was killed in Afghanistan two years ago is being recalled today as a “hero.” He was a high school classmate of my daughter. On his last home leave he was shaking and terrified of going back. It seems he and his platoon were based in a valley surrounded by insurgents and were getting shelled every two hours. The officers in charge regularly described the position as untenable but were ignored by higher command. When the boy was ready to go back to the war he predicted that he would be killed. He was, bleeding to death because of a screw up on the medevac. A life lost for nothing. The position was abandoned two weeks after he died. These wars sure are shit and the sooner they are over the better for all of us individually and better for us as a nation.

(Philip Giraldi
, on November 11th, 2011 at 4:08 pm, responding a post at The American Conservative blog entitled "Moving Beyond the Yellow Ribbons and Flag Waving" by Kelley Vlahos, a piece outlining the continuing disconnect in attitude between the battlefield soldier and the returning veteran. Vlahos had written an earlier post, "Occupy Veterans Day," in which she wrote about the number of veterans participating in Occupy encampments: Veterans from coast to coast are finding out there are lots of people in this country who believe the validity of one’s First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are tied to whether they are approved (Vlahos' emphasis)
by the rest of us. Vlahos' writing about military issues is a regular feature on The American Conservative site. She is also a Washington correspondent for the DC-based homeland security magazine, Homeland Security Today, a long-time political writer for, and weekly columnist for

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