November 11th is Veteran’s day and tomorrow the USA will observe it. I saw this video the other day and it really touched me and I wanted to share it.
The Vietnam vet in this video reminds me of my Dad. I just want to thank my Dad for his service during a very tumultuous time in our nation’s history. My Dad was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War and he went as a conscientious objector due to his religious beliefs of pacifism. He was trained as a medic and worked with POWs. I’m so proud of my Dad for sticking to his religious principles while also answering the call from his country to serve. He also worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital for 28 years.
It breaks me heart at the way our veterans were treated when they came home from Vietnam. Anti-war sentiment quickly was projected onto the troops, and many returning soldiers were called “baby killers,” they were spat upon, and badly mistreated. There have been numerous books and studies done about the mistreatment of soldiers who came home from 1966-1972. I felt like watching this video I could see the shame in the Vietnam vet’s eyes as one solider was given free coffee while he was largely ignored, until the end of the video of course.
Veterans in our country are an at-risk population. The Center of American Progress reports that as of December 2011, veterans accounted for one in seven homeless people. In 2010, nearly one million veterans reported living in poverty. Right now there are 1.5 million veterans at risk of homelessness due to lack of support, poverty, and poor living conditions. I think if we really revere our veterans as much as we say we do, we need to do better by them as a nation.
So, thank you to the men and women who have served this country in uniform. Those who have sacrificed their physical health, their safety, their time with their families, their mental health, and especially those who have sacrificed their lives to protect this country. God bless us all.