phynedyning

Who owes veterans? Getting thanks from the right people.

In Editorial on November 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

The people of the United States just completed (another) holiday of state-inspired masturbation, Veteran’s Day. For over seventy-two hours, television held a non-stop military orgasm as anchorwomen dutifully moistened their chairs and non-veteran anchormen ‘held their manhood cheap’ before those who served in the imperial legions.

Veteran’s Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day at the conclusion of WWI. When ‘the war to end all wars’ turned out to be only a phony prelude to all subsequent wars, the holiday became ‘Veteran’s Day’. The holiday is often confused with ‘Memorial Day’, a holiday set aside to commemorate the nation’s dead military members.

[Veterans marching in Memorial Day parades are marching in salute of their fallen comrades, not so gathered civilians along the parade route “can finally say thank you” to the marchers. I wish the anchors would get at least that much right.]

Veteran’s Day in America is celebrated by celebrating the state and its military. The wintertime greeting of “Happy Holidays!” gets temporarily replaced with mindlessly blurted “Thank you for your service”, the state-inspired ‘Geseundheit’ one is expected to utter upon learning someone is a veteran.

Nonsense! If American veterans want a thank you, they’ll not get one from me. They need to pound on the doors at Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Kelly, Brown, and Root. They should run their parade route through the offices at Exxon.

There is no draft. Members of today’s military are well paid. They volunteer for service and are given, in exchange, a plethora of accommodations, bonuses, and freebies…‘parting gifts’ for having been fodder for the state and its imperialistic goals.

“They’re fighting for your freedom.”

More nonsense. Most are not fighting, period.

The ratio of support personnel to national trigger-pullers runs, in most cases, from 5 to 1 to upwards of 7 to 1. Most members of the military seldom hear more than harsh language from their fellows, let alone gunfire.

And, they are certainly not fighting, or even serving, for my freedom.

The United States has not had anyone fighting for America’s freedom since (arguably) WWII. Subsequent to that war, America’s legions have been fighting for empire and little else. Since I do not support the idea of American empire or Pax Americana, they have not (in my lifetime) ever fought for me.

[It is my opinion that combat veterans should set worshipful civilians right by reminding them that they didn’t fight for them, Mom, or apple pie. They fought to simply stay alive and to keep the guy next to them alive who was, likewise, returning the favor.]

No ‘thank you’ is, therefore, owed…except by war’s profiteers.

“Members of the military give up parts of their lives, and often their life as a whole.”

More nonsense.

Many people give up good parts of their lives as they pursue careers. Over-the-road truck drivers are a pretty good example. A lot of them also die while pursuing their occupation behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler. I don’t greet truckers with a timid “Thank you for your service.” It would be silly.

As silly as doffing one’s hat to a veteran and uttering the same.

Coal mining is dangerous. Recently, a man working in a tuna-canning factory was accidentally steamed to death on the job. Harvesting Alaskan king crabs is among the most dangerous of occupations. Where are the flag-draped parades for tuna canners, coal miners, and crab fishermen? Do we get misty-eyed at their sacrifices?

Of course not.

Doctors, lawyers, university professors, and a plethora of other professional occupations require their pursuers to give up years (often decades) of family life as they chase down those careers. They miss out on birthdays, holidays, and family gatherings…

…by choice, as do members of our military.

Do we get all gooey over the small businessman who toils for 80-100 hours per week during the critical first years of his business?

Of course not.

Do you conclude your consultation with a physician or lawyer by solemnly mumbling “Thank you for your service”?

Of course not. They would be embarrassed and you’d be a fool.

It’s not like the military isn’t well paid.

Pay for an E-1 with less than two years of service (An E-1 with more than two years of service should be paying us.) is around $1,500/month, or about $9.50/hr. A lot of folks in the civilian world make much less and try to raise families on that amount.

[Please spare me the nonsensical assertion that members of the military ‘work’ more than a civilian-standard 40-hour week. Most time in the military is spent sitting around waiting to do something. I’ve experienced that in two, world-class military organizations.]

A ‘butter bar’ lieutenant (O-1) with less than two years in grade earns almost double, at $2828/month…almost $18/hr. Like their civilian counterparts, junior officers are often college educated. Unlike their civilian counterparts, they do not work as barristas for $5/hr, plus tips.

The truth is, without the adoration of the mobs or a trashed economy, few people would pursue military careers and you know what that might lead to?

Peace.

We’ll have none of that.

Veterans are owed deep measures of thanks, from the people who benefited most from their service…the military-industrial-congressional plutocracy who shifted their burden of saying ‘thank you’ to the deliberately dumbed-down civilians standing along the curb of a Veteran’s Day parade.

[It is my custom to give ‘birthday greetings’ on the founding anniversary of the respective branches of the military to those who successfully became members of those organizations. There is no double standard in doing so. My birthday wishes are given in recognition that the person successfully completed the requirements set to become an airman, sailor, soldier, or Marine. Their completion may be the only thing the person ever achieved (or they may see it as their greatest achievement) and someone’s individual achievements should be always be recognized. It is a far different thing than saying ‘thank you’. It is nonsensical to say ‘thank you’ when someone else achieves.]

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