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Veterans deserve more than just thanks

Ethan Meyers

Ethan Meyers

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On Veterans Day, we honor the sacrifices of thousands of Americans. We thank them for their bravery and honor, and pay our respects to the fallen. We hold large assemblies to appreciate them, but we don’t create any dialogue about the struggles veterans face today.

11% of the adult homeless population are veterans. “Many veterans can end up homeless for the same reasons civilians do,” says Support Services for Veteran Families Lead Case Manager Joy Sobczak. Sobczak works for the Midwest Shelter for Veterans in Wheaton, a non-profit organization that works to provide housing and supportive services for veterans and their families.  

Transitioning from military to civilian life unsupported is difficult. “I remember waking up in a panic, thinking I was supposed to be back on base a couple months after I got out,” says English Teacher and former Sergeant of the Marine Corps Robert Tesmond.

Some veterans, especially those who were in combat, may have to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of them attempt to self-medicate through substance abuse, which can lead to a whole host of other issues.

We should not leave the appreciation of veterans to only one day. We should not let that day go with meaningless thanks either. As a school, one of our goals should be to educate people about what is going on around them. On Veterans Day, we should discuss the problems veterans face, and how we as individuals can help them. Otherwise, the whole event is for show.

To create change in the world, we need to do our part of help veterans, and we can start by talking about it.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Veterans deserve more than just thanks”

  1. darkstripe on November 15th, 2017 10:20 am

    what i don’t understand is how america continues to fail its veterans
    they are homeless
    they are out of money
    their healthcare is in jeopardy due to the current administration
    yet when someone uses freedom of protest and do not do any harm by not saluting the flag (which is a peaceful protest imo) they’re shamed for “disrespecting veterans” when they aren’t and it’s really our government that’s disrespecting them
    classic america: a massive hypocrite that fails those who serve it

    [Reply]

    Confused American Reply:

    You are totally entitled to your opinion, but I think you are forgetting what the American Flag represents in our country. It does not only represent the United States, but the people who serve it. Especially all military personnel, either current, future, or retired. By not saluting or standing to the US Flag, you are not just disrespecting your country, you are disrespecting over 680,000 US soldiers, who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died to protect the American way of life and give us all freedom. Everyone has a freedom of speech, and a right to show one’s opinions. It is what the United States was founded on. However, we shouldn’t have to disrespect our soldiers to try to get our word across. You are the hypocrite, as you are doing more disrespect to our veterans than America is.

    [Reply]

    darkstripe Reply:

    me: supports a peaceful protest
    government: trying to take away healthcare from many people, including veterans, and gives them little to no support
    hmmmmmmm

    honestly i see that kind of protest as completely fine. veterans fought for our right to freedom of speech and protest in the first place. and it’s not really disrespectful? like look at the flag code. does it ever say you HAVE to salute the flag, and that not saluting it is disrespectful? no, because that’s evidence of a country forcing its citizens to salute it, which is wrong. it never says not saluting the flag is disrespecting the veterans. it says letting it sit on the ground or ripping it up or vandalizing it are all not respectful, but people aren’t doing any of that. they are quietly sitting down and letting other people salute the flag. how in any way is that disrespectful?

    [Reply]

    Mary Reply:

    Anyone who lives in America is privileged. Respect the country you live in, not disrespecting the flag that stands for freedom, which gives you the right to protest!

    darkstripe Reply:

    @mary because i can’t reply directly to them
    *disrespect. grammar matters
    wow i didn’t know homeless and starving people are privileged because they live in america! thanks for the knowledge

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Veterans deserve more than just thanks