Essay about Memorial Day

Submitted By icegod96
Words: 729
Pages: 3

On this Memorial Day, I honor the veterans of my family--my father Hugh (U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, World War II), my stepfather Jim (U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, Korean War), my stepfather Bill (U.S. Air Force, Korea and Vietnam War), my uncle Wally (U.S. Army Air Force, European Theater, World War II), my uncle Jim (U.S. Army, World War II), my stepsister (U.S. Navy, 1970s), my first cousins Wally, Larry and Jim (U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, Vietnam Era), and my second cousins (U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, active duty)--and all the veterans I have known as colleagues and friends--Denny, Scott, Don and dozens more, mostly Vietnam-era veterans.

If only those voting to send the volunteers of the U.S. Military to war had the same record of service. Back in the mid-60s, about two-thirds of the members of Congress had military service. Now the number is less than 30%, and most of those are ageing veterans in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Congresspeople with children in the military number a grand total of seven (out of 535 members). Young congresspeople with military service are rare as chicken's teeth.

Back in the Vietnam Era, supporters of the war derisively labeled the Peace Sign "the footprint of the American Chicken." Now the footprint of the American chicken blankets the hallways of Congress.

Is anyone else appalled by the cheapness of their "patriotism", men and women alike? (Plenty of females serve in the Armed Forces, so being a woman is no excuse.) Most are Caucasian children of privilege who run straight to law school or lucrative careers which enable their jump to a political career. Once ensconced in power, they send the children of lesser mortals off to war with no understanding of the military or war.

Their lack of service can only be interpreted as a form of high hypocrisy. "Patriotism" for them is making a ton of money and assembling the network needed to grasp power, while "the dirty work" of actually serving in the nation's military is left to others less privileged, those whose patriotism gives the lie to those with no record of service other than to themselves and their careers.

To highlight the dangers of leaders with zero understanding of military matters, let me illustrate with an essay by James Fallows which ran in the Atlantic Monthly back in the 80s. Mr. Fallows--no doubt a fine person and a decent reporter--flayed the Air Force for wanting the costly F-15 fighter jet while the F-5--a cheap trainer-- was available for an eighth the cost.

By Fallows' bean-counter reckoning, one was as good…