Honor soldiers who have died, by remembering and serving those who are alive

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him"

Abraham Lincoln

We say that a Veteran's place, their Country, is proud of them.

In symbolic ways, in speeches, in ribbons, in lesiure filled Holidays, we acknowledge their courage, their sacrifice, their service to their Country, and to the realization, survival and advancement of the values on which it was founded.

However, all too often we fail to show them- particularly in meaningful ways- how grateful, how proud we are, or should be.

And for that, I'm not sure they should be as proud of us, of their place, as we are-or claim to be-of them.

Generally speaking, we live, as a society, self-servingly ignorant to the details of their sacrifice, more comfortable in the abstract, in being as emotionally distant as we are physically.

We'd rather stay self-involved, spending time on our iPads, on Facebook -not as a tool or an outlet to reach or potentially benefit those who have served-but rather to engage in self-promotion, ironically practicing our First Amendment right-one of the many freedoms their service is protecting-to update our friends and followers as to our latest care free trip to the mall, or the gym, or to voice our displeasure with the latest results of some vapid “talent” show on television.

Now don’t get me wrong, we reflexively cheer every time someone offers up some patriotic platitude,-e.g. “We support our Troops!”, “We Love our Troops”, “We Pray for our Troops....now let's get to the game”.

There’s also flag pins which show how much we love the Country our Soldiers have and are defending, like to say ”We’re all on the same team---and you're doing all the work for the team, but I'm wearing this pin, so I'm kinda doing my part, ya know?"

But we can do better than conspicuously placed fashion accessories , or elaborate but largely meaningless ceremonies at sporting events, can't we?

After all, a flag pin lacks the thought, the substance, the power of a letter expressing support to an active soldier , or gratitude to a veteran .

And yes, 45,000 sq ft American flags on football fields, while awe inspiring, are not as practical or beneficial  as say-volunteering at, or donating to a local VA Hospital.

Pretty cool...but not as cool as helping a Soldier at a VA Hospital

And while our Memorial Day picnics and barbecues will be a fun way of “honoring” those who have lost their lives while serving, it will do nothing to feed, to house, to help, the nearly 70,000 veterans who are alive and homeless.

And no, drinking Miller High Life at the barbecue isn't enough---not when nearly 30% of Veterans are suffering from PTSD...not when we can do more.

Simply, the best way we can honor those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, is to remember those, honor those, help those, who served --and are still living....

To make them as proud of their place, as proud of us, as we are of them.

Be Good Friends,


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