Who’s a vet?

November 11th, 2015 by Ken

I’m a Veteran.   I served five years, five months and 28 days in the United States Army.   Because today is Veteran’s Day I can get a free car wash, a Grand Slam Breakfast at Denneys and 10 percent off my purchases at many retail locations.

I can get 10 percent off my purchases all year long at Home Depot.   All I have to do is show them my military identification.  I can’t do that.   They took it from me the day I was discharged.   If I were an active duty member of the military I would have my military identification.   If I were a retired veteran, I would have my military identification.   But – because I served a couple of days short of five and a half years – I don’t have military identification.   I guess my American Legion card would suffice if I carried it with me.

My point – – and I do have one – – is that millions of American males served in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam.   They’re all veterans and all served their country.

During World War Two, nearly 90 percent of all draft eligible men served in the military in some capacity.  During the Korean War, nearly 70 percent of draft age males served in the military and during Vietnam some 43 percent of all draft eligible men served their country.  (These statistics are from “The Economist” magazine. )

Today, less than one percent of American families are touched by our war on terror and the conflict in the Middle East.   Even though this is the nation’s longest running war, very few Americans have a close, personal involvement in the military and the war.

Here in Thurston County and particularly Lacey, we see the impact every day.   Our closeness to Joint Base Lewis McChord and the large number of active duty and retired military living in our community gives the concept of Veteran’s Day a personal touch.

But, when only one percent of eligible men and women serve on active duty, it brings pause to think about our future veterans.  Who’s going to care about them when 99 percent of the country isn’t touched?

Posted in The Real News

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