Respect those serving our country

Veterans Day deserves the respect and acknowledgment for those who have rightfully earned the honor for this holiday.

One may not agree with or respect engaging in violence or war, but for those who are fighting or have fought to protect us, they deserve respect. Violence may not be the answer, but sometimes it’s the response that comes before that answer is resolved.

Veterans Day is celebrated annually on Nov. 11, honoring veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Originally called Armistice Day, according to history.com, “In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.” According to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/, “Armistice Day, held on November 11 every year, commemorates the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany at 11am on 11 November 1918.”

Samantha Moore / Art Director

Samantha Moore / Art Director

What should be kept in mind is that in celebrating this holiday, it’s not just honoring those who’ve actually fought on the front lines, but also those who’ve just served in general.

Many might associate a veteran to be an ex-assault-rifle-wielding-warrior once decked out head-to-toe in combat gear. As intense of an image as that may be, it’s often not always the reality. Some serving our country may not even be shipped overseas, as they may be stationed within our country.

We at The Equinox feel that whatever the situation, these men and women who serve our country deserve our respect. This respect should be upheld even on days where their service isn’t being nationally recognized by a federal holiday.

With war comes hardship, and not every person fighting a war believes in what they’re fighting for.

Some not involved in the armed forces may also disagree with the reasons a war is occurring, but believing in those serving in the war is important. It’s like that cliché saying goes, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

However, as unfortunate as it is to admit, war has long been a part of our culture. War has been embedded in our American roots long before Germany or Vietnam. Although many veterans return home and live regular lives, there is still a considerable amount of homeless veterans.

According to an article on the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans website, “Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era.” Whether struggling socioeconomically or with Post Traumatic Stress, these veterans who come home and have trouble adapting and integrating back into a civilian way of life need more support and assistance.

According to that same article, “Although flawless counts are impossible to come by –the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty– the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 39,471 veterans are homeless on any given night.” This figure doesn’t include those struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their head on the brink of becoming homeless.

Depending on their circumstances for some veterans, they returned home only to wage a new war with themselves.

It’s more than okay for one to be anti-war, but in doing so it’s important not to become anti-human. Despite the hate one may have for war, those fighting it are still human underneath the uniform and warrant respect.

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