As a veteran, it has always been pretty interesting to me to watch and read what people say and do on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Armed Forces Day.
I was amused watching the events surrounding Veterans Day this year. Here are some of my thoughts.
This past week leading up to Veterans Day we are inundated with Veterans Day sales. It seems mattresses are all the rage this year. For some reason, I don’t think I would spend Veterans Day shopping for a mattress, but that’s just me.
Of course, as a veteran, we can get a “great deal” on the car this week! Can’t we always get a “great deal” on a car, somewhere?
There are many sales that give veterans 11% off their purchases or even more. Bass Pro Shop says they are “pleased to offer the active military, veterans, retirees, National Guardsmen and Reservists of our Armed Forces a 5% discount every day, year-round at U.S. Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops stores, simply present proper ID at checkout.”
Way to go all-out for veterans, Bass Pro Shops!
How can we forget the free meals for veterans at some restaurants! Once you stand in line for hours, you’ll be really hungry. One story I read said 95 restaurants were participating. Get a free entrée at Applebee’s! Don’t laugh, this is not just any entrée, it’s a “full-size entrée.”
That is all nice, but let’s consider this quote, “A veteran is someone that who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including their life.”
Sounds fair, right?
I think that entitles veterans to more than free fries.
On the Fox NFL pre-game show, they did their show at an active duty military base. It’s always nice to honor the active duty folks, but they are not yet veterans. I guess doing the show at a VA Hospital would not be a ratings grabber. Terry Bradshaw could throw a pass to a veteran in a wheelchair, but that might not be as exciting.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arrowhead Stadium always honor veterans pretty well. They had a big flag, small flags, and a flyover. They did include active duty military personnel in their ceremony.
Then we have social media. On Facebook, it seems it has turned into a contest to see who can post the most patriotic Veterans Day photo, post after post after post. Then veterans are forgotten for another 365 days.
So what is a veteran?
Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations says “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
The key words are “who served.”
Memorial Day is a day to honor the “war dead.” It is observed on the last Monday of May.
Armed Forces Day is a day to pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. It is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.
Thank you for your service, fellow veterans!