guilt and shame…

a view at Dover AFB Delaware

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Tomorrow is November 11…veterans day.
When I was a boy around my high school age I can remember seeing scenes like this one every night on the evening news of our young men returning dead from war in Viet Nam. Each day the news would show the photographs of each of the days dead-young guys like myself in thier high school year book snapshots-or the picture taken in boot camp of our profile in military dress. Each day the flag draped coffins would be lined on the tarmac at Dover AFB-the nations mortuary…and a salute was made to these lost lads-killed in action.
It was about respect to show Americans these brave heros who died to preserve the democracy we hold dear. It interests me that we no longer are given the privledge to see these images.
After my discharge from the Navy I would find myself in tears year after year on days like tomorrow-thinking about myself and my place as a veteran. I become so ashamed that in my mind I feel that I did’nt fulfill my duty…and feel so guilty because of those who did. Odd-just the other day I pointed out that every one of us that heard the call of duty and went forward on our own free want to-our will to do the right thing…we are as those who went to battle fields because we joined with our bodies to be a sacrifce no matter what the sacrifice was to be. But still-today I still feel the sadness of not being able to persue the life I knew would be the best-to sail the blue seas and see places afar…like the enlistment posters said.
Theres something wrong with this picture-I had to ‘steal’ it from somewhere so to be able for more views can be had. We neeed these pictures to tell us why the veterans of war should be given more than just a day of respect and recognition. We should all be ashamed these pictures are’nt shown every day and the respect and honor these men and woman-someones child…deserve.
Instead of realizeing there is a war going on we head for Wal-Mart and rarely do we see a young man or woman in uniform when back during the Viet Nam days we saw the sight of marines and sailors and soldiers in dress uniform everywhere….bus stations and air ports. Often those that wore the required dress of the day recieved spittal and curseing for being in a war they did’nt begin and had no desire to be at…but took the brunt of disrespect. But at least we could see them-those of us that honored them and knew what the men in uniform meant.
Instead of seeing uniforms we see grown men in pants so baggy they have to hold them with one hand to keep them from falling down…men old enough to take up his place in the military,but there they are standing in sneakers they don’t even lace up. There are no images of the young men and ladies-some ones child , coming home from Iraq and Afganistan-fo us to pay our respect to. The very democracy we are sending these kids to die for and show the world its right is not allowing us to pay them respect.
Tomorrow is veterans day. I remember as a boy the big veterans parade. Today it is the specials at the billionaires store that are sucking us in to see whats on sale….
once upon a time I remember hearing songs about where all the soldiers gone…”where have all the soldiers gone?” sung by Peter Paul and Mary. I remeber the songs of the 1960’s that opened up the minds of America to see what war was doing. Country Joe and the Fish singing “one two three…what are we fighting for?” was the opular anti war song of those days and young people were out in droves to protest the wrong of the death of innocents. Now there is something missing.

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