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Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:34 PM

 

Help Veterans by Taking Them Off the Pedestal

My generation of veterans has adopted an odd moniker: The Next Greatest Generation. We grew up watching Band of Brothers and found parallels in this dramatization of World War II experiences to what we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan—brotherhood, sacrifice, the struggle to endure long and bitter conflicts. We’re just as capable as they were, and they changed the world, the thinking goes. We proclaim our greatness at the beginning of the second chapter of our lives.

But there’s a problem with that logic: It means our sense of greatness is derived from that first chapter. While some of the greatest contributions the World War II generation gave this country happened after the war, our self-admiration is based entirely, by contrast, from our time in service. And that troubling attitude means a continued isolation from the society we left behind.

A recent piece written by Raul Felix, a war veteran in college, is a good example. The author takes a patronizing view toward civilian members of Generation Y, suggesting that they are complacent and lacking worldly wisdom. While the standard “think piece” on the civilian/military divide laments the fissure between the groups, this one champions it: “Your major tests were your finals, ours was going to war,” Felix says. “You heard and read about it from the news; we lived it.”

I once talked to a World War II veteran about the experience of attending college after coming home, and asked if it was jarring to sit next to those who never served. I wondered if veterans huddled together under the umbrella of mutual understanding and thought less of civilians who never shouldered a rifle. His answer was surprising. They were proud of their time in uniform, he said, but for many, the war interrupted their lives, and education was a return to normalcy. Instead of a victory lap, they were more interested in getting back on track

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http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/11/help-veterans-by-taking-them-off-the-pedestal/281316/

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Reply Help Veterans by Taking Them Off the Pedestal (Original post)
cali Nov 2013 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #1
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #3
Dawson Leery Nov 2013 #4
WinkyDink Nov 2013 #5
Wounded Bear Nov 2013 #6
onethatcares Nov 2013 #7

Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 02:09 PM

1. A Google search will show that "The Next Greatest Generation" meme apparently began recently

 

with the MSM as a way to create controversy. It may have even started with a single author in a single publication.

How many people are in the group that the author of the current piece describes as "My generation of veterans"? 100,000? 500,000? According to McClatchy, the number is "about 2.5 million."
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/14/185880/millions-went-to-war-in-iraq-afghanistan.html

The author's claim "My generation of veterans has adopted an odd moniker" doesn't seem to be supported by the facts.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 02:14 PM

2. I agree.

 

Universal health care isn't something you get as a reward. It's a human right.

Free education isn't something you get as a reward. It's a human right.

If half this country was as enraged over the poor getting thrown off food stamps or being made homeless as they were for veterans being put in the same situation, things would be a lot better.

It's infuriating that people like me are deemed as "worthy" of these basic rights while millions are told to suck it up and work for those same things.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 02:46 PM

3. If half the MSM and/or DC politicians were as enraged over the poor getting thrown off food stamps,

 

things would be a lot better.

There is no way to verify that the general populace is not concerned. We can, however, see that the MSM and the politicians are not.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

4. k/r

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:17 PM

5. NS, "the war interrupted their lives."

 

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:21 PM

6. Whatever....

most vets have simple wants, starting with a decent job.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 04:02 PM

7. why the fuck did

we have to go invade Iraq and Afghanistan anyway?

It's not like they were rowing boats over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to invade us and take away our "freedoms". But more like we wanted their resources and a warm water port to get them to the corporate coffers.



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