I had an incandescent rant all ready to go for today, similar to the one I put up here last November 11th. I wrote it out. I looked at it, and I just couldn't find the heart to publish it.
What's the point?
You all know as well as I do what I was going to say. War is a racket. We - me, everyone I served with, the people serving now, the veterans of tomorrow and next week and next year - are just the bailiff's men, serving our country's liens in places and on people all over the world. No, we don't do sweet fuck all to "defend your freedoms". We kill people and break shit that our "leaders" have designated as inimical to our national interests. We're the button men and women for Donnie "Five-Deferment" Trump and his crew of racketeers just as we have been for every President and every Congress since 1945.
Now there's some honor and decency serving as an imperial legionary. Not all empires are pure Evil. But to pretend that we're still the Arsenal of Democracy of Remember Pearl Harbor? To tell ourselves that the people who wore the uniforms in the 1980's and 1990's and Oughts and now the Teens are somehow like the Greatest Generation that saw off Hitler and Tojo? That's just foolish, the self-deluding mumbling of an idiot child needing the comfort of a kindly lie.
I won't pretend that I didn't enjoy my Army days. I won't pretend that I'm not proud that I was a good soldier and then a good sergeant. When my days are done I'll gladly slope off for a pint in Hell with my old pals from Division, from my Reserve and Guard outfits, and maybe if we're lucky with the hard boys of the Legio X Fretensis, and the 3rd Company of the 1st Battalion of the Légion étrangère. Here's to us. Who's like us. Damn few, and they're all dead.
I know who I am, and what I did. I'm not ashamed of it, but I'm not vauntingly proud, either. I didn't hold Bastogne or Guadalcanal. I did the dirty work of geopolitics and I'm okay with that. I served with good people, had a laugh, and came home sound, and no legionary can ask more than that.
No, it is you, my friends, my fellow Americans, who need to look into year hearts and souls and ask why you have been happy to be lied to, gleeful to parrot the nonsense taught you about "freedom" and "fighting them there", eager to pretend that you have not sent, or been willing to let others send in your name, young men and women into harm's way for nothing more than a handful of dollars, or a passing bit of geopolitics, or some fancy of "national honor", or some fantasy about dangerous enemies, where there is nothing but ruin and impotent anger that our own nation has grown from the seeds of our own ignorant hate and fear while pretending to be the victims ourselves.
I just don't have the heart to rant about this. I am just tired, and a little grieved, for the foolish waste of it all.
On this day I offer only the cold comfort that our nation's ideals promise that We the People can choose to honor our veterans by choosing not to make more of them unless it's for a truly fucking good reason.
For those of you who have come here seeking grave words hymning this day, weighted with honor and glory of the service I and mine have done and do, I have none.