17 Jul Respected or Disrespected?
A TO Z: 26 ISSUES TRANSITIONING VETERANS FACE #18
Most people assume that when someone raises their right hand in acceptance of the privilege and honor to serve our fellow Americans, that in that moment a great deal of gratitude is automatically afforded to the man or woman who has done so for the remainder of their lives. That would be the correct thought process for an individual on the outside to conceive based on the valor in being brave enough to sign up under our current undrafted military system, don’t you think? Especially since this decision could and has led in some cases, to the ultimate sacrifice or loss of limb/severe injuries occurring during great times of unsettlement.
Since our constitution was enacted in 1787 dignity and respect for those in uniform has been on display for our soldier over the years while in uniform, for the most part, and one can assume once out of uniform the same civilities would continue. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In all honesty, those who are not aware of the struggles of a veteran are either not paying attention or are uneducated to the amount of sacrifice it takes to be willing to die out of their duty, with honor, and for this great country if called to do so on any given day. The realities of this sacrifice should not be taken lightly.
There has been great debate over the years, especially since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as a results of the terrorism of 9/11, about what should be the entitlements of those brave men and women serving our free nation be afforded once they return home. These deeply rooted arguments have divided and categorized the veteran population in a very unjustifiable way. As a result, there have been national, state, and local laws/regulations, which have been established to support our veterans positively and to help eliminate distrust. However, the outcomes have varied on whether these initiatives have actually helped or hindered those who’ve served. The overall consensus from the veterans I have encountered is that the services provided may be available, but trying to actually receive those services is a nightmare most of the time.
That is why we all have to do better, as it all begins and ends with respect. Respect for those who have served and respect for those who support those who have served should be automatic. When you do the right thing consistently and with due process, everything usually works out in an organic way in the end. When we fail to realize the great expense that freedom actual costs us, we in all actuality are not only failing our soldiers/veterans, but we are also gravely failing ourselves.