Eleventh hour, eleventh day, in France of old ’18,
what’s point of honoring Dough Boys consumed by war machine?
A bunch of brutish thugs that shoot and stab and die,
why this cry for reverence whenever one walks by?
What debt do we owe those who so long ago did fight?
Patriotism’s vestige of medieval insight.
Those of us inside our homes so safe, secure and warm,
never with a glimpse what it’s like to face the dogs of war.
Never seen the elephant, never fought for my life nor yours,
shudder at imaginings as I give thanks to those who fight.
Thank you to our veterans and their families;
praise I’m shielded from the truth about what I write.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a hard core Trumpster age mate and the conversation turned to returning veterans, especially those from Vietnam. Rick and I disagree on most everything politic, frequently wholly disagreeing and sometimes partially. When he said, “I think the worst thing was the way Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home,” I stopped him, told him to look me in the eyes and say that again. Rick hesitated. While it takes an awful lot to make me yell, I can be quite demanding in my “calm, deliberate debate delivery.” (HA!)
Rick’s response of, “What?” showed his unease. Rick had been put off when we first met a year ago next month because I’d say, “Hmmm, let’s fact check that,” something he at first felt was a personal affront. ‘Fact check, what? Like you don’t trust me?’ was the vibe he gave off until he realized I say that phrase multiple time a day and that I fact check myself far more than anyone else. I again urged him to repeat himself.
“You mean that the way Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home wasn’t the worst thing?” he asked, his voice thick with incredulity.
“I didn’t say that,” I replied. “Now look me in the eye and say it again.”
“Alright, ‘the worst thing was the way Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home,'” Rick said looking, me squarely in the eye.
“I agree 100%,” was my choked voice response. “Absolutely deplorable.”
Thank you veterans, from me and Rick.