Thank you for your service…

VoteVets had a poignant post on Instagram earlier today. That resonated with me. In the past twenty years since 9/11 we’ve been thanking active duty military and veterans for their service to the country. That’s great and truly appreciated by any veteran that received that thanks. At the same time however it has allowed the general public to perform a perfunctory service that made them feel as though they were part of the war effort.

This hasty quip is part of the feel good culture that at the same time has largely ignored the plight of military service personnel who have been called on to serve multiple tours of duty in the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere without a shared sacrifice by the folks on the home front.

The transition from conscripted service to the all volunteer military in the United States has created an unfair situation where those who volunteer for military service are forced to serve multiple tours of duty in dangerous environments. During Vietnam most soldiers and marines served a maximum of twelve or thirteen months in combat areas before being rotated stateside or to non-combat areas.

As a veteran whenever I thank another veteran or active duty person for their service I have empathy and connection with what I’m saying. I wonder how many other folks seriously reflect on their greetings.

Thought provoking

Today Plain Foolish whom I have great respect for, mentioned a video that I felt compelled to view because of her recommendation. It is riveting and I recommend it to you.  I hope you take time to watch these videos and to reflect on how we can do a better job of loving our neighbors and stemming the tide of prejudice and injustice. For more information about the series “Constantine’s Sword,”  or to view this presentation in its entirety on Youtube follow this link. I like the way the author, James Carroll has presented his work. I think he’s done a real service for us and it invites an examination of our souls. James Carroll’s decision to leave the priesthood seems to have been a prophetic calling. It seems to be me that if he stayed in the hierarchy he would not have been able to do the work he has done here.