VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard De Noyer comments on previous post, “Vet Views”:
Despite 10 years of continual conflict, the American People apparently are divorced from reality when it comes to those in uniform.
The diminishing number of troop support bumper stickers does not tell the full story. These and the familiar refrain, “Thank you for your service,” reflect nice jestures, but mask a much larger disconnection between defenders and the defended.
A recent survey released by the Pew Research Center in October shows this beyond a doubt. (Please see previous post “Vet Views…”) An astounding 75% of Americans believe it is not unfair for the all-volunteer armed forces to assume virtually the complete burden of combating Islamic terrorism.
After all, said those polled, it is “just part of being in the military.” In other words, the public is perfectly ccontent to let a fraction of a percent of the population shoulder full responsibility for its safety.
Members of the military have been all too aware of such sentiments for a long time. Now they have hard evidence. The vast majority (84%) of recent war veterans believe the public has no idea what they or their families have to cope with during constant overseas deployments
Only a small percentage of citizens pay any real attention to events taking place in Afghanistan or Iraq. With the Iraq War over ahd fewer newspaper headlines on the 10-year-long war in Afghanistan, you can bet that interest will wane even further. This is what makes the general public, as one writer called it, “war-illiterate.”
This is where the VFW steps in. No matter what occurs on the public stage, VFW members are in it for the long haul. We exist as an organization to assure that wartime sacrifices are never forgotten. When a nation sends it citizens to war, we all have a collective responsibility to remember and care.
Indeed, our work realy begins when wars fade from public memory. Veterans soon become invisible to society as a whole, left to deal with the aftereffects of war individually and privately. Warriors should not have to suffer in silence.
Who knows this better than fellow war vets, many of whom endured similar experiences? It is our obiligation to see to it that they do not bear these personal burdens in isolation, that they receive assistance if needed. Help can be as simple as lending your ear.
Despite the conventional wisdom abouth what younger vets supposedly want, there is every indication that they, too, want to share their stories. Invite them to a Post event and listen. It shows respect.
Provide whatever help you can in your community directly to those in need. Make sure that the disconnection between the public and the veteran does not include the VFW. This is the time to step forward.
VFW Post 7315 Havelock
Sr. Vice Commander/Service Officer
DAV Ch 26 Havelock
DAV membership is not required for Service Officer assistance.