Could You Tell It Was Veteran's Day Today?

I sat in a cafe this afternoon and wondered if anyone in the place was a veteran.

After all, today is Veteran's Day.

Something like 25% of LA's homeless population is comprised of veterans. Clearly though, not every veteran is living over on Skid Row in abject poverty. Those ones that decided they didn't want to rack up the savings at Macy's awesome Veteran's Day Sale were probably getting all the recognition they needed at trendy little cafe's with profound names like "Intelligentsia".

I'll admit, there were no signs in the cafe proclaiming, "Thank you, Veterans, for risking your lives so we can enjoy our $4 lattes."

There weren't even any, "Free coffee if you got a cap busted in your ass somewhere overseas!" signs.

But maybe a couple of vets came into the cafe before I did and told them to take the signs down because they didn't want to draw too much attention to themselves. They probably wanted to sip that $4 latte and discuss the writer's strike in anonymity.

Yes, they must not have wanted to call too much attention to themselves, even though it's technically Veteran's Day.

I'm sure the tattooed up guys sitting across from me poring over photo shoot proofs probably just got back from Iraq.

The woman who seemed like she'd forgotten to put on a bra had to have been chasing Osama in Afghanistan this time last year. She was probably risking her life in barren terrain, so she should have the luxury to yap into her cell phone about how her boyfriend is an, "F-ing cheater," but she can't leave yet because the, "Sex is sooo hot. Like every night!"

Yes, even though I couldn't tell at all that it was Veteran's Day today, that doesn't mean the veterans around me felt at all slighted or unappreciated.

I'm sure they just were glad to have a day off to relax, shop, sip coffee and be cool...just like me.


Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

It seems that we Americans are only into holidays that provide something directly to us.

We love Christmas because we get presents, Thanksgiving because we get a big meal, New Years Day becuse we get to party and get plenty of libation.

But holidays that are about celebrating or commemorating others don't rate very high.

American culture is very self-centered. If there is nothing in it for us then it's not important.

Also I heard the figures on homelessness among Vets and the stats nationally are just as grim.

We don't provide much support for our Vets. I think that over time with more sources of info available about these things, it's going to become increasingly difficult to get young people to serve.

Is there a draft coming? I wonder.
ABC News had a report on the amount of homeless Veterans. This is an outrage.

It seems holidays here are only about shopping. Sad.
Anonymous said…
As a veteran I appreciate your thanks!
Jameil said…
and not only the homeless vets, let's not forget the injured vets being asked to pay back their signing bonuses. WTF!?!? and the ones who can't get treated for PTSD. and being sent to rat-infested walter reed. OUT.RAGE!!

my dad wanted to go get a free meal for veteran's day, but couldn't because the line was too long. hmmm... there's got to be another way. you know what tho? some vets probably don't want all that attn. my uncle came back from vietnam all kinds of messed up. my father says he's a completely different person. and he certainly will not talk about vietnam. so for some, i'm sure its a day they'd rather forget.
Liz Dwyer said…
I agree. And it's a shame how "Black Friday" is bigger than Thanksgiving now. Do we really only care about getting a crappy dvd player for $20 from Wal-Mart?

On one of the news channels they were interviewing some of the homeless vets over on skid row and it was heartbreaking. Then they talked to homeless guys just back from Iraq. They talked about how they were freaked out even by the sound of a car backfiring. And we can't find them a place to stay. Shameful.

I forgot to wish you a happy VDay yesterday on the phone. I was too distracted trying to fix your iPod. And I'm glad you aren't a homeless've already slept on my air mattress so I don't think you wanna go there! LOL!

See, this is why the line for folks waiting to go to hell just got a little longer. Because of "policy" those that most deserve our appreciation are being put through a living hell. Being asked to pay back signing bonuses? That's just immoral.

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