Trick or Treat for Veterans and Military Personnel

tin soldiers.jpg

Today, Veterans Day 2017, is nothing like Veterans Day 1977, forty years ago when I observed my first Veterans Day after getting out of the military.

That was right after the Vietnam war ended, a real black mark on this country, and the country wasn't quite ready to give free meals to those who served in the military. Back then most of us wouldn't even admit we were in the military, we all just wanted it to go away. Back then there were a few solemn parades here and there but now, NOW, there's much, much more.

Now I can literally eat and drink for FREE from morning til midnight. I can have pancakes at IHOP, an omelette at Denny's, a hamburger at Red Robin, some lasagna at Olive Garden, some ribs at Famous Dave's, Blooming Onions at Outback, a steak at Applebee's and top it off with beer at basically any tavern I want to enter and present my DD214 that shows I was a member of the U.S. Navy when I was young and stupid. I just have to walk in a yell, "I'm a Veteran! Trick or Treat Motherfuckers!"

Today everybody loves me!

I can go to about any store I want and pay less than any non-veteran, getting ten to twenty percent off the pricetag.

I can walk around with a U.S. Navy Vet baseball cap on my head and get people I don't even know to come up to me and thank me for SACRIFICING my LIFE (two years of it anyway) so they can walk around FREE. FREE!!

I can watch TV and listen to every announcer at every ballgame call me a hero and one of the greatest Americans of ALL! Hell, the older I get the better it gets. People don't even care what I did when I was in the Navy. That doesn't seem to matter.

I can look around with such pride at all the people walking and talking and driving and eating, all because of ME!

I don't know, I'm pretty level headed, I usually don't let things go to my head and make me feel like I'm better than anyone else. But today I snapped at my granddaughter when she called me to her room. She yelled, "grandpa, come here!". And for some reason it set me off, I went in her room and told her straight up, "today, you will call be GOD!"

I caught myself and went to the mirror in the bathroom and asked myself if I really wanted to take it this far. Did I really want to believe that people are FREE because of me, that if it wasn't for me the United States of America would be a suburb of China or Russia.

I don't have time to think about that now, it's time to go Trick or Treating. I think I'll start with some Lasagna.

Maybe next year.

How things have changed.

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26 users have voted.

Comments

Pricknick's picture

with an iron gut. I can't tolerate most restaurants and fast food joints. Comes from learning to grow and cook my own.
As for the recognition that many need in order feel good about themselves, the only place I show my retirement identification is at the VA. I'm not proud of my service and I definitely don't feel I contributed to the so-called freedom in this country.
But hey..... I went to a hardware store today and was deluged by christmas shit.
Bah humbug.
All things included, I'm a happy person without the admiration and commercialism.

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10 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Big Al's picture

@Pricknick I'm don't think anything personifies the literal brainwashing of the American public and conditioning to accept U.S. imperialism, militarism and the police state than present day Veterans day.

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12 users have voted.

@Pricknick I did 4yrs in the USN 76-80 (no wars) I really don't even consider myself as a vet and I tell very few outside of friends and family. Besides helping to keep the ship moving all I did was party. I have only been to the VA a couple times years ago and I am lucky to have had good medical insurance most of the time I have been out. Here in the Chgo. area the VA hospital is way to crowded and f'n depressing. As far as the shit the restaurant chains call food, free or not they can keep it.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

the PTB have played on people's patriotic feelings and ramped up the fervor. Bush played up the terror scare with his bogus color alerts. Tillman became more famous after he quit the NFL and joined the military. Remember the Jessica Lynch rescue which was a lie?
Look at how upset they got when Kaepernick dared to kneel during the anthem. Trump played this well. He took this constitutionally supported act and made it about disrespecting the troops, the military and the country. The message of why Kaepernick knelt in the first place got buried and replaced with anger towards him and anyone else who knelt.

Then there's the playing gawd bless America during the 7th inning, the military hoopla before every damned game, etc.

I was too young when Vietnam was happening, but I do remember people's anger about what they were told the troops were doing over there. That's when we had a functioning press. The PTB knew what to do to make sure that the press only told us the story that they wanted us to know.

Now with every new terrorist attack, people's patriotism is stirred up over and over...
The truth about 9/11 will never be told because the event has unending returns.

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14 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg It's almost like a nation of zombies. Shows how easily humans can be manipulated, even when they don't like it they'll do their part. "Thank you for your service".
A lot of people are getting sick of it.

I was asking a couple people today what I did to protect their freedom. I asked them "was the Vietnam war to protect your freedom"?
They could not fight back, I had em right where I wanted them. When push comes to shove, most people are acting like fucking robots.

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16 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I recently read an article about the burn pits in war zones. Each soldier has 7-10 lbs of waste every day and instead of hauling it out, it's burned in huge pits. Soldiers tell the new guys that they will be sick for a few days every time the burn pits are active.

Surprise! They create toxic poisonous clouds that everyone has to breathe in and now they are getting all kinds of illnesses from those pits and just like agent orange, gulf war syndrome, congress won't allocate funding for treatment.

People are told that their illnesses are what happens when they get older and there is no evidence that their illnesses were caused by the pits.

Biden's son died from brain cancer and people in his unit blamed it on the pits. I want to know if Joe is aware that his son's cancer might have been caused by them and if he does, why would he not tell congress? I don't know how he could stay silent about this and watch as other people's sons and daughters continue to get sick and not say that this has to stop.

People see homeless veterans and say that they need to pull themselves together so they aren't living on the streets or gawd forbid, using social programs to survive.
They could start petitioning congress to take better care of their heroes and thank them this way.

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17 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

@snoopydawg They interviewed some vets exposed to this shit and apparently there are a lot of them suffering all types of medical problems, it was hard to watch. pretty much everything you've stated or linked to, Kinda weird haven't seen or heard anything on msm about it.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

for the Iraq war. It's a subsidy of Halliburton, Cheney's company. Veterans have been trying to hold them accountable for their burn pits, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you how that's going.

Judge dismisses veterans’ suit over Iraq, Afghan burn pits

A couple articles on the burn pits

US military burn pits built on chemical weapons facilities tied to soldiers' illness

“They really don’t want this out”: The biggest Iraq War scandal that nobody’s talking about

This is what happened to police and firefighters who worked at ground zero after they were told that the air was safe to breathe. After 100's of them died, congress finally passed the 9/11 bill to help them with their medical bills.
They started getting sick months after they worked at the site, yet it took over a decade for congress to find some money for them.

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13 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

vet father, 5 uncles who fought. One uncle was discharged from the Navy, re-enlisted in the Army to fight in Korea.
All farm boys. All hungry during the Depression.
I remember them talking amongst themselves. One showed me his membership card in the KKK. He had agreed to kill a nigger , his words, if asked.
My Dad helped farm boys get to Canada to avoid the draft.
He was a warrior turned pacifist. When he was in his 80's an 90's, he wore his WWII baseball cap. People in any restaurant would pay his bill. He would cry. He was just trying to kill Hitler.

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13 users have voted.

Client hired me to get custody of his 2 kids.
Done.
I did some probate/estate planning for him.
Done.
He was just at serving 22 years in the Army, talked to me about serving in combat, as that significantly raised his pay grade for retirment.
He was 40 years old.
I remember describing in detail, horrible detail, about Dad, me picking shrapnel out of him with tweezers 30 years after battle, about how any sudden noise sent him to his knees, looking for a weapon when he was 91. To a WWII vet, a fork is a weapon.
I remember crying, I remember grabbing him, crying hard on his shoulder. A lawyer break down. I got down on my knees.
He took his last tour in Southeast Asia. He brought me 2 elephant print pants from Thailand. He comes by to see me often.
He is ok, his kids come to say hello, his mom comes to the office regularly, and he is ok.
No PTDS.
Doesn't someone who posts here talk about the little things we can do?

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13 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@on the cusp

Doesn't someone who posts here talk about the little things we can do?

That was me. "The little things you can do often matter more than the giant things you can't."

And it's obvious from your reporting that some vets' loved ones have taken it to heart.....

Wink

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7 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Unabashed Liberal's picture

are worth using. We saved a fair amount of dough on several major appliances purchased at Lowe's. IIRC, it's 10 percent.

So far, we've only used this discount in a state with a 9.75 state/local tax rate; so, it was the equivalent of a tax-free purchase.

Mollie

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11 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

detroitmechworks's picture

It's Remembrance day.

Only thing I've done is buy 2 poppies from a vet at Safeway yesterday.

I keep meaning to take advantage of the day, but I never do. I always feel it's kinda vulgar to do so.

I know, dumb me, when I could be getting some great free stuff. Just feels wrong to me.

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13 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Pricknick's picture

@detroitmechworks
are just a responsible fuck.
Well done.

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8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

detroitmechworks's picture

@Pricknick is pot.

Blue Cheese Tsunami tonight. (Mix of Blue Cheese and Sour Tsunami. Great for killing the self-hate Dead.)

I have one dispensary I go to, they know me, keep what I need in stock.

Way I figure it on THAT one... the discount is at least justifiable. Eating out at a restaurant... well, that just feels wrong. Only one I was actually thinking about doing was a free oil change for my SO's Car, but she didn't feel like leaving either.

So, instead, I made Pepper Bacon Hamburgers. (Pepper Bacon from Otto's Meats in Portland, Pub Style Buns from Franz, and some nice Tillamook Cheese.) It felt good to do something nice for my family.

I just... Dammit, this is what this day means to me, and I wish more people would remember that it's to remember the END of one of the most horrible wars ever.

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10 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Pricknick's picture

A young waitress passed this on to me.
She works at a small rural Big boys. They offered a free breakfast buffet to veterans.
Busy as hell but no tips. Hell. The food was free. Why not the service?
I guess we should expect service and not have to appreciate it.
I'm so proud. /s

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6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Big Al's picture

@Pricknick who used to be a waitress. Asked her if the wait staff liked that day and she said it brought out an inordinate number of low or no tippers and people only ordering water. So it wasn't a day they particularly liked relative to earning money.
On one hand, you can't blame poor people who take advantage of a free meal and can't afford a beer and a tip, and this fucked up system of paying wait staff thru tips. On the other hand, always plenty of cold ass people around.

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9 users have voted.

and I remembered that I have one of those that it occurred to me that, well, yeah I'm a vet. Been running from those USAFA memories for decades now. Happy whatever, Big Al.

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9 users have voted.

Only connect. - E.M. Forster

Big Al's picture

@dancingrabbit Good to see ya. Old and faded, that's what remains of my DD214. Kind of like me I guess.
You have a happy whatever too.

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3 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I know Combat Veterans who are so broken that they became unable to accept those "benefits" of the VA, like the Post 9-11 GI bill, which originally made them join the military, and hated the labels thrown at them.

You know it is all utter bullshit to use men for those wars that have absolutely nothing to do with self-defense and protecting Democracy inside United States.

As always while reading your links I ran into others. And I end up listening to Hedges again:
Look at what he said already in 2012.
Chris Hedges on the Horrifying Decline of the American Empire and the Economic Collapse (2012)

Ok, I have to let it go. My plans to use my retirement in peace and read all the books I have gathered still haven't realized. I wonder when I get to the point, if at all. I am constantly worried about the mental health well being of Combat Veterans. And I heard people talking about some of the few German soldiers who were involved in some of those wars of late, breaking mentally as well. WTF as it is said the Germans do the same thing as the US just with a delay of 5 to 10 years.

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9 users have voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Big Al's picture

@mimi lives at 18, 19, 20 years old for this bullshit, it's infuriating. I was thinking the other day about people I knew in high school that did not come back from Vietnam. Guys went over there and got killed at 18 fucking years old.
The human race has got to come to grips with what that means, how fucked up that really is.
This year with the flag thing and the continued escalation of adulation of vets has been so over the top it might provide a chance to counter it.

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6 users have voted.

take everything you can as partial payment for the gap between what servicemen, servicewomen and veterans were promised and what they get.

It's important to distinguish between people who enlisted or were drafted into the armed forces and the bastards who put them in harm's way. By the time I was old enough to protest the Vietnam War the protests were lead by veterans. The role of Vietnam vets in changing the view of Americans toward the war cannot be overstated. It's hard to call someone who was there a liar.

Go out and grab a meal on us. It's the least we can do and the least we can do is an apt description of what the patriots safe in this country do for veterans.

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2 users have voted.