Spradlin: Today is not the day to thank a veteran

Taking the time to thank a veteran today might not get you the response you might want or expect.

Today is Memorial Day.  Not Veterans Day. There is a distinct and significant difference.

a_MemorialVeterans Day each November is, generally speaking, an opportunity to show gratitude to anyone alive or dead who ever has honorably served his or her country while wearing the military uniform.

That’s not what Memorial Day is. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor those who have fallen in battle.

In fact, some veterans who have seen combat and returned home safely — alive, at least — feel some guilt about having returned to their loved ones while some of their battle buddies are still overseas. Each “thank you” has the possibility of triggering flashbacks to a moment when things didn’t go well on a patrol and bring back to the forefront painful memories.

Dead or alive, those buddies are still fighting the war, and those who have returned feel a not-so-small sense of obligation to not resting until their safe return.

Units once were deployed and returned home together — at least the ones still alive. That’s no longer the case. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are sent home one by one, piecemealing their return.

Today is not the day to thank a veteran, alive or dead. Of course, you’re free to do so and recognize Memorial Day in any matter you deem appropriate — whether that means attending the Memorial Day ceremony in Dobbins Heights (9 a.m.), the Memorial Day cookout in Norman (5 p.m.), the Wear Blue to Remember run at Reservoir Park in Southern Pines (9 a.m.) or none of the above.

Perhaps you’ll cookout. Have a cold beverage, watch the children play in the slip-n-slide, go fishing or just stay inside and watch a movie or ballgame of choice.

You can thank a veteran that you have all this options, but please, at least for today, keep those words of “thanks for your service” to yourself. You see, most veterans didn’t serve in an effort to garner your gratitude, and now that so many have been to battle and back, their thoughts are not thinking about whether or not you’re thankful for them, but of their friends who are still over in theaters of war — and of the ones who didn’t make it home alive.

Kevin Spradlin is managing editor of The Pee Dee Post. He served in the U.S. Army with the 593rd Corps Support Group out of Fort Lewis, Wash., the 55th Engineer Company in Fort Riley, Kan. ,and with the 50th Engineer Company at Camp LaGuardia, South Korea. But there’s no need to thank him for any of that.

 

 

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Military and Veterans, Opinion

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  • Robert LaRochelle

    Every day is a good day to thank a veteran. Today we especially thank the fallen.

    • Bruce Brown

      You’re right Robert. Everyday is a good day to thank a veteran, whether past or present. Mr. Spradln seems to show his ignorance and stupidity in most of the stuff he writes, and this one is no exception.

      • Kevin Spradlin

        Thank you both for your opinion. Each of you is entitled to yours, as I am mine. Mr. Brown, at least Mr. LaRochelle did it with class.

        As for my service, Mr. Brown, I don’t believe you can know where I was deployed or when, and since you have no knowledge of that, you can politely STFU.

        – Kevin

        • John Popowich

          Yes you are Robert, everyday is a good day to thank a Veteran if you want to. Today if you do thank a Veteran, make sure you tell him or her how thankful you are to the fallen first today. Mr. Brown where did you see anything stupid in this article? I would love the chance to pick on an Army guy, but I thought the article was great. I was also wondering how you were able to give Spradlin the REMF status? Did you personally serve with him? Did you have the exact experience as him? i did not spend much time on FOBs or bases over there, but I sure am thankful for the “REMFs” who were able to give me bullets, beans, and band aides.

  • Christian Conservative

    Thanks to those that have gave it all. Good article Kevin. Mr. Brown, there is another I.C. In your near future.

  • Bruce Brown

    Come give me the I.C.,Mr.Christian Conservative. You know who I am.I don’t have to hide my name, like you. I’d beat a Christians donkey in a heart beat. Make it in the ne future too. Show everyone what a good Christian you are. I’d just as soon stomp your ass as look at you So leave your conservatism at home. I love a good fight.

  • John Popowich

    Sweet! Mr. Brown (to me) just made himself look ever more ridiculous with the whole “fake Christian” thing. ABSOLUTLEY HILARIOUS

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