Veterans have a history of activism….from the Bonus Army to the antiwar protesters of the 60s and 70s…..should they choose to return to the forefront of activism?
I was one of those ‘pinko’ protesters in the 70s….I can think of no better way for a veteran serve its country.
Then I say yes they need to once again become the leaders they should be.
This is veterans that have chosen the ‘path of dissent’……
One of my heroes, Major General Smedley Butler, said “We Americans who will protect our flag should have a voice in where it is flown.” The two-time Medal of Honor recipient and author of War is a Racket exemplifies the model of a dissident soldier.
Voices of today’s soldiers, all veterans of the Global War on Terror, have been collected in a new anthology, Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America’s Misguided Wars, edited by (Ret.) Maj. Danny Sjursen and (Ret.) Col. Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute.
The book shares fifteen individual stories of how soldiers — in some ways big, in some ways small — dissented from what their high command, their government, and in many ways society expected of them as they advocated to bring our troops home.
Their perspective should come as no surprise. “War dissent is committed by those with a deep love for the country and its soldiers, for honesty, justice, humanity, and the rule of law. They bring light to situations clouded by secrecy, lies, and propaganda,” relates contributor Kevin Tillman, whose family is intimately familiar with the government’s secrecy, lies, and propaganda.
For several years, polls have demonstrated that veterans support military withdrawals from the Middle East at higher percentages than the civilian population. We witnessed firsthand the failures of nation-building, the ineffectiveness of raw military power to solve political problems, and the lack of coherent strategy or victory conditions.
As contributor Matthew Hoh discloses, “The entire U.S. government, including our military, intelligence, and diplomatic corps, was — and is — full of people who don’t believe in America’s endless wars, don’t believe in our supposed reasons for fighting them, and don’t believe that the sacrifices and costs are worthwhile.”
Meet the veterans who chose ‘paths of dissent’
Since marches and massive protests for the good of the country and its people is not as big thing these days our vets can serve and protect the democracy we all say we love.
With the mid-terms just a mere 2 months away…..vets can get involved.
Vets can begin by becoming volunteers for their local elections….
Our nation faces a critical shortfall of volunteers to administer our elections.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a real dent in election poll volunteerism — especially among Americans 60 years of age and older who have traditionally served as poll workers. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all election poll workers are older than 61 years of age. The pandemic, combined with news reports of election-related political violence and threats to election officials, has made it difficult for many county election boards to find enough people to run election polling sites.
Why should you care? Simply put, American democracy runs on elections, and elections run on volunteers — just like our military and our national defense rely on volunteers.
Since our republic runs on a decentralized and federalized election system, it’s up to the individual states and counties to run elections, maintain voter records, count ballots, and report results.
When secretaries of state and county boards of elections can’t find enough volunteers to serve as election officials, it results in fewer polling stations, longer lines, fewer early voting days, and ultimately, less of an opportunity for you and your fellow citizens to enjoy the rights we all served in uniform to defend — primarily our right to vote. When there aren’t enough election workers, we have less democracy.
So what can you do about it? The solution is simple: Volunteer to serve your country and community again as an election poll worker.
I’ll give you 10 good reasons why you should:
Why helping others vote is a patriotic duty that appeals to US military veterans
Time for our vets to honor the oath they took when they entered the service of their country…..and volunteering to help with elections is an excellent start.
The only problem I can see is that many of our veterans have drank the vile poison of Trump-ism….so would they be good shepherds of our democracy?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”