Every Memorial Day for the past decade, I have linked to my Memorial Day essay: A Love Letter To Those Who Kill.
Yet today, perhaps inspired by Jon Stewart’s recap of our country’s long history of screwing over our veterans – seriously, watch it, it’s both amazing and damning how long we’ve called people to sacrifice and then abandoned them – I’ve decided to institute another tradition:
Thanking soldiers for their service with more than words, by actually donating to a charity that helps them.
This year I donated $50 to Fisher House (A+ rating on Charity Watch’s list of veteran’s charities), mainly because they fly families to injured soldiers and I think it’s important to help the folks in the field. But I could just have easily donated to Intrepid Heroes, which helps veterans who’ve returned home. If you choose to donate to either place, the money wouldn’t be wasted.
A word on the essay: A few years ago, someone expressed concern about the gendered language of this essay, of the repeated usage of “our boys” when there are, in fact, a lot of women in the military risking their lives as well. She felt that using the term “our boys,” though traditional, renders women invisible. She asked me to revise the essay to change this.
Unfortunately, a combination of “this is a snapshot what I said then, no matter how dumb it may sound to me now” and “I’ve watched George Lucas edit his shit into horror” and “I’m not sure in editing I wouldn’t change the meaning/introduce other errors which would then also need to be edited” makes me have a rule that I don’t edit an essay at all once it’s been up for a day or two. (Otherwise, I would doubtlessly edit some of my more controversial essays into such well-reasoned processes that people would wonder what the fuss was about. And the job of this blog is not to always make me look good or enlightened.)
But she raises a good point. I also raise a glass (and lend a hand) to the women in our services. Thanks to everyone, all genders and races and religions and beliefs, who serves.
In any case, flaws and all, here it is.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.