It’s an average day of a Marine Veteran, you are sporting a “regulation haircut” and you are speaking with a friend you haven’t seen in a while when a stranger walks up to you. They extend their hand and state, “Thank you for your service…” You smile; maybe you give a nod of acknowledgment as a returned motion of gratefulness for the recognition. The two of you part ways and you see the stranger getting in to their car. You begin to recall going off to boot camp; being hazed in boot camp; going to infantry school; being hazed in infantry school; going off to your assigned unit; being hazed upon arrival at your assigned unit. You remember the weeks of sleeping outside while training for a combat deployment, shipping off to that combat deployment, making friends, burying those friends, propose an engagement, ending that engagement, years away from family, years without normal hours, and just when you feel that the traumatic memories are too much you recall the freedoms we have and the Constitution that guarantees us unalienable rights.
This ingenious document that solidifies the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and that neither man nor government has the authority to take your right to life, liberty or your ability to pursue happiness away without due process. You feel a sense of ease, because this stranger in the vehicle understands the degree of what you did and what it was all about. It is at this point you look up and see on this individual’s over sized “Power Wheel” a bumper sticker in its entire Stalinist Anti-American splendor that says, “Feel the Bern…”
“Do you realize that you vote strictly to undo what my service was meant to preserve?
“Thank you for your service… I appreciate your sacrifices for our country…” Expressions of gratitude from average Americans when introduced to a veteran or active service member is always appreciated and I personally always respond with a “Thank you for the recognition…” It never really struck me until I familiarized myself with politics that the voting pattern of a left wing American is a discourteous act to our men and women in the armed services (Right up there with labeling us “baby killers”, then they endorse abortion). Ever since John Kerry’s “Anti-War 2004″ campaign, it came to my attention that the political left have nothing but absolute disdain for the military. Some leftist voters may object to such a charge against an entire political wing, yet history and personal experience suggest otherwise. From the anti-military group Code PINK endorsing John Kerry to the leftist professor I had questioning my experience with adversity in combat, no one will ever convince me that the modern Democrat party supports, or cares, about the troops or veterans. Little by little the Democrat party has sought out to do away with the Constitution and the modern Democrats are not even subtle about it.
In full disclosure, there are countless men that were far more courageous and heroic than me. Most people, who have known me, have uttered these slogans of appreciation to me and I am forever grateful for them. However, all I can think about is those Marines whom I served with that I know are far more deserving of such gestures. It is my witnessing of these men that gives me a greater perspective on the words of “service” and “sacrifice” in these catchphrases that the average person cannot even begin to fathom. With that said, it is the left wing voter like the one mentioned above that I must ask, “Why do you thank me?” “Are you unfamiliar with what I actually fought for?” “Are you not really acknowledging what you are endorsing?”
About the author: Matt Rivera, served in the Marine Corps infantry during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Upon leaving the military he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and is currently pursuing medicine.
To listen to a podcast between writers Matt Rivera and The General.