Sunday was Veterans Day, but what does it mean?
Established in 1947 via a campaign by World War II vet Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama — and made official by Congress in 1954 (expanded from Wold War I’s Armistice Day) — the name no doubt brings to mind a host of different things dependent upon the person and age.
After all, what is a veteran?
After World War I, a veteran was a hardened adventurer who sacrificed safety to battle for liberty. After War World II, a veteran was someone who bravely fought to defend the U.S. from Japan and to defeat Hitler.
After Vietnam, protestors spat on the weary and wounded returning from a frenzied and confusing forest bloodbath. Veterans were changing. Because politics, people, and their perception were changing.
And what of today? What are the country’s servicepeople?
In 2000, in a desperate attempt to snag the White House, Democratic candidate Al Gore’s campaign struggled to eliminate the votes of military personnel overseas.
Over the last several years, the Left have told us our military are not courageous men and women serving their country, but minorities with no hope in a systemically racist nation, duped into slavery to the whims of callous, fat, patriarchal white power.
And yet, purportedly, the armed forces are also gunning squadrons terrorizing “people of color” (aka virtually every country on earth but Sweden, England, and Ireland).
Among the ignorant (here), veterans have become less than worth standing for — as the anthem heralding their all-important sacrifice resounds. Before people play a game in the grass that doesn’t at all matter.
Meanwhile, America’s new warriors are valiantly fighting against pronouns and for tedious affirmation. The stakes have plummeted so low, nothing seems to mean much. Trivial is the new substantial.
Is there hope of a change?
I’d like to offer a glimmer of patriotism and respect for America’s band of brothers and sisters — a bit of shining light, among a seemingly increasing amount of dark:
Hollywood director Pete Berg. Actor Mark Wahlberg. And the movie Lone Survivor.
The epicenter of the world’s entertainment was once a place full of veterans — Jimmy Stewart, Steve McQueen, Henry Fonda, Elvis, Clark Gable, Gene Autry, and Paul Newman, to name a few. Not so today, yet love of country remains in the remnants.
Pete Berg isn’t your typical modern-day Tinseltown leftist. When Disney/ESPN decided to bestow upon Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Pete posted a photo to social media of legless Army vet Gregory D. Gadson, with this caption:
“One man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. Guess which man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award’ by ESPN?”
Berg added, “Yup” (the post has since been deleted).
To be fair, later he followed thusly:
“I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere. I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.”
Pete seems set on spotlighting American heroes: In addition to making Lone Survivor, he’s teamed up with Wahlberg to tell true stories of courage and selflessness in Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day.
We are pleased to announce Mark Wahlberg as the 2015 recipient of the James Gandolfini Award.This award honors Mr. Gandolfini’s invaluable work by recognizing outstanding character in service to warriors and their families. Mr. Wahlberg was overwhelmingly nominated for this award as that same outstanding character was recognized in him.
Mr. Wahlberg’s support of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) began through his participation in direct-response TV commercials. The television spots have raised a tremendous amount of awareness not only for WWP, but for the challenges our injured service members face as they transition back into civilian life. Additionally, with his tireless work promoting veterans’ issues in concert with the launch of his film “Lone Survivor,” he became a determined and impassioned voice in the discussion.
Through his personal and professional work, Mr. Wahlberg is truly living the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
A committed philanthropist, Mark Wahlberg founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner-city children and teens. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation of LA County and The Felix Organization. He was inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012. Recently, he received the Bob Hope Award from the Medal of Honor Society for his work to support our military.
As a special tribute Friday, Jimmy Fallon filled his Tonight Show audience with current and former members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines — along with their families and caretakers. Mark was a guest, and as a gift to America’s uniformed brave, he provided an exclusive screening of his new movie, Instant Family, to everyone attending the broadcast.
As for Lone Survivor, I highly recommend it. Turn on the surround sound if ya got it. The film based on a true story showcases what should come to mind when anyone — of any generation — thinks of our nation’s veterans: sacrifice and humanity. That’s their trade. So that we may live free.
And to all of them who dare deal in such things, I say, “Thank you.”
What gives you hope for a greater appreciation of our veterans? Let us all know in the Comments section below.
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