Grateful? Are we?

2021-05-13 08:35:32
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At the airport. Throngs of anxious masses wait for their loved ones to arrive from their military mission far afield, each holding a tiny flag, patriots to the core. A commotion of hugging, kissing and tearful reunion ensues as men break down as they embrace their daughters or brothers or wife or parents. Machismo is flung straight out of the window, and raw emotion is brought bare. Citizens line the streets bearing flags, a sense of patriotism hanging heavily in the air. These are the men and women who have spent sleepless nights in foreign lands, constantly dodging bullets, watching their friends drop to enemy bullets, others getting maimed, just so as to protect our freedom. As we sleep with our loved ones close by, these gallant citizens hug their guns close by, ever alert, for days or even weeks in the bush, no bathing, no enough sleep. Our troops (McCarroll).

Fast forward to ten years later. In the streets is a homeless former special operations Army officer, homeless. It is almost unfathomable that such brave citizens who gave their lives to defend our freedom from the ever increasing terrorist threats could end up homeless, stripped of all honor, begging on the street corner with no shred of heroism left, their only intent is to have something to eat to see them through the night. The notion of homeless soldiers is real, and such realization should hit people hard to wake up from their stupor and reverse the mess.

The responsible authorities ought to set aside enough funds to cater for the needs of our troops after combat. Some of our soldiers return home with permanent disabilities, some end up losing their lives in the line of duty, and in such cases their families are left shattered, and the gap left might be too huge to fill. Relatives of wounded soldiers should be granted paid leave by their employers so as to take special care of their loved ones. Our soldiers should receive counseling as some of the incidences they went through in the battlefield might be too traumatizing. Losing a partner, witnessing a harrowing ordeal in the enemy lines or getting some part of your body amputated are conditions that might warrant counseling to restore ones mental health. Our soldiers ought to be treated with respect and honor that matches the sacrifice they make in safeguarding our borders just so as we live in a peaceful country. We cannot thank them enough, but simple acts of kindness shown towards them will express our gratitude (Browne).

The homeless are often times treated with contempt as if they are lesser humans. We might never understand the conditions that drove them to being homeless, a truly inhuman condition for one to find himself in. It might be as a result of their own choices and actions, at times, circumstances conspire against you and you end up on the wrong side of life. Whatever the cause, the homeless should be treated with dignity and not to be looked down upon as inferior humans. Life has already dealt them a nasty blow; we should not hammer in the last nail in their coffin by being mean. Let us care.

Reference

McCarroll, J. E. "Book Review: Soldier Dead: How We Recover Identify, Bury, And Honor Our Military Fallen". Armed Forces & Society 32.4 (2006): 666-669. Web.

Browne, Ray B. "A People At War: Civilians And Soldiers In America's Civil War By Scott Nelson And Carol Sheriff, Banners South: A Northern Community At War By Edmund J. Raus, Jr, August Willich's Gallant Dutchmen: Civil War Letters From The 32Nd Indiana Infantry By Translated And Edited By Joseph R. Reinhart And Broken Glass: Caleb Cushing And The Shattering Of The Union By John M. Beloblavek". J American Culture 30.2 (2007): 233-234. Web.

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