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Veteran's Day Hangover

I got a Veteran's Day Hangover.  I waited all day to share my thoughts so that our soldiers could have a day of reverence.  But it left me to think about how much do we actually appreciate our veteran's? 
I find it helpful to celebrate and critically reflect.  I celebrated privately yesterday and acknowledged the ways that demonstrate gratitude for our soldiers, but today I look at the shadow side of Veteran's day.

It gets pretty dangerous or unpopular to criticize the military or veterans, especially on veteran's day.  So I didn't.  What I will do is share in the truest form of appreciation I know of, participation.  For what have and do veteran's sacrifice for?  We each have our understanding for what this is.  For me it is a responsibility to become an intelligent citizen and participate with equal passion to sustain a symbiosis between prosperity and service. 

I think the greatest gift the military complex has provided me is the opportunity to be a citizen with a collection of rights that when used with compassion and passion will likely be influential.  What I see us as a community forget to do, maybe lack interest in, or don't know how to do, is look beyond the superficial gratitude. I don't think we delve into the principled responsibility we owe our soldiers to live in a way that is adaptive or symbiotic to keeping other wars or operations from being needed.  If we have unconscious appreciation for our military I think we have dogmatic patriotism.  Patriotism is dangerous when we have no idea what the policy our country is projecting.  So trying not to be a dogmatic patriot, I think the first step for me is to continue to hold myself accountable to how I balance my own passionate service.  Am I being responsible with my life, choices, and freedom.

I am soul-dier, who has always felt a passion for making decisions and performing with dignity.  Complexly, dignity is a perspective and perception.  I am not a soldier and cannot speak about war.  I can only respect what soldiers have done to provide me a lifestyle to participate in community with minimal fear and restriction.  Until we have a political system with competent and passionate participants that put the guy next to them before themselves or their fortunes we will rely on dogmatic patriotism to show gratitude for our military.  Most veterans I know don't need a thank you, they need me to carry out my end of the bargain, and fulfill my duty to be a competent and reverent American.

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