Visible, and Invisible
It’s Veteran’s day, and today I feel compassion and gratitude for soldiers who served my country. I also can’t wait for tomorrow’s parade (which happens to march right past my neighborhood). The kids twirling batons and the marching bands playing “Eye of the Tiger” always get me teary-eyed.
And while I am grateful to individual veterans, when it comes to my feelings about the military—it’s complicated. I am angry and sad about our country’s military past and present. I am angry that the effects of PTSD and inadequate healthcare cause a lifetime ripple of casualties (suicides, broken lives, and the latest mass shooting) for veterans whose service has supposedly ended. I’m angry about the violence towards women, people of color, and LGBTQ people that continues to haunt our military. I am horrified that we continue to sell to Saudi Arabia the weapons that are raining down on innocent humans in Yemen, for starters.
But I am grateful that I live in a country where I’m still able to freely express this ambiguity and where in the midst of extreme partisan polarity, we are maybe also growing to accept and express nuance and conflicting feelings within ourselves. Maybe?
I recommend this article about women in the military, and the internal conflict that many experience with trying to fit in and to move past at the same time.
Women are the Most Visible Servicemembers, and the Most Invisible Veterans https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/women-are-the-most-visible-soldiers-and-the-most-invisible-veterans