RANGER AGAINST WAR: Yesterday's Gone <

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yesterday's Gone

Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be
There's a shadow hanging over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly
--Yesterday, The Beatles

'My head hangs weighed with snow.'
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
'My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the seas, be dried.'
--The End, Wilfred Owen

It has been over a week now. The Veterans Day parade came and went, and Ranger wonders how many folks in long-term Department of Veterans Affairs care were visited by any patriots in their fervor on that day.

The floats and flags are now stowed and those of us veterans with disabilities continue to do what we do since we are obligated to be disabled 365 days of the year. Even watching a fancy parade down main street will not un-disable us. The problem is, we hide on the side streets and back alleys beyond the recognition of society.

Aside from the photo ops fronting the local section of the paper on such days that make us feel like we are actually recognizing in any meaningful way the life of a soldier, most of us keep to ourselves because you do not really want to know what's behind that grand concept, patriotism. So veterans become this shunted off group of untouchables who fraternize at hooches and tell tall tales and drink too much, or they shop late at night to avoid too much sensory input, or, after a period of alienation, manage to compartmentalize war and not look in that room too often, if they are lucky.
Then they look like you, and you feel more comfortable.

That is where the parades pass us by. They are taking us to the wrong destination, a Disneyland called "Patriotic".

Ranger calls it "idiotic".


NOTE: If you want to actually meet a veteran and have a DVA hospital or outpatient clinic in your area, we highly encourage you to visit and volunteer, if you have that leisure. You will learn far more about the patriotic experience than any parade will give you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Mr. Ranger.

This is why I hang around. Parades and a "thank you" hardly prove or improve anything, especially when US Senators like McCain are advocating for higher premiums and co-pays for veterans' health care.


Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

Already posted a poetry contribution on Veterans day, so here's are-post of tune to respond and follow-up.
Cray's dad was a Vietnam Vet.

First line says it all.

There it is.


Monday, November 21, 2011 at 5:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

My simple drug which is cheap-kolonipin went from a 3$ co-pay in sep to a 4.97 co-pay for tricare in oct.
They wouldn't accept a yellow ribbon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 10:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

In my life, I don't tell people I'm a vet.

You capture the gestalt veteran affairs...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 11:29:00 PM GMT-5  

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