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Honor veterans’ sacrifices by paying attention to local government

OPINION

BY CHRIS ROSE II / NOVEMBER 11, 2019

As this Veterans Day draws to a close and many of us are winding down for the night, give thought to the reason why you can count on having a good night’s rest when you rise in the morning. Pause a moment when you awake to marvel at the lack of bombs that fell during the night. When you read the morning newspaper (or your Facebook newsfeed), take note that it’s in English. 

Recently I had a conversation with someone who insisted that U.S. veterans are spoiled. That they have it made, with perks like good pay and excellent benefits for life. Free meals and what-have-you on days like today. I ask everyone with sentiments like this: what is it worth to miss the first steps of your daughter? Or her first date? Your son’s first touchdown? Or his graduation? Your sister giving birth to your nephew, or your mom’s 50th birthday party? 

What would you estimate as the dollar value on the last family reunion that your granddad will be at? What’s your price for missing, for years, every barbeque, every tailgate for every football game, every weekend motorcycle ride with friends? How much would you charge to miss, for an indefinite amount of time, the sparkling in your wife’s eyes when she looks at you with adoration? The passion of your husband laying you down in bed? Come up with a monetary figure, and tell me that. I invite you to negotiate it with the next veteran you see. 

Tell them how they got a good deal on it all. That missing leg is totally worth the free healthcare. Never mind the 90-day wait to get seen. That wallet of pictures as the only memories of a life once lived? Heck, they got a paycheck for it. 

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Now look at your own self in the mirror and tell that price tag to yourself. Then go out and thank the next person you see who wore or is wearing a uniform—from the bottom of your heart.

Alas, ’tis not enough to merely thank them, though I believe we could do better at that. A great way to honor their service is to help protect what they sacrificed for. Our men and women in uniform didn’t go to hell and back so you could fritter away your freedom back here at home. Some are being shot at while you read this, for the name of democracy and the rule of law, and people here in the U.S. are using this same technology I am typing on to clamor for the demise of these institutions. What are you doing about that?

At your local city and county commission meetings, liberty is lost a little more, each time a motion is passed. Who stands up to remember the cost of freedom there? When tyranny comes to your town, your region, your state, how many answer the call and rise up to reject what you say our military has warred against for generations?

If you are truly proud of our servicemen and women, why not help them where they need it? Why is it that we feel we can only express our gratitude by donating a meal, a discount, or a handshake, something of the like, and let government agencies take care of the rest? We the people love to point fingers at the VA and call it a prime example of government-run healthcare, but what are we doing about it? Why not volunteer a solution for the soldier who offered his life for you?

Why not, indeed. Why not. You stand for the National Anthem, a mere song. You stand for the Pledge, a mere ritual with socialist origins. Why not stand when it truly matters? 

I invite each and every one reading this to taper down your attention to national media outlets such as Fox News and CNN. These corporations’ day-to-day operations are very similar in nature, designed to sell advertising on stories that you and I have little to no effect on, much less power to fix or control. Instead, why not focus on where your effectiveness may be maximized, and where your attention may be rewarded to do the most good? 

Let us honor those in uniform by affirming the authority that was entrusted to us by the founders of this great country. Let us pledge to ourselves and to our posterity that we will not suffer the Republic for which she stands, and that these brave men and women sacrificed the best years of their life for, to die in our lifetime. 

Let us take hold of the power that each of us have as Americans, which is provided for us in the U.S. Constitution, and hold our representatives accountable. And let us begin where it matters most—at the local level. 

God bless our veterans. And may God bless America.

Chris Rose II is a former Executive Committeeman for the Libertarian Party of Florida

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