Thoughts on Memorial Day*

By Don M.

I’ve seen a ton of Facebook posts about “thanking veterans for their service.” As a veteran let me just be very straightforward and honest with you. We didn’t “serve our country;” we don’t actually serve our brothers & sisters or our neighbors. We serve the interests of capital. We never risked our lives or spent months on deployment away from our family and friends so they can have this abstract concept called “freedom.” We served big oil, big coal, and all the other big capital interests who don’t know a thing about sacrifice. These people will never have to deal with the loss of a loved one or the physical and/or psychological scars that those who “serve,” and their families, have to deal with for the rest of their lives. The most patriotic thing someone can do is to tell truth to power and dedicate oneself to building power to overthrow these sociopathic a-holes.

I served with some of the most real and genuine people I’ve ever met. You’ll never see solidarity like the kind of solidarity you experience when your life depends on the person next to you. But most of us didn’t join for that; we joined because we were poor and didn’t have many other options.

*This letter appeared in the July/August edition of the Industrial Worker, #1747.

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