An open letter to veterans from your civilian neighbor. He is writing anonymously because he doesn’t want your butthurt on his front porch.
I’m just going to say what everyone is thinking: thank you from the bottom of my heart for your stick-in-the-mud Facebook statuses!
Every time I prepare for a holiday, I instinctively feel good about the food, fun, and drinks we’re all going to have. Fortunately, I have you nearby to remind me that the real reason for celebrations is to unite civilians and soldiers in being depressed, angry, or overly careful for the neighbor whose PTSD gets triggered by fireworks.
I particularly like the memes that show soldiers in the desert of some third world country, hating life while carrying machine guns and rucksacks on a crappy mission. Usually it says something like, “While you’re enjoying your holiday, remember the troops who can’t.”
Thank you! Now I can have a horrible time like they are having. That’s what you want when you’re overseas, right? For everyone else to feel guilty? After all, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Halloween are all about the troops. There’s certainly nothing else that deserves recognition.
What you did on deployment was brave, necessary, and selfless. I will literally never be able to repay you, so the least I can do is never enjoy another holiday in recognition of your sacrifice.
I’m slowly learning the festivity rules, but that doesn’t mean you should relent in your effort to spoil a good time with memes and statuses. I won’t ever use fireworks again, and I’ll remember to thank veterans for making every holiday possible, except Memorial Day, because only those who died in service are allowed to be thanked on that weekend.
And god forbid that the fallen look down from heaven and see us all having a good time, the way they would have too, if they were still here.
Have an introspective Memorial Day, and thank you for your service!
Your neighbor, “Bob”