Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Growing up I don’t believe I had ever heard the phrase, “Thank you for your service,” until maybe a few years ago when some of us started to question why again were we fighting people in Iraq. It seemed to be the catch all phrase given by a grateful nation to the less than half of 1 percent of the country’s population that was actually doing the fighting in the Middle East. It seemed it was the right thing to say when you couldn’t really explain why so many people were coming back without a limb, or a functional mind or even their lives.
Many people say that we fight them over there so that we don’t have to fight them over here. But the point of fact is we don’t fight “them” anywhere. We sit at home or drive our SUV’s to the mall or big box store to get our giant flat screen TVs to watch the “game” or the newest disposable computer to watch our porn over the net and then complain about the price of gas or levels of taxation. We are left then only with the ability to offer disingenuous platitudes of, “Thank you for your service,” to the extreme minority that actually do fight.
Why do I call it disingenuous, because of people like Rick Perry?
Governor Perry says that, regardless of whether it affects military effectiveness or not, if you don’t fit into his version of what armed forces personnel should be like, then you are a detriment to the country and its core beliefs. He equates openly gay soldiers with the lack of prayer in schools. It’s sort of like saying that women’s suffrage movement and their right to vote was responsible for the Great Depression. One really has nothing to do with the other but he doesn’t see it that way nor, I believe, do many other people.
So when Perry says, “Thank you for your service,” does he only mean it when he’s referring to straight people, Christian people, white people? I don’t know. My guess is that he doesn’t mean it to any people and that it’s just something to say without having to get into finding out about the person he’s saying to, or figuring out how he can make things better for that person. He says it and uses it like so many of us say it and use it now as a euphemism for convenience.
And that’s my pet peeve.