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by Peter Moskos

November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Thank you, veterans. You all have chosen to do something I am not willing to do. That doesn't reflect well on me.

(Though I do wish we had fewer wars and fewer veterans.)


Anonymous said...


Did you ever think of joining the military since your father seemed to have had such a positive experience?

Did your father ever encourage you to join?

-From Canada

PCM said...

My father wasn't so much proud of having served in the military. He was proud having been drafted. I never once heard heard him call himself a veteran. I heard him say countless times he was a draftee.

Also, he served during peacetime. In Germany. In the late 1950s. He had a great time. But he was strongly opposed to a lot the wars we've gotten messed up in since Vietnam. He would not have wanted me to fight and die for George Bush's war of choice in Iraq.

Anyway, no, he never pressured me join. But I'm sure he would have gotten a kick out of if I did, just like he approved of me becoming a cop (my mom was supportive as well, but I think less thrilled).

Anonymous said...

PCM, In My Humble Opinion, I'd assert that you're every bit as much a veteran as someone that's been in the military. You put on a uniform, strapped on a gun, took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and offered your life as a blank check payable to the residents of Baltimore. You're just not THAT kind of veteran.

Sgt. T

PCM said...

Thanks, Sarge... I agree with you... up to a point.

I am a police veteran. And I do often say I "served" as a police officer.

Still, I think this holiday is for military veterans. Police don't get a day.

And generally I like to remind people that police aren't military and military aren't police. Along with the jobs being very different, there was also the fact I could quit (and did!).

But indeed, I took an oath and was willing (not eager, but willing) to die to protect the US Constitution and the citizen Baltimore (usually from each other, but anyway...), and I guess that should count for something.

Dana King said...

It counts for a lot. I'm a veteran who served in peacetime (1980-83) and never left the United States. I never compare my service to those who have gone in harm's way, or even truly prepared for it. Still, it rankles when I read people of privilege going on about how we should honor veterans, what important work they do, how difficult the circumstances are, when these people have never been closer to the military than driving past a recruiting station.

For you to even consider the idea that this might not reflect well on you shows that you get it. Thanks.

PCM said...

But when they drive past the recruiting station, they have an American flag on the car and a "I support the troops" bumper sticker. My dad called it "Patriotism Light."

And think of all the draft dodgers (especially of of the last administration, since they started the wars -- can you imagine the flack Obama or any Democrat would and should get if they avoided the draft because they "had other priorities"?)

My father also said, "They call this an all-volunteer military. But in the U.S., we're willing to pay people to die for us. That doesn't reflect very well on the character of our society." No it does not.

(and both those links are worth reading)