OPINION — I’ve been told that people don’t understand the way veterans are about the Holidays so I pressed the vets and ended up with “’capitalism’ has hijacked the holidays; they’re all about the money!” This was the overwhelmingly favorite response.
The second and subsequent responses held the information I wanted to get from the veterans; “It’s about showing off, being seen, bragging or complaining about things,” they said.
The being together, remembering “the meaning” of the holidays and celebrating that specific aspect, or spending time conversing, reminiscing about days and times gone by, were mostly mentioned as things that don’t happen.
Each level of disclosure took a little more prodding and pressing for an answer and I’ll give them to you as they were given to me.
- Aggressive, misbehaving, disrespectful, and center-of-the-universe children often determine what happens, how long it lasts, and whether or not the adults get a chance to visit with each other, or even get to talk; if you bring it up to the parents the party ends right then
- Public and commercial events are crowded, hard to get to, often too expensive, overrun with misbehaving children, and dangerous – or they draw too many dangerous-looking people
- Automobile and jewelry manufacturers always have a corresponding sale that blitzes television and radio programming every eight minutes urgently offering cars or jewels that will show very clearly how cool you are or how much you love someone while saving money by spending money
- Spending time in war on the holidays – worrying about getting killed, seeing, hearing and making people die and living through those things – turns the shine and joy of the holidays into memories and thoughts of those who lost everything and those who lost those who lost everything. I know I should be delighted with the indomitable spirit of those misbehaving children, amused by the thought of saving money by going into debt, and bedazzled by the elaborate displays and extravaganzas of commercialism. Rodeoing children, seeing people take for granted and complain about what they have, comparing what they have to what others have, just seems to turn holidays into sporting events and their competitive get-up-and-go got up and went.
I wasn’t surprised that the last response was given with a lowered voice, lowered eyes, a bit of a quiver in the voice, and a slight shaking of the head. There isn’t much that anyone can do about the first sentence, but there might be something we all can do about the next two sentences; be forgiven and forgiving, be patient, be deliberate, be grateful, be a little more childlike, and forget about understanding.
Happy Holidays folks, however that looks to you.
Upcoming Veterans town hall meeting
- What: Veterans town hall meeting
- Why: According to the event flyer, this town hall meeting is called by the St. George Community Outpatient Clinic and the St. George Vet Center in support of the realignment taking place in the Department of Veterans Affairs; to spend an evening listening to veterans and learn how to be of better service to their needs; to explain some of the recent developments in the programs offered by the VA such as the new Veterans Choice Card; to meet each other, get some things straight; and to learn how to work better together.
- When: Jan. 21, 2015, from 6-8 p.m.
- Where: Southern Utah Veterans Home, 160 North 200 East, Ivins
- Who: Presented by the St. George Community Based Outpatient Clinic and the St. George Vet Center
- Event flyer
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Email: [email protected]