“I am neither hero nor murderer and will accept neither praise nor blame for a war I neither caused nor wanted”, writes Camillo Mac Bica in Worthy of Gratitude: Why Veterans May Not Want to be Thanked For Their “Service” in War.
…the Mythology of Troop Worship is most insidious, as it serves neither the interest of this nation, its citizenry, and most of all members of the military and veterans. First, and most importantly for my endeavor, it provided an escape whereby I could avoid facing the reality of the experience, a task that is critical if some semblance of normalcy in my life is to be achieved. Second, it makes honest and critical conversations about American foreign policy less likely. Third, by according members of the military superhero status, it becomes understandable and reasonable to countenance sending them to faraway battlefields to “quell” what in many cases are manufactured crises. Fourth, such mythology serves as a propaganda tool and an asset to maintaining public support for endless war, and to entice the next generation of cannon fodder. Fifth, cheering, applauding, and expressing faux gratitude and support masks the reality of the scandalous way in which this nation ignores the high rates of unemployment, PTSD, homelessness, addiction, and suicide among our veterans. The Mythology of Troop Worship benefits no one in this nation other that the militarists and war profiteers.