Archive for November 11, 2017


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It’s been four long years since I written a blog letter to our Veterans around Veterans Day. With all of what’s going on with the protests of the NFL, the disconnect of Veterans taking knees for guys like Colin Kaepernick, or many of the same ideals that still being reminded of what you have achieved, but also getting called out by some keyboard gangsters on social media whom think they are woke and conscious in a sense of false knowledge of getting the word out. But never had the experience but only in the streets. And also remembering active military personal whom had the ability to serve only to be killed in action. And remembering Veterans whom have passed on and leaving behind a mark.

Veterans, it’s your day. And in this now Month of National Veterans and Military Families Month, (originally started by President Obama) we take this time on this day to celebrate you, your accomplishments and your appreciation. While we non-veterans may not like the war stuff per se, many of us do respect what you did. Even if we are Veteran Family Members. So let’s kick this thing in high gear one more time.

Dear Veterans of America:

It’s me Stephen. A black blogger and a proud veterans son that doesn’t get paid to do this.

Your day is here: THANK YOU! Again your day is here, thanks again. As many of you are embarking on another day celebrating your valor achievements, it to me is very vital that I encourage you to keep up with your accomplishments. Why I say this you asked? I believe that many of us non-veterans need to hear the stories that many get confused or twisted. Many of us non-veterans had heard and said about not serving the nation for various reasons. But many of us who didn’t serve had family members indicated that “We served enough!” And many had family members whom were concerned about war or warzones and coming back safe here. And you veterans must also realize that there are problems are being talked about here!

We see you with your medals, jackets, and hats signifying your branch of service and war campaigns but we still say “Thank you for your service.” I know many of you hate that, but many of us mean this! “Thank you for YOUR service!”

Now I want to shift gears for a moment. Kneeling during the national anthem. The same national anthem that many of you kind of hated. Almost. When we all saw Colin Kaepernick kneeling last year in protest, many of us were asking what up with this?! And many of us went in on him and said he’s disrespecting the flag! Other NFL players sat, linked in arms, raised fists, and even some fans sat in the seats while some took offense to say of the “disrespect of our flag at Ford Field!” But here me out Veterans, it wasn’t about the flag, the military or you guys. It’s about the injustice of innocent lives being taken away unceremoniously! That’s what is it about. Nothing against you. And I say this as a Veteran Son. Many of you fought and served – I get that. Really I do. But this fight in injustice of innocent lives here in America, is another war everyday. Every single time when a black man or black woman gets killed for no reason as an example,  this is the type of injustice we are talking about. Black Lives Matter. Always. And furthermore, when that footage is displayed on the news or online, it’s a sign most that the person gets disrespected, usually through social media. And by many other cultures whom don’t understand what’s it like to be a black man in America. Veterans, this is a whole new fight. And for you black veterans, you should know regarding this scenario. But getting back to this kneeling, guess what? I saw some of you kneeling in support of Colin. And some of you supported and continued to support the cause! And this is the cause that many of you fought for.

Continue to shift, I want to comment your groups. There was an article that was published on the Washington Post in 2014 about a young veteran, asked about joining a local VFW and the American Legion. The Veteran, Kate Hoit served 8 years in the Army and she didn’t go for the opportunity to be apart of it. She didn’t want to be in the mix of those at least older than her to be with the “old guys” per se having a whiskey or smoke. She like many others her age wanted to be in the community doing various activities with families and non-military members in a active different angle. But she’s not alone. As I read the article, other veterans like her are doing the same thing. But how is the veterans groups like the American Legion, or the VFW are catering to young veterans, whom alot of them are Millennials?

Just like any other group: Alumni Associations, Church Groups, Neighborhood Groups, and others, there are groups that have a hard time finding young folks. Why is this you ask? What is it that you want the young vets to follow after you step down? And what is the young vets should be looking for in getting into the clubs and organizations that you created, or founded? There is also a sense of a disconnect in communication. In terms of being confused or misunderstood about a connection of communication. Many of the younger folks go to Social Media to get their news on what is taking place. Even creating groups of Cyberpages of Posts to keep communications open of what is going on.  The older guys as we know, most of them don’t go to Social Media. They get it from word of mouth. And the phones, and the letters, and the paper and partially email. For you older Vets who feel that, you need to reach the younger vets. I think you may need to reach to them of where they are. We know the College Campuses. But what about the hangouts that they go to or organize? Or the Service Projects that they know very well around the community? This is what you need to do I think to reach out. Location! Location! Location! Just my opinion. Even though I’m a Gen-X’er, I’m sampling this from a Millennial that I met recently.

And yes if a young person feels left out after joining up with a club, yes we need to be reminded to them about the issue of being the change. For example, when I was 19 years old (and in college) I joined my Church’s United Methodist Men’s Group. And I was uncomfortable because I didn’t have enough knowledge to understand what does it take to be in the United Methodist Men’s group. I’ve heard about “Since you have been 6 years old, you are already involved with the United Methodist Men.” What kind of ish is that? Technically that didn’t make any sense. And this is was coming from one of the women in the Church! But years later I got the chance to feel comfortable with the men’s group with the right kind of message, goals, and fundraising ideas. Plus my gifts and talents! What I did for the Church, I also did for the United Methodist Men’s group. And now I’m becoming a senior co-chairperson of a secretary for a combined United Methodist Church group. And I’m almost 41. Now I’m telling the group that the need of young folks are in need like your Veterans groups. But I want to warn you Vets: If you want your groups to survive, and I know you want to, YOU need young folks! You many not like all that Texting, or all that Facebook on the Smartphones. Or spending too much time on a Smartphone than a book, or Video Games. But the fact of the matter is, they might be taking over your posts when they get older doing that. Without young folks, Vets the posts that you contribute or donate your time right now,  will die out! And many would be asking, why did this Veterans Club die out? Besides the memberships? Did it have or had youth or young folks being involved? Did the young people or younger members had their concerns at the table? You want that to happen? I’m just saying, is talk to the young vets. Make them feel comfortable about coming into your clubs! You need to do it! And also while you’re doing that give them a reason. Provide some receipts! Just don’t hand them the keys so quick before you check out. Give them the real reason why this is necessary for them to carry on the missions. Young Vets, please get involved with these groups mixed with your own ideas. Be the change! And don’t be afraid to tell them what’s going. Older vets, listen to them what they have to say.  And nowadays, folks need to know what they get themselves into. They need to see EVERY DETAILED INFORMATION of why this is! This is the normal thing right now, and I learned this from my Alumni Groups several years ago of going to a Class Reunion. It’s not just about memories, and it’s not catering to a particular crowd. Just suggesting.

All in all, Veterans this is your day to shine. Enjoy all of the Veterans Days/Occasions as you can. After all, it’s about you! And I say this as a Veteran’s Son! Or should I say, a Vietnam Veteran’s Son.

Once again: THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Stephen

SSP_Thank You Veterans Sign

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