Monday, May 26, 2008

Veterans, not "survivors"

On Memorial Day, we remember our nation's fallen. God Bless them.

I notice in the news stories commemorating the fallen and highlighting some of the veterans that reporters often refer to veterans as "survivors" of such and such a battle or action. (For example the NBC report today on the WWII Memorial by reporter Sandra Endo, talked with a 'survivor' of the Battle of the Bulge. Outside of describing a very specific instance where most other people died or a medical discussion about PTSD (where the language is trauma victims and survivors), this is wrong.

No one will dispute the randomness of life or death on a military battlefield, for that matter the randomness of a military career. But a veteran, (this veteran anyway), likes to think that he'd played some small role in the successful outcome of something. Veterans more than mere survivors, they are warriors. They have been there, done that. By choice. By luck. They are Veterans, not victims. To call them mere "survivors" cheapens their sacrifice and experience.

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