Since Veteran's Day is today (or yesterday, but I copied and pasted this from Facebook, fifteen minutes late after my computer lost power), at work we were giving free slices of pie to people to had served in our military. I would go back, getting apple, cherry, peach, and every other kind. At one point, a man said he wanted pecan, and it turned out we were out, but I brought four different kinds of slices and told him to choose whichever kind he wanted, and we kept those up for other veterans, though I kept going back to get more. I realized that giving them the pies wasn't so much a way of thanking them as doing it with so much care and respect. Now I honestly wanted to thank them as my coworkers were doing, but saying, "Thank you for your service," like they did just seemed off to me, and I found myself saying, "Thank you for everything." I realized, a great deal of veterans do not feel like they gave service though I do myself. What I will insist they gave was sacrifice. Service and sacrifice. The difference is subtle, yet profound. I also remembered hearing on the break room TV news sixty-five veterans committing suicide every day, and I know that people who commit suicide, or attempt to go about doing so, are not simply selfish. They believe there is no place for them in this world, which would be better off without them. Yet how can we call someone offer their lives for ourselves (on founded fears or not) selfish? We know that veteran benefits are being cut every day, and the transition to civilian life is complicated and overwhelming. Soldiers are trained to spot enemies, not friends. Soldiers come back having served in our country, sometimes on the basis of ill-founded politicians, and find themselves homeless and starving sometimes, and called lazy and selfish by people wearing yellow ribbons when they ask for the amount of money to buy a soda. The way they served their country is now virtually impossible in civilian life. Some have seen their friends die in combat to save their lives, and wonder why they are still alive. They cannot support their loved ones with the same modes that they have now that many of them are disabled. They know and hate that they have taken x amount of lives, regardless of how many they saved in comparison. The truth is, politicians grow to see soldier's lives as expendable, when they are actually inevitable risks. I hope though, that we will do more than just elect the politicians who will value soldiers lives to never be gambled for unfounded puropses; I hope we create a culture where these politicians will never happen period. This is far more than about any political party, philosophy, religious belief, or ideology. It is about the differences between false performances and genuine ones. Having Veteran's Day parades, tying yellow ribbons, and giving out one hundred free pies is not a enough to show respect. If you vilify a veteran trying their only way to get money, think you cannot extent government funds to help our soldiers readjust, and think you have any notion in mind as to how these people should be a veteran, please do not say you support the troops, because you do not.