Veterans Day Holiday only for Vets

     Veterans Day has become just another holiday for most Americans, and little is done to honor vets.  It's time to make Veterans Day meaningful by limiting this federal holiday only to current and former military servicemen.  Why should our government provide a paid Veterans Day holiday to people who never served in our military?  We already have Memorial Day as a paid holiday to honor those who died in the nation's service.  The best way to honor living veterans is to give them the day off while everyone else works.

     There are millions of honorably discharged vets who must work on Veterans Day in the private sector, and millions of others with no jobs at all.  Our government gives nothing to these vets, but draft dodgers and dishonorably discharged vets who work for the federal government get a paid day off.  Why should Veterans Administration offices with a backlog of work close on this day to "honor" vets by going fishing.  In addition, servicemen cannot go to the exchange, commissary, or bank on Veterans Day because employees who never served are home watching TV.  Many military people do not get the day off as they must participate in a public relations event to entertain non-veterans.  Most veterans working in the private sector do not get a paid holiday for Veterans Day and become angry as they work to serve non-vets enjoying a paid day off.

      We already have another federal holiday in November (Thanksgiving).  Limiting the Veterans Day holiday to veterans will save our nation over a billion dollars a year.  However, the Federal bureaucracy is a powerful political force and will oppose a loss of any holiday.  Fortunately, a holiday is needed for the day after Thanksgiving.  That Friday is awkward for all government workers since it's a regular work day.  While many properly take a vacation day or show up for a full eight hours, they resent those who show up for an hour and disappear, or just skip the day.  In recent years, some Presidents abused their authority and cost taxpayers billions of dollars by announcing federal workers can take the day off at full pay.  Making the Friday after Thanksgiving a federal holiday is the perfect solution.

     Ideally, private businesses that do not pay employees for the Veterans Day holiday will follow this example and give their few veterans the day off with pay.  It will become common in America for someone to ask, "Where's John today?" and for someone to respond "He's got the day off, he's a vet."  Serving in our military will finally mean something to most civilians, and a honorable discharge will gain value as well.

     This idea is extremely popular with veterans, for whom Veterans Day was established. Cutting out an official federal holiday will also be supported by the great majority of taxpayers who do not get this day off with pay.  Hopefully, Congress will make a meaningful show of support for America's military veterans by limiting this federal holiday to military personnel and honorably discharged veterans.

                                                   Carlton Meyer  editor@G2mil.com

2002 www.G2mil.com

Letters

I absolutely agree with your piece on Veterans Day.  Not only am I a Vet (who saw combat)  that has to work on Veterans Day, but when I was in the service, I never had Veterans Day off either.  The only people that get Veterans day off presently are non-Veterans.  It's a disgrace.

                                                                                      Scott Storkamp

I totally agree with you. I see all the schools off for this day and I'm safe to say that most of the teachers and all of the children are not war torn vets. I served in Vietnam in 1968-69 and have had to work every veterans day since then. If anyone should be off with pay it should be us!

                                                                                          Bud Tucker      

As an Honorably Discharged Veteran, I sure support this idea. Particularly as I sit here working on Veterans Day since my employer doesn't recognize it as a day off.

                                                                                         Jeff Huckins

I'm an honorably discharged veteran of the Vietnam "conflict", and also a federal employee with the DVA. As a firefighter, I'm one of a handful of employees deemed "essential" enough to be here serving our veterans today. I'd like to commend you on the concept of your article, tho I doubt very much that it will ever come to fruition.

                                                                                  Richard Maltaverne

Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!!!  I am not a veteran but live with a veteran.  I had yesterday off and he had to work.  What is with that?  I agree with you, I would gladly give my day off up so that he and other veterans can have a day for themselves.  They preserve our Freedom for us! They defend our Country against all enemies and what to we do for them.  Nothing!  Again, take my day and give it to them.  Thanks for speaking up.

                                                                                  Connie Dempsey

Bravo!!! I spent ten years in the US military, from 1960 to 1970.  Since then, there have been 32 Veterans Days - I've only had one of them off.  It has always been a slap in the face to me to watch all of the government employees get the day off, with pay, while I am required to show up and put in a full day's work.  Then, to add insult to injury, I have to pay for them taking the day off through my taxes.

The brave men and women that served during the Vietnam era were treated with disrespect and disdain for answering the call to duty for their country.  Now virtually all of those who held us in such disdain willfully and without hesitation take the day off, with pay, that was set aside to acknowledge our efforts in the defense of our country. I have never seen such hypocrisy in my life. I haven't seen one of those who protested our response to our call to duty turn down the Veteran's Day holiday as an expression of their continuing opposition to what we were asked to do in the service of our country.

The day that was set aside to honor the veterans in fact dishonors them by rewarding those who didn't serve and ignoring those who did.  I agree with your suggestion entirely.  If a person has a DD-214 he/she should be awarded a paid day off on Veteran's Day.  If not, it should just be another working day.  This country needs to honor the right people.  The only consolation to the veteran is that on Veteran's Day the freeways are virtually empty on the way to work because of the inordinate number of undeserving government employees who are still home in bed.

                                                                                       Thomas Pederson

I loved your editorial regarding Veteran's Day. I am not a Vet. But I never have been happy the way Americans ignore Veteran's Day. My father is a Vet of WWII.  In the private sector, none of us get Veteran's Day, Columbus Day, etc. off.  However, I think by pulling a little extra weight while Dale (Navy) and Kyle (Army)(2 managers in my department) would be a trivial price to pay to honor these men and women.

                                                                                          Charles Snyder