The other day I heard a young veteran complaining in hushed tones to his wife that the art museum would not give him free tickets since he was no longer in the service, a discount they only offer to currently serving military.
“I guess three tours in Afghanistan wasn’t enough to win me tickets!” He bitterly commented, his wife shushing him in the store.
That’s right. That’s exactly why you fought the war on terror. That’s what Bush sent you over there for. That’s what the rest of America, including your own wife and family, commended your valiant efforts for. So you could get free shit for life.
True patriotism. Like the paid Roman legions.
On the other hand, I will always distinctly remember sitting at the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in Disney World, when a young woman leaned over to thank an old man wearing his VFW hat for serving our country. I was touched, and made a mental note what a nice gesture it was. The old man politely and modestly welcomed the praise. A few minutes later, another young woman (who had been annoying all those around her for the entire show) leaned over to also thank the old man, specifically because she had seen someone else do it. As if to get some of the altruism spotlight for herself.
This is a strange country, planet, species, and reality we find ourselves in.