Swickard: America's war on the military

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - December 7 is a sacred day for our military and me. My father George Swickard was a combat soldier in WWII. He retired in 1966. Growing up we lived on military bases. Our playmates were all from military families. Pearl Harbor Day and the Arizona Memorial Commemorating that day are cherished by my family.
      My Grandfather Horace Swickard served on the border following the Pancho Villa raid and went directly to France with General Pershing. I have his memorabilia from World War I, The Great War, The War to end all War, etc. My father's burial flag is proudly displayed in my home. He is buried with my mother at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
      As to the Bataan Death March, my father has a cousin William Swickard. Read his story: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/68527-world-war-ii-survivor-william-swickards-recollection/
      The military and its honor is important to me. While the "Date that will live in infamy" still burns in my heart it is a date mostly forgotten by citizens of our country. Last Sunday some media did cover Pearl Harbor Day while other media had more important things to do.
      My local daily newspaper did something odd, it presented December 7, 1941 from the viewpoint of the Japanese. What were their motivations and what do the Japanese think about the second world war? There was more but I shredded the newspaper and threw it in the trash.
      Seems those in charge of that newspaper did not serve in the military. It was a slap in the face of veterans, especially those who served in World War II. I lived three years in Japan and also have studied their culture. The article about how the Japanese view that conflict might have been interesting on the anniversary of V-J day which is the day Japan formally surrendered. But there was nothing else in the paper commemorating that Sunday morning 73 years earlier.
      Worse, it seems our society is at war with our military and the veterans. They give lip-service to loving our military but every financial cut is upon the military. Combat personnel are getting their pink-slips while in a theatre of war. Washington is cutting benefits for veterans while taking on more financial expense from people who come to our country without legal status.
      My buddy Charlie says that America is not at war: the military is at war, America is at the Mall. There is truth to that saying. We are reading that public schools are banning parents in military garb from dropping off or picking up students like something is wrong with being in the military. Read full column