Veterans Aware: Vets’ thoughts on the holidays

stock image, St. George News

OPINION — I’ve been told that people don’t understand the way veterans are about the Holidays so I pressed the vets and ended up with “’capitalism’ has hijacked the holidays; they’re all about the money!”  This was the overwhelmingly favorite response.

The second and subsequent responses held the information I wanted to get from the veterans; “It’s about showing off, being seen, bragging or complaining about things,” they said.

The being together, remembering “the meaning” of the holidays and celebrating that specific aspect, or spending time conversing, reminiscing about days and times gone by, were mostly mentioned as things that don’t happen.

Each level of disclosure took a little more prodding and pressing for an answer and I’ll give them to you as they were given to me.

  1. Aggressive, misbehaving, disrespectful, and center-of-the-universe children often determine what happens, how long it lasts, and whether or not the adults get a chance to visit with each other, or even get to talk; if you bring it up to the parents the party ends right then
  2. Public and commercial events are crowded, hard to get to, often too expensive, overrun with misbehaving children, and dangerous – or they draw too many dangerous-looking people
  3. Automobile and jewelry manufacturers always have a corresponding sale that blitzes television and radio programming every eight minutes urgently offering cars or jewels that will show very clearly how cool you are or how much you love someone while saving money by spending money
  4. Spending time in war on the holidays – worrying about getting killed, seeing, hearing and making people die and living through those things – turns the shine and joy of the holidays into memories and thoughts of those who lost everything and those who lost those who lost everything. I know I should be delighted with the indomitable spirit of those misbehaving children, amused by the thought of saving money by going into debt, and bedazzled by the elaborate displays and extravaganzas of commercialism. Rodeoing  children, seeing people take for granted and complain about what they have, comparing what they have to what others have, just seems to turn holidays into sporting events and their competitive get-up-and-go got up and went.

I wasn’t surprised that the last response was given with a lowered voice, lowered eyes, a bit of a quiver in the voice, and a slight shaking of the head.  There isn’t much that anyone can do about the first sentence, but there might be something we all can do about the next two sentences; be forgiven and forgiving, be patient, be deliberate, be grateful, be a little more childlike, and forget about understanding.

Happy Holidays folks, however that looks to you.

Upcoming Veterans town hall meeting

  • What: Veterans town hall meeting
  • Why: According to the event flyer, this town hall meeting is called by the St. George Community Outpatient Clinic and the St. George Vet Center in support of the realignment taking place in the Department of Veterans Affairs; to spend an evening listening to veterans and learn how to be of better service to their needs; to explain some of the recent developments in the programs offered by the VA such as the new Veterans Choice Card; to meet each other, get some things straight; and to learn how to work better together.
  • When: Jan. 21, 2015, from 6-8 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Veterans Home, 160 North 200 East, Ivins
  • Who: Presented by the St. George Community Based Outpatient Clinic and the St. George Vet Center
  • Event flyer

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Roger Robinson December 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I echo your perspective as a fellow Veteran. Semper Fi

  • Kibblesnbits December 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I have no use for holidays its just an excuse not to have to go to work and I have absolutely no use whatsoever for their phoney baloney Xmas celebration Veterans Day means nothing to me.. I did my tour defending a government that sold us out…. I don’t deal with the go broke mentality because it’s Xmas and we gotta pretend like we care about everybody…. LOL what a joke

  • Koolaid December 21, 2014 at 8:30 am

    In this article, it sounds as if the vets had nothing to do but complain about everything, when they weren’t bragging about their inflated military careers. “Spending time in war on the holidays – worrying about getting killed, seeing, hearing and making people die and living through those things…” Only a small percentage of military veterans actually serve in a combat zone and even a smaller percentage have the prospect of either being shot at or shooting someone. “disrespectful, and center-of-the-universe children…” Replace children with codger and you describe some veterans who act as if they are entitled and everything revolves around them just because they served in the military .

    • Ozark Rumrunner December 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      KOOLAID your about as ignorant as someone can get it makes want to vomit knowing that my family members and I answered the call to protect you and your way of life.. Go into a VFW hall and shoot off your mouth…. I hope I’m one of the guy’s there…. I have something for you..

  • Roger Robinson December 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Koolaid, some of us wore the uniform to Give You The right and priviledge to write and speak freely. Unless you have ever Worn the uniform YOU will never ever understand nor comprehend the sacrifices made in YOUR behalf.. So have a NIce Day on behalf of those of US that served our Nation!

    • Ozark Rumrunner December 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      We served this country so people like KOOLAID have the right to express themselves. But I never expect people like him to be thankful for the sacrifice and loss of life that has been given in the name of his freedom to shoot off his mouth

    • Koolaid December 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Read the article again. Don’tcha think the guy sounds a little cranky? Maybe he needs to get out and do a little community volunteer work and fundraisers instead of resting on his veteran status laurels. Maybe he can match a few thousand dollars raised in a *fundraiser* to help veterans with disabilities. My favorite uniforms were the green fatigues and chukka boots and the gulf desert BDU and tan boots. Yours?

    • Koolaid December 24, 2014 at 1:54 am

      What do you think of these?

  • Shotgunner December 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Amen Roger & Ozark! KOOLAID is entitled to his opinion, but ai don’t agree with him.
    Until one has spent some time in the boots of the vets who suffer the many harsh after-affects of serving their country in uniform, one cannot possibly understand their view or their cynicism.
    The author (and the vets he serves) do sound a bit cranky, but it is also their right to express their opinions & tell it as they see fit. They’ve earned that right in ways that you cannot possibly imagine. Most vets don’t ask for, or expect anything but to come home, try to fit in & contribute to society as best they can.
    I suggest that YOU read the column again, KOOLAID – quite a bit of the opinions expressed are spit-spot on from what I observe in kids these days. They’re largely overindulged by parents who don’t have a clue about the negative values they are teaching their kids.
    While you’re reading that column again, take the time to learn something about the columnist. He’s done his bit, and more – both as a veteran, and in service to COUNTLESS vets in Southern Utah. Perhaps it is YOU who should spend a bit of your own time contributing to a charitable cause of your choice. I’m pretty confident that your BEST EFFORT won’t rise to the level of a pimple on the hairiest ass in town.
    Merry Christmas.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.