This is not going to be an article blasting the NFL or the American public. Quite honestly, I think when Veterans hear that the NFL was actually being paid to recognize and support the troops at football games, Veterans will just shake their heads, pick up their drink, and say nothing more than, “Yep, sounds about right.” Then we will move on with our lives. It has been reported this week that over a number of years, many of the NFL’s salute the troops were actually just government paid advertisements and public relations campaigns. Yes, the Billion dollar National Football League took millions of tax payer dollars to support the troops which they could do every game for free if they so chose. To which myself and Veterans every reply with a hearty, “Yep, Sounds about right.”
Take that Money
Growing up, I had an uncle who lived across the street from me who drove a Tom’s truck. Down in the south, Tom’s was basically the people who filled snack machines with candy bars, chips, and other little goodies fat kids like me loved. Needless to say, we frequently found our way across the street to ask for candy and other goodies.
Now, we would always offer my Uncle Harold money for the candy to which he would always refuse and say something along the lines of, “No, have it kids, you are worth it”. Yet, each time we felt the obligation to offer to pay and each time he refused. We would have been shocked had he ever actually taken our money. In retrospect, he probably should have because unbeknownst to him, we would also break in to his truck and steal candy from time to time, but the statute of limitations is all up on that.
Consequently, I am basically saying that I feel like the NFL taking the money to recognize troops is really just akin to my Uncle Harold taking the money of candy hungry kids who really didn’t have any money. I mean, I get it that the NFL is a billion dollar business and businesses like money. However, it wouldn’t have exactly been out of the question for the NFL to say, “No, have it troops, you are worth it.” Or perhaps even just the NFL PR line that goes something like, “The NFL is a proud supporter of our troops.” But again, myself as a veteran am not angry. Rather, with drink in my hand, I simply say, “Yep, Sounds about right.”
Sounds About Right
Honestly, when I read the news it almost just got an actual LOL out of me. Of course the NFL billionaires took the money and of course our Government wasted the money to give America a temporary warm fuzzy. Why wouldn’t they?
I believe deep down that America wants to care about our Military and Veterans and many genuinely do. However, if you have to force it, don’t get mad at yourself, but you probably don’t care that much. Don’t worry America, Veterans are not mad at you. We are not a bunch of Tinkerbell fairies who need you to believe in us to keep us alive and your thunderous applause doesn’t revive us when morale is low.
America, whether they like it or not, checked out of the GWOT wars somewhere in the mid-2000s and most of us know that. I fought in Iraq in 2003 and upon returning, I basically watched the next decade of war from the sidelines. I remember the post-9-11 patriotic feeling that existed in the early years of the war and quickly noticed that America’s attention span simply couldn’t hold till the end. I couldn’t tell you who or what was to blame, but it most certainly occurred.
The Market Doesn’t Lie
Thus, I find it as little surprise that what was freely on display in the years after 9-11 the Government felt like they needed to purchase in more recent years. Sorry Veterans, but America has run out of free patriotism and any other units must be purchased in $100,000 increments. Sounds like something a drug dealer handing out samples would say. LOL I say, along with “Yep, Sounds about right.”
We are good America. I don’t know too many Veterans who were out lobbying for any types of public recognition, but when they do occur, I don’t think we are asking too much that they be genuine. Honestly, if you can’t do that, then just keep it to yourself and we are cool. No Tinkerbell feelings here, we will be just fine without your paid applause as we do quite well supporting our own.
I would rather have 10 civilians with genuine love for our military support us than a stadium full of millions who are more worried about what the Kardashians are going to do next give us applause paid for by my own tax dollars. Rather, cut our tax rate, let us buy another drink, and see what that does to our morale! Sigh, but it’s cool NFL. It sounds about right given what we observe. So let’s just keep on keeping on and if you don’t mind, we will just take a pass on the subsidized applause.
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