If the Giants or Patriots Deserve A Super Bowl Parade, Don’t Iraq Vets?


The Iraq War officially ended on December 31, 2011. Since the beginning of the war 8 years ago, over 4400 soldiers have died and over 32,000 have been wounded. Since the end of this war, St. Louis has been the only city to host a Welcome Our Heroes Home parade. IAVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, have started a petition (found here) that will be sent to the President and mayors nationwide pushing for parades to honor our soldiers.

Paul Rieckhoff recently wrote about this on his blog. 

If we can afford two wars, we can afford two welcome home parades. 

But this effort is about more than just a parade. It is what parades represent – a celebration, a commemoration, and an expression of gratitude by a community that has finally learned to separate the war from warriors. It is about creating a day to remember those we’ve lost, respect those who have served, and respond to their needs as returning veterans. 

After a decade at war, with the burden of so many carried by so few, who deserves a parade more than the brave men and women who have deployed two, three, four times since 9/11? 

I hope you guys will join me in signing this petition. If there is any group that deserves a parade, it is not a football team, it is our returning soldiers.

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2 responses to “If the Giants or Patriots Deserve A Super Bowl Parade, Don’t Iraq Vets?

  1. “this effort is about more than just a parade. It is what parades represent – a celebration, a commemoration, and an expression of gratitude by a community that has finally learned to separate the war from warriors. It is about creating a day to remember those we’ve lost, respect those who have served, and respond to their needs as returning veterans. “

    This is spot on. When I returned from Vietnam just following my 20th birthday in 1969 there was very little positive comments by anyone regarding my service there. That war was a mistake and the My Lai massacre had tainted us all who served in Vietnam, leaving us to feel that no one seem to give a sh– about those we lost and those of us who laid our lives on the line. We were made to feel ashamed for serving.

    Most of us who served really don’t relish the grandeur of parades but it wasn’t until 12 years later when some work associates of mine put together a little recognition party to honor my service on Veteran’s Day that I really felt that shame removed and extremely pleased that at least my service was not in vain.

    I only hope that any future wars are more than just vainglorious stabs at bullying other countries and empire building. When we put our men and women in harms way it needs to be reality based on what we see as a genuine threat to our security in this country. We do a better job of this winning hearts and minds of potential enemies in peaceful ways and not by “shock and awe” tactics that serve our economic interests.

    Hate the war but love the warriors who go where they’re sent

    • Yes — I think we need to remember whether it was a good and/or bad war, our soldiers do not have a say. Their job is to go where our leaders send them. A parade is a way for us to stand with them and acknowledge their sacrifices, their service to our country. It is an absolute shame that the soldiers themselves are having to start this conversation. We should learn from our mistakes such as in the Vietnam War where the soldiers were vilified for decisions made that they had nothing to do with.

      As far as specifically the Iraq War, I remain skeptical of the reasons we were led into that war, but the soldiers did their job (still doing their job in A’stan) and they need to be recognized for it even if they don’t really desire the recognition. I seem to think their could be some solace in seeing us come out and acknowledge/praise them.

      Thank you for your service!

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