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Commentary

Auchter's Art: Thank you for your sacrifice

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John Auchter
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Auchter's Art

It's Veterans Day next week. For those of us who have not served in the United States Armed Forces, it's sometimes difficult to know what to say to those who have. "Thank you for your service" has become something of a default. Like saying "I'm sorry for your loss" at a funeral, it's safe and well-intentioned, but can sometimes feel short of the mark.

Yes, veterans have served. But it has been a long time since the draft, so it was their choice. I'm not at all trying to be glib. I realize that for many the choice to join the military really wasn't much of a choice — mostly for economic reasons. What definitely wasn't a choice for an awfully large percentage is what they sacrificed as part of their service. Too often, it was their health — mental and physical.

As a non-veteran, this is what I (gratefully) can't imagine but feel the most compelled to acknowledge. And this is where we as country do fall short of the mark. Healthcare for veterans isn't free. With the VA and VA facilities, they are availed to some additional services. But vets can be bankrupted just like the rest of us. Can that be fixed? Well, sure. We would just need to make some sacrifices.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

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