As a Vietnam veteran who has witnessed the media cover two decades of conflict, including the departure from Afghanistan, Robert J. Bramell states that he would want to inform the media that their mandatory “thank you for your service to our nation” clichés make Americans ill. He also had some suggestions for ensuring that all veterans feel respected. From 1967 through 1971, he was a member of the Air Force Band of the West but never saw action. Even those who have never seen battle understand how critical their support was to the mission’s success. They have the utmost admiration for the “band of brothers” who risk their lives for others. Many of them came home with prosthetic arms and legs, homelessness, and substance abuse problems. Others returned in a coffin wrapped with a flag. As a band member, he observed the devastation caused by war. He played taps for a 19-year-old Vietnam veteran at the Fort Sam Houston Cemetery.
Robert J. Bramell states that he was assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center one Sunday afternoon to entertain troops suffering from severe battle burns. He witnessed troops express their gratitude by clapping their prosthetic arms and legs together. Without legs, one soldier clapped on his wheelchair with his remaining prosthetic arm. Following the departure of the injured, he saw several flag-draped caskets descend to a long line of black hearses.
Veterans’ sacrifices are deserving of more than a formulaic “thank you for your service.” Please consider the following before expressing gratitude for their service. Visit a Veterans Hospital or the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and interview with a veteran. Seeing and hearing their experiences demonstrates what war is truly like. Visit a Gold Star Mother to hear how she coped with her son’s death in Iraq. Discover how she remembers her son through America’s Mighty Warriors. Read his most recent letter to his mother, which demonstrates how amazing American warriors are.
In conclusion, conduct interviews with reporters who covered the dispute and numerous people were hurt or murdered. Hear how their lives were altered by “Band of Brothers.” Many veterans understand what they did and why they did it. They took the oath and carried out their responsibilities. After two decades of conflict and a humiliating withdrawal, the media should at the very least show some respect for American troops.