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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Veterans Day

Oscar P. Austin
In honoring Veterans Day this year, let us remember the full array of veterans that have served. We declare 'support our troops!' but that means we must support our young, our poor, our people of color-- the populations that are fighting our wars. Too often, we cheer our troops while maintaining the systems of injustice that oppress the soldiers fighting on our behalf.

If you 'support our troops,' it means you keep their streets at home just as safe as they have kept the streets abroad. It means you give them access to the homes and jobs that they have kept secure. It means you provide the healthcare that keeps their families healthy. It means if they are legal to fight, they are legal to attend school, and that you admit them into your colleges.

Take some time to read the stories of the many who have served at great cost. Remember those who have sacrificed in the face of danger, at home and abroad.

Charles George
Remember Hazel Ying Lee (李月英), who gave her life flying planes for the U.S. Army. Remember Oscar P. Austin who died rescuing a fallen comrade during the Vietnam War. Remember Eva Romero Jacques and Carmen Contreras-Bozak who were pioneers in their service to the military. Remember U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (井上 建), who received the Medal of Honor after helping rescue 230 soldiers during WWII. Remember Charles George who threw himself on a grenade in the Korean War to save his companions.

Remember Franco Arcebal who fights for recognition and compensations for thousands of Filipino American troops who were falsely promised military benefits. Remember the Nisei veterans of WWII who "who rose above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unsurpassed honor and bravery." Remember Pedro Cano who fought for citizenship for years after he fought on the front lines. Remember Van T. Barfoot who fought for his rights, no matter where he was stationed.

Remember the 54th of Massachusetts Infantry, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Choctaw (WWI) and Navajo (WWII) Code Talkers, Crispus Attucksthe 442nd Infantry Regiment. Remember our troops today that come home from war to face discrimination and disparity.

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."
(Ephesians 6:11)

Who would you like to remind us to honor this year? 
Leave your tribute in the comments section below.


  1. Even after putting their lives on the line to protect their
    nation, our veterans face significant risk of deportation. Rev. Linda Orsen
    Theophilus writes in her Sojourners article entitled 'Deportations are Not the
    Way to Show Respect for Veterans'

    "Today, any veteran who has never naturalized could be
    deported if he or she has a conviction for almost anything at any time in their
    life. This is in stark contrast with the past, when such deportations were
    rare....When these vets’ stories are fully told, the underlying reason for
    their deportation is often revealed to be the hidden wounds they received while
    serving the country they loved enough to fight for — even without citizenship.
    These veterans served everywhere from Kosovo to Iraq, Afghanistan to Vietnam.
    Their stories point to the need for a new way of thinking about how America
    treats immigrant veterans, one that takes into account their service to all of

    Veterans who have been deported deserve the opportunity to
    return to the United States while still alive. So this Veterans Day, please
    take a moment to think about the many veterans who have been deported, and how
    you could sway your community leaders and elected officials to push for a
    different approach." (read the full article:

  2. I really appreciate this post because it gets at what it really means to honor the service of these veterans. It is so much more than hollow words not backed up by substantive policies.


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