Monday was our national holiday dedicated to remember and honor those who have given their very lives on our behalf. In recent years, we have perhaps also spent more personal attention to memories of our non-military ancestors with regard to the legacy which they gave to us. That seems appropriate as well.

Mass media also reminds us of many thousands of veterans who survived recent wars but were physically maimed or emotionally scarred with PTSD. We provide veterans benefits, but I wonder if they are enough. I doubt it.

Although we give to Wounded Warriors ( or Disabled American Veterans ( similar organizations that may perform better services than the VA, would it not seem better to raise the level of financial support from the very government that sent them into harm’s way? We just printed billions of dollars for able bodied citizens to counteract the foolhardy decision to close down our economy, so don’t tell me we don’t have the wherewithal to do right for our veterans!

What about our national future? As a student of history, it occurs to me that the next major war will probably be sooner than later. The conflicts that can be called world wars usually break out after decades of relative peace. They begin about the time society says to itself, we are so advanced now in our thinking and attitudes that we are past such nonsense. Who could want to harm us? I can think of two right away.

Will we be prepared for the next? Technologically, we consider our smart bombs, smart missiles, and developing artificial intelligence sufficient to protect us. We have an all-volunteer military of about 1.3 million, less than half of one percent of our population with about 750 thousand civilians in their direct support. For most of us, they are out of sight and out of mind.

Last September, the Pentagon issued its report that 77 percent of all American youth between ages 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in our military due to being overweight, having drug or alcohol addiction, other physical impairments, mental illness or more than one of these. Each year, the Armed Services are missing their recruitment goals.

This says a lot about our society. We are fattened by our prosperity and horrible diets, and emotionally broken by our new forms of claimed spirituality and the resulting breakdown of our families. Need I point out that education by itself is insufficient?

Even though we practice Pax Americana by our military stations around the world or by proxies such as Ukraine, we will be just as unprepared for the potential conflicts with China and Russia as we were before the two 20th Century world wars.

And we will again ask, How did this happen to us?


(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The advice is general in nature and not intended for specific situations)