December 7, 2022

close 'Fox & Friends' encourages you to make camo your cause for Veterans Day Video

‘Fox & Friends’ encourages you to make camo your cause for Veterans Day

‘Fox & Friends’ anchors Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade honor America’s veterans by sharing how viewers can make camo their cause and support America’s heroes.

Most of America’s service members do not seek the spotlight.

To do so would seem incongruous with their initial motivations for raising their hand, their reasons for sticking out the tough times and their means of transitioning back to civilian life.

These men and women chose to join the military — not for money or fame, but for ancient virtues like honor, duty and sacrifice.

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They did it because they love serving their country, not because they love receiving attention for it.

As a result, some veterans can feel uncomfortable with the extra attention they will be receiving on Veterans Day — this Friday, Nov. 11 — especially those who served in Vietnam and Korea and endured horrible treatment once they got home.

Veterans Day is Friday, Nov. 11 — a day that is often hard for many American vets. One way to honor veterans without pushing them away further or making them feel uncomfortable is to simply thank them for their service — and let them know, "I respect you."

Veterans Day is Friday, Nov. 11 — a day that is often hard for many American vets. One way to honor veterans without pushing them away further or making them feel uncomfortable is to simply thank them for their service — and let them know, "I respect you."
(Credit: Ray Ferrara)

So, what is a grateful American to do?

How do Americans show their appreciation for a past that is often undiscussed?

How do Americans thank the ones they love without pushing the veterans away further?

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One idea is to send their veterans this note from a woman in Florida — or some version of it. Or perhaps at least read it to gain a new understanding of America’s veterans and how to honor them.

Here it is.

‘I see you, I respect you, I value your service’

I see you. I respect you. I value your service.

I want to honor you this Veterans Day — but maybe this day is not your favorite.

Men sit outside the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July 2014. 

Men sit outside the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July 2014. 
(AP)

While children wave flags and parade goers call out, “Thank you for your service,” you might prefer to stay inside and treat it just like any other day.

Though it’s not Memorial Day — the day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving America — it’s still a day that can bring back a lot of memories you may not want to remember.

Lots of veterans prefer not to be highlighted.

My own veteran dad preferred to stay out of the spotlight. 

To speak personally for a moment, my own father served in the Army Special Forces as a Green Beret in Vietnam — and became 100% disabled as a result.

For many reasons, my veteran dad preferred to stay out of the spotlight.

You might feel this way, too.

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You didn’t serve to be recognized; you served to serve.

In the course of fulfilling your duty, you may have — like my father — endured great trauma, and so you have conflicting emotions surrounding your time in the military.

Like him, you may have earned medals that you kept hidden for decades because they remind you of things you’d rather forget. (My dad only chose to share them with me when my husband joined the Navy.)

Vietnam veteran Paul Troop honors his fallen comrades while at the World War II Memorial on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11, 2013.

Vietnam veteran Paul Troop honors his fallen comrades while at the World War II Memorial on Veterans Day in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11, 2013.
(Reuters)

Or maybe you feel like you didn’t do “enough,” and so you don’t deserve to be photographed or have your name printed in a bulletin.

You are not alone.

A few years ago, before my dad passed away, my town held an event to honor Vietnam veterans on the 50th anniversary of the war.

I now go to veteran gatherings as his proud (admittedly self-appointed) representative.

I asked my dad if he wanted to go together. He didn’t.

He avoided crowds (because of war experiences) and he remembered how unfairly he was treated in uniform when he came home — he was spat at, verbally degraded and judged.

"The tiniest ripple you start this Veterans Day could create a wave that informs, changes and blesses others," says the daughter of an American veteran.

"The tiniest ripple you start this Veterans Day could create a wave that informs, changes and blesses others," says the daughter of an American veteran.
(iStock)

In an effort to honor him, I now go to veteran gatherings as his proud (admittedly self-appointed) representative.

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I stand in his place — and I create a place for the children of veterans who also have a stake in this day.

So much of their parents’ service is a part of their story, whether they realize it or not.

Surprisingly, this became a contagious act for me. It led to my participating in threeHonor Flight missions — and mobilizing my community to raise funds and volunteer to take a plane full of WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day to reflect and see their memorials.

Friends, family and supporters hold an Honor Flight banner to welcome veterans. 

Friends, family and supporters hold an Honor Flight banner to welcome veterans. 
(Honor Flight Chicago)

The tiniest ripple you start this Veterans Day could create a wave that informs, changes and blesses others.

Don’t think about it as doing it for you — I know the humble soldier in you wouldn’t.

Instead, do it for the man with whom you served; stand in his place.

Let’s give kids ancestors — of bloodline or neighborly relation — on whom they can look backward and learn and then look forward and emulate.

Do it for your children and grandchildren who love you and want to know you.

Give them a role to play in a script still being written. Your life, past and present, is inextricably linked with theirs.

Do it for the kids growing up in your neighborhood. They need to know that the man walking his dog each morning, the one raking leaves in his yard, the one washing his car on Saturdays chose to serve this country — with its glories as well as its imperfections — because those veterans (you) were faithful to its ideals, not the political zeitgeist.

A Vietnam veteran holds a U.S. flag at a Veterans Day memorial in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in Nov. 2010, back-dropped by a deep blue sky.

A Vietnam veteran holds a U.S. flag at a Veterans Day memorial in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in Nov. 2010, back-dropped by a deep blue sky.
(iStock)

If kids are to grow up with a sense of legacy, the adults in their lives must remember the quote from Edmund Burke: “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”

Let’s give kids ancestors — of bloodline or neighborly relation — on whom they can look backward and learn and then look forward and emulate.

How might neighborhoods, communities and country be better if citizens (especially the little ones growing up) knew the stories of those who embody the idea of thinking beyond themselves?

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If all of that still doesn’t fit for this Veterans Day, that is OK.

You could consider choosing your own ambassador.

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Give someone you trust a word or two to share while they engage with others on November 11 and ask them to report back on the good they experience as a result.

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You could also write a letter and tuck it away for another day that seems better to share.

And if even that seems like too much, remember this: Heaven hears the silent whispers of the heart just as clear as the loudest trumpet.