A Veterans Day wheelchair parade

Colorado Springs Veterans Day ParadeThis year’s Colorado Springs Veteran’s Day Parade falls on Veteran’s Day. The theme is “a nation at war, a community of support.” Doesn’t sound much to do with honoring veterans. Are we holding an active-duty support-the-war parade on honor-the-Veteran’s Day?
There will be 92 entries and five helium balloons. There are no entry fees because the city business community is so supportive of our soldiers over there, fighting to make the war safe for the contractors. Lots of military profiteers in Colorado Springs.

Organizers say that fully half of the participants in the parade will be veterans or active duty soldiers. Fully half? What are the other half? By my calculations, that means that there will be more non-soldiers and non-ex-soldiers than veterans. In the Veteran’s Day Parade.

I have an idea about how to involve lots more veterans. The unseen, underappreciated veterans. The veterans not usually invited to join any reindeer games. This year let’s invite the disabled veterans. And since the focus is this nation at war, this war, let’s honor the freshly disabled. This year let’s have a Veteran’s Day wheelchair parade.

I pictured it last year, maybe a handful of malcontents, youthful Iraq War Veterans wearing disaffected-youth garb accessorized with the odd army cloth article, walking with their canes or without, challenging parade watchers to look at them. I imagined it too complex an antiwar statement for most.

This year there could be over 3,000 wounded Iraq War vets from Colorado Springs alone. There would be many more if you count the spiritually and mentally disabled, the post traumatic sufferers, and the yet to be, the terminally unabled. Forming a sea of true veterans, of youth sacrificed to war, in a mass to large to look in the eye.

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