Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why the stories of Our discriminated Veterans are important.

We can learn a lot from our history. What happened in the past can dictate what we do now. From discoveries to social attitudes. Recently, in one of my flipping threw the channel episodes, I landed on the History Channel. I love everything that has to with History. But the program that was on was about the African Americans that fought during WWII.

 Now with anything that is done in regards to our Veterans peaks my interest. I like to hear their stories. Sometimes its hard, but their stories are our history. This one particular documentary, got me. It got me because on top of everything those men had to endure just being in a world war, they were also dealing with the astronomical amount of racism and discrimination thrown at them.  Their stories were combined with both Honor, Valor, Strength and Courage but with racism and discrimination. Now the sad part is, is that it didn't just happen to the African Americans.It happened to the Navajo Code breakers, it  happened to the Japanese Americans and the Chinese Americans who served.It is sad to me that people who were willing to fight and die for their country weren't even considered worthy of the highest medal award to those in the service, The Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.Now I know that a vast majority of our Veterans were fine examples of what it took to earn this award. But did they? There were no Medal of Honor issued to those who were Asian, African American and Native American during WWII. It wasn't until 1993 when a  study commissioned by the Army investigated racial discrimination in the awarding of medal, that medals started being awarded to those who deserved to have that recognition.

For me when I see the military today, I still see the mistakes made of long before happening. As time does go by changes are being made. We have come some distance.  The discrimination that the LGBT community faced while serving in the Military has changed. You can be gay and proudly serve. Right now its about getting same sex spouses the recognition they deserve. But there are still those who chose to live inside their little box and not accept people for who they are. Since 911, the Muslims who proudly serve are facing discrimination. It has shifted from the colour of one's skin to sexual origination and religion. Have we really learned from the mistakes of the past?  Are we many years from now going to have a President that is going to start awarding all those Medals of Honor to those who didn't get one because someone didn't like the way lived their lives or how they practiced their religion?

If you have read my posts, I mostly talk about acceptance. I am under the firm belief that people should be treated with equality. It doesn't matter what station in life you are from. I don't care. People shouldn't care. If you serve your country with Honor, Strength, Valor and Courage, you should be noted for doing so. If people are willing to serve their country and die for their country, they deserve the up most respect from those they protect, regardless of skin colour, sexual origination and religion.

 One of the things that stuck out for me in this documentary, was a Welsh Man talking about the African Americans in his village during WWII. He had stated that they couldn't be in the same pubs as the White soldiers, because a lot of the white soldiers had an issue sharing the same space with the African American soldiers. It bothered him, because as he thought that the United States of America was the land of the free, it seemed to him that the African American soldiers were not allowed to be free, but here they are fighting along side countrymen and for a country that treated them less than human.

Something to think about.