Recently I participated in some pro football game ceremonies that honored the military. The amount of public attention I get in uniform is somewhat uncomfortable, and I feel like I’m being used as a prop. So a football team donates a somewhat trivial amount of money to our MWR fund, and we get to come out in our uniforms to show everyone how patriotic they are. Major sports games are filled with military references, flyovers, various things to recognize the troops, color guards. I’m sure it’s good business for the football team to do so. Getting out there and being visible is also not a bad thing for recruitment for the military. It makes logical business sense for both parties.
For those participating, well at least for me, the hero worship is a little disconcerting. I’m not sure what it is, I occasionally have pangs of shame or guilt when I think about my military time, not living up to the standard of perfection the military places on you. Also, while I have been to war, right now I mainly work a desk job (like many in the military), so when people thank me for my service it kind of makes me feel like a fake, I basically do the same thing everyone else does for a job most of the time.
I do like the attention in a way, but it just feels off slightly, like I’m getting the hero worship blindly with the people giving it not understanding why they should give it. War sucks, and these types of events feel like they glorify it. It’s sells war in way.
Maybe I need to stop thinking about it and enjoy my free hot wings.