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When I think of “celebrating” Veterans Day, a lot comes to mind: drinking a few cold ones and trading war stories with some fellow vets, chatting with my dad over the phone to thank him for his service, or marching up Fifth Avenue in New York City with my friends from Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America. What I don’t think about, though, is the best way to take advantage of the many sales going on that day.
It happens every year in the days leading up to Nov. 11: “Celebrate Veterans Day with a free money transfer.” Really? Do you really think that is how people want to celebrate Veterans Day, Western Union? For each wire transfer made on Veterans Day, are you allowing one of the 8,400 troops in Afghanistan to wire home money for free? Doesn’t look like it.
I’ve never thought about it until I recently watched a commercial for a Veterans Day furniture sale, but it dawned on me that countless stores are literally making money off of veterans without the decency of putting some of those profits back into causes that support them. How is this possible? I don’t know how I never realized it before, but this is bullshit.
It’s one thing for companies like Vineyard Vines to use Memorial Day to promote a suit drive that benefits veterans. It’s another, however, to use Veterans Day to promote a sale that in no way benefits veterans. There is nothing altruistic about using a holiday meant to honor veterans to increase your sales, which is precisely the reasoning behind the promotion. A 2014 Nielsen survey found that 55% of people are willing to pay more for products as long as the company is committed to having a positive social impact. So is it crazy to charge normal prices on Veterans Day and have 30% of sales go to veterans instead?
It’s 2016, our country has placed the burden of fighting multiple wars on the backs of a tiny percentage of brave Americans, and you think the best way to honor our troops is to have a sale? Let me help you out: It’s not. If you fall into this category and aren’t offering help to any of the veterans you are using to make money off of, you are wrong. And if you paid to advertise your Veterans Day sale and couldn’t even find the decency to address one of the myriad problems veterans face, you should be ashamed.
When public attention regarding our troops and veterans is waning, we can’t afford dog-and-pony shows that do nothing to support our veterans. The days leading up to Nov. 11 are the perfect time to capitalize on the media attention paid to this community, and wasting it on ads that do nothing to support our troops and only aim to line people’s pockets is seriously problematic.
If companies really think this is how people do celebrate Veterans Day, let me offer some advice on what celebrating Veterans Day should look like:
- First, make the day about veterans, not your business. Plenty of businesses offer up free meals and discounts for service members and veterans without asking for a thing in return. Follow their lead.
- If you’re offering a discount, that’s great, but can you make sure it is veteran-specific? That seems like a no-brainer.
- And if it’s not veteran-specific, why not ensure that part of the proceeds go to supporting a veterans charity? There are tens of thousands of them around the country.
- Use your social media accounts to share stories of veterans, especially those that work at your company, or about the issues they face.
- Lastly, continue supporting veterans on Nov. 12, and every day after.
The last point being the most important. If you think veterans only deserve one day a year to be honored and celebrated, we need to have a chat. All of the discounts and promotions on Nov. 11 won’t solve the problems veterans face the other 364 days of the year and we in the veteran community can’t solve these issues alone. Together, with support and investments from corporate partners, we can make sure that we not only give our veterans the respect they deserve on Nov. 11, but ensure that every day of the year is Veterans Day.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.
The White House will keep challenging the Pentagon on the threat of climate change until it gets an answer it likes
The definition of insanity, the old saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — a definition that applies perfectly to the Trump administration's response to the looming national security threat of global climate change.