This article originally appeared in the Fayetteville Observer
I read an opinion column in The Washington Post written by retired Lt. Col. Dave Duffy titled “Enough With Entitlement Among Veterans and Military Families.” My Facebook page was buzzing. The article was shared multiple times and sparked heated debate.
The comments about spouses, Duffy, the military and the verbal attacks were out of control. I would even call some of it cyberbullying. My topic for this column changed immediately.
Duffy owns a smoothie store. Recently, a military spouse came into his store and behaved badly. This spouse was mad because she did not receive a military discount and believed Duffy did not appreciate military families.
The article shifted focus from one spouse with one complaint to a bigger-picture issue, which was “the growing sense in our active and retired military community that as a group its members should be catered to because of their service.”
Wow. Just wow.
Duffy recognized the shame some Americans feel over how Vietnam veterans were treated (horribly). He emphasized that we are an all-volunteer military (which we are), and he brought attention to the service that social workers, teachers and first responders provide to our nation (because they do).
The military and its leadership were chastised by Duffy for essentially treating service members and their families like a separate class of citizen. He also said America needs to stop thanking the troops “ad nauseam” and do away with veterans hiring processes.
While Duffy brings up a valid point about Veterans Affairs still needing work, I believe his argument is lost. From the comments I read, people have not moved past the military spouse wanting the discount. And those comments about spouses are just ridiculous.
It’s too bad what the readers chose to focus on, but as with all op-eds, it happens. As a reader of Duffy’s article, I did not care for it. There were some points I did like, but overall I just didn’t like the blog post.