Re: Thank You Soldiers?

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Laurence, your post reminded me of a an incident on a Southwest flight I took last week. As we were landing, the flight attendant thanked members of the military on board “for their service.” On behalf of … who? I wondered? It called to mind the expression “an armed country is a polite country.” No, not because they allow passengers to be armed—heaven forfend! But because when I hear these treacly homages to soldiers in such settings, you realize this is done by the unarmed, servile population who are showering the armed soldiers with compliments in the vain hope that this reverse propaganda might dissuade the troops from turning their weapons on us, their “customers,” if someday ordered to do so.

Update: A reader writes:

Hi Stephan,

I share your grief, but I’m afraid my mother does even more. You see not only does she have to endure the TSA everyday at what is her office ([xyz] airport, essentially), but also the constant military worship each time a uniformed thug is on one of her flights, be they young dupes being shipped over, military contractors, or FAMs (Federal Air Marshals). As you may have figured out by now she is a flight attendant and has to battle this deification of the military constantly with her crew members. She always, please keep this anonymous by the way, refuses to comp drinks or make announcements in favor of any military thug on board. She will always try to convince others to do the same, but as the environment gets more and more unfriendly to freedom, she often drops it at the first hint that they’re dead-set in their ways and just slyly does it on her own. Those on the receiving end of this additional welfare (free drinks, free meals, free seat up-grades, and free PA-paeans) are of course well aware of the treatment they “should” be getting from my mother and I am honestly surprised they haven’t tried to take down her name tag to report her for being insufficiently patriotic.

Her favorite passengers? Businessmen, of course.

Just a note to send along that while we may be invisible, we are for a reason and are everywhere! ;-)

Keep Fighting the Good Fight,

[XX]

12:30 pm on March 21, 2011