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Thank you for letting us use your service

Marc Munroe Dion on

There is a new species of hero abroad in the land!

And, no, I don't mean President Donald Trump, who now regards himself as a "war president."

And, no, I don't mean those guys who "almost joined the military." As the nation slides deeper into uniform worship, the "I almost joined" brigade has swollen to the size of an army. Apparently, even thinking about serving your country is as good as serving. I have a friend, an Army veteran, who has considered punching those who swell with pride when they tell him they "almost" joined. He has yet to throw that punch. Discipline, I guess.

Now comes something new in the world of sucking up other people's achievements.

You can, if you like, buy a T-shirt with "World War II Veteran Son," printed on the front. Below that, of course, the flag. Below that, the words, "Most People Never Meet Their Heroes. I was Raised By Mine." I haven't seen a "daughter" version of the shirt yet, and I hope I never do. I want to keep my belief that women are less prone to heroic fantasy than men.

Full disclosure: I have never served in the United States armed forces. By the time I came of age, there was no draft. I didn't join.

 

My father was a World War II combat veteran, and he was not nostalgic about his service.

"The Army's great if you're one of those dopes who needs somebody to tell him what to do every minute of his life," Pop used to say.

He had been drafted, broomed up off the streets of a midsized New England city. He was 22 and had never been to Boston, which is 50 miles north of where he was born.

He rose to the rank of sergeant, came home, threw away every scrap of his uniform, never joined a veterans organization and never touched a gun for the rest of his life.

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