This image has circumnavigated the Internet, as such things tend to do. It usually is met with responses such as: "The OWS movement is filled with a bunch of lazy, spoiled, far-left, frauds," or "'Nuff said."
We all love these Internet-ready mini-billboards which attempt to drive home a point with an economy of words and a searing image. They can be powerful and persuasive. But this one rankled me.
To be clear, I have nothing but respect and admiration for our men and women in uniform, and for our veterans, but, one could insert any movement, cause, or daily activity in the last part of this text: 'attend your tea party,' 'walk for breast cancer,' 'vote democratic.' Sadly, we have to go about our lives here and do what we need to do, whether that's attending a football game, leading a scout troop, or exercising our right to protest.
Perhaps what this image underscores more than anything is the sad fact that no matter what is going on in the homeland, our soldiers are in foreign lands risking their lives for what are, arguably, dubious causes. (Anyone who thinks the war in Iraq is about 'our freedom' is fooling themselves.)
Undoubtedly, many of these soldiers would rather be here occupying Wall Street, like many other fine service men and women.
"For 10 years, we have been fighting wars that have enriched the wealthiest 1 percent, decimated our economy and left our nation with a generation of traumatized and wounded veterans that will require care for years to come," said Joseph Carter, a 27-year-old former Army sergeant and Iraq war veteran who marched Wednesday to Zuccotti Park.