In a new op-ed on LGBTQ Nation, a leftist writer suggested expanding the definition of “Veteran” to include those involved in conflict resolution on behalf of a government as well as peace activists.
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld, a professor from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, started off his piece claiming that he observed a man receiving a 10% discount at the vet for being a military veteran. “I thought that this was not only appropriate, but the defenders of this country’s security should be given an even greater discount,” he wrote.
Blumenfeld claims he has “long thought” about “whom our country includes in it’s socially constructed category of ‘veteran,'” and asks: “Can we as a nation begin now to consider expanding the category of ‘veteran’ to include the diplomats and the mediators, those working in the conflict resolution, and activists dedicated to preventing wars and to bringing existing wars to diplomatic resolution once they have begun?”
“Individuals who stand up and put their lives on the line to defend our country from threats to our national security, as those in our nation’s military do, are true patriots and veterans,” Blumenfeld continues. “But true patriots and veterans are also those who speak out, stand up, and put their lives on the line by actively advocating for justice, freedom, and liberty through peaceful means.”
Blumenfeld does point out that he is “not arguing that everyone be granted retail discounts by expanding our classification of ‘veteran,’ or even that others acknowledge us for our service in working for a better and more just society,” but asks for people to “take a few minute to consider those fighting a cultural and figurative civil war to reduce the violence and injustice and place the United States in higher standing around the world.’”
In an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Joey Jones, a retired Marine Corps bomb technician who lost both of his legs while serving in Afghanistan, called Blumenfeld’s op-ed “pretty laughable.”
“Listen if you need a title, a pat on the back for your hard work that you chose to do, by all means, take it and run with it,” Jones said. “I don’t need the discount at Starbucks. I don’t need the discount at Walmart.”
“These men and women — these GI Joes, GI Janes — they are regular people,” Jones added. “They didn’t go to private school, they didn’t get their feelings hurt at the unfairness of things, they chose to serve their country, and they chose to do something that truly transcends these tit for tat politics that we play here in this country.”
“To say this term applies to everyone who might get upset and hold up a sign somewhere, that doesn’t make any sense at all,” Jones concluded.
Blumenfeld later responded on Twitter claiming his article “challenges the Patriarchal structure of domination and control, and the resistant backlash has been vicious. (Remember, not only cismales support the Patriarchy, though it clearly benefits cis males the most.)”