Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. Politicians like Biden and Trump will give speeches honoring the countless American soldiers who have fought in needless wars overseas. While politicians and media will go on about the heroism of veterans, Veterans Day will be an occasion for many working-class families to feel ever more deeply for the loved ones that have been killed, badly injured, or suffer mental trauma from their experiences fighting.
Biden and Trump will likely trumpet their track records as politicians who prioritized funding for veterans. This is a total joke when we look at the conditions many veterans face today. For example, the non-profit organization The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates there are over 37,000 veterans who experienced homelessness on a given night in 2019.
Besides the neglect of social services for veterans, one of the most hypocritical and cruel practices that the U.S. government has engaged in over the years is the deportation of veterans after they return from fighting overseas. There are currently networks of deported veterans living in Mexico, as well as places such as India, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Kenya. Despite fighting for U.S. military in war, they have been separated from their families and unable to build lives in the U.S. because of their lack of citizenship. The government has done this during times of war ranging from the invasion of Vietnam in the 1960s, to the “War on Terror“ in the early 2000s, to the present.
On Veterans Day, let’s remember this as being another cynical, repulsive example of how the system of capitalism treats working people as tools rather than recognizing their humanity.