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Why america's veterans should be honored ?
As a veteran of the Air Force, during the Viet Nam era, I'd take the approach that whether you agree with the policies that send our military into battle (or non-combat service) they deserve credit for doing their duty. The fact that our service men and women will go where they are ordered make the responsibility for sending them ONLY where they must go in the interest of our national security all the more critical.
It's pretty easy to answer why - they fought for the freedom of the nation. They suffered, and they watched friends die in battle. They should be honoured for their heroic feats.