The recent news that the Pentagon has been paying professional sports teams to honor current service members and military veterans was dismaying and surprising to me. I’ve become numb to the annoying level of enforced patriotism in America in the past ten years or so, chalking it up to the thoroughly American trait of overdoing pretty much anything that becomes popular. But I hadn’t considered that our government was paying hard money to try to keep the swell of pride in the military from subsiding.
Frankly, I’ve felt sorry for the men and women who were trotted out to the field to accept the accolades, because I felt they were being exploited by the local teams. Turns out, they were being exploited by their government, too. Now, Tom the Dancing Bug makes it clear that I should not have been surprised at all: