Here’s something I think people should know on Veterans Day about people incarcerated: There’s a lot of patriotic people incarcerated, and just because people have done something wrong doesn’t mean they don’t love their country. Oftentimes, society seems to buy into the rhetoric that’s associated with prison such as :”Don’t drop the soap” or “ Big Bubba is waiting for you upstate .” Yet the narrative has rarely reflected on the patriotic veterans or prisoners that reside behind these walls.
There’s veterans inside prisons around the United States. My experience in the New York prison system has been informative on a firsthand baseis concerning veterans.
For instance, the facilities I’ve been in had organizations that honored veterans.
In fact, there were banquets given for veterans where a designated area in the facility for those who fought in wars and served in our armed forces were sponsored by donations that other incarcerated people contributed for these veterans.
In addition to fundraisers , the Veteran’s organization would sell coffee creamer and candies to purchase food from outside vendors for these banquets. Movies were also a part of the festivities - and all of this was thought of by other people incarcerated - People that were locked up with those whom they felt deserved to be celebrated for their service. This was an act of gratitude for people who served for every right you agree with and ones you dislike , too, here in the United States. Here it was people locked up for harsh crimes , not so harsh crimes, juvenile offenses, mental health illness,
drug addiction and political prisoners lumped in with some wrongly convicted people as well dealing with there own issues; yet, they all thought enough to take time out to think about someone other than themselves- our veterans.
So today I take time out to acknowledge our veterans. The ones that are in prison and the ones that are in society. My message is this:
Do what you can to honor our men and women in the arm forces - Believe it or not, the men in the prisons that I was in certainly did.
Salute to all our troops and those behind bars that served for our country. There’s a lot of unspoken compassion and brotherhood that those in these situations share as they try to put their lives back together.
I pray for all families going through the absence of family members serving in the armed forces.
I love you and I thank you today.