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McMahon: Marching

Did you notice all those folks in uniform marching on Central and Seventh Street Thursday? That was the parade route for the Veterans Day celebration.

Veterans Day? Thursday? And if you didn’t see any of those men and women proudly representing their service in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the all too many bloody battlegrounds we’ve fought — if you didn’t see them, they’re used to it. To many Americans, they’re invisible.

Oh, absolutely there are bands playing patriotic music and flags and appreciative crowds greeting them when they get off their planes and come home, but then what? Where are the jobs for these people who have given more than most of us are ever asked to give?

The young returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan have had an unemployment rate of 15 percent. The stress of having no job combined with the horrible reality of post traumatic stress disorder often culminates in suicide that, so far this year, has taken more lives than combat. Today’s Unknown Soldier is not in a tomb in Washington. It’s the trooper standing in line for army food — the Salvation Army.