This year, Veterans Day should have been a day for all of us - all 99 percent of us - to stand with the 1 percent. Not, as Jim Hightower writes, the “corporate CEOs and hedge fund billionaires,” but the “extra-special 1 percent of our society” who are also part of the 99 percent -- the veterans of our most recent, most misguided wars, as well as those before. As Hightower said, let it not be a day to merely salute our veterans, but to stand with them and rally with them, as they have already done for us.
Across the country, veterans of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are standing with the joining the 99 percent. Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old former Marine who served two tours or duty in Iraq, and Sgt. Shamar Thomas, another Marine who served in Iraq, are probably the most well known. Olsen, who was critically injured by a police projectile during the attack on Occupy Oakland, became the newest face of the movement, inspiring nationwide rallies. Thomas, in a video viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube, confronted police members of the NYPD over violence used against peaceful and unarmed protesters. Yet they represent countless veterans who served their country, often paying a great physical and psychological price, only to find themselves abandoned by their country in the midst of a recession and an unemployment crisis, and who are moved by what they have seen and experienced to join the movement of the 99 percent.