Wren: Patriotic Bling (VPR)

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VPRIn a Veteran’s Day commentary piece on VPR, Christopher Wren ’57, an instructor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth, says that “patriotic bling,” such as American flag lapel pins worn by politicians, “has borrowed, or stolen, the valor of those who most deserve to wear it.”

Wren continues, “Our latest veterans–more than 2 million–have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with little to show for their gallantry beyond the stress of repeated deployments, as often as seven times, while the rest of the country looked elsewhere,” says Wren. “It’s time to recognize, at a glance, our veterans, and their families, who bear a burden off the battlefield that the rest of us cannot begin to imagine.”

In the piece, Wren talks about President Emeritus James Wright and his book Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them. “Now retired, he has been visiting hospitals since 2006 to counsel many veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan about going to college,” says Wren.

Listen to the full opinion piece, broadcast 11/11/13 on VPR.