We Need a Universal Veteran Symbol for America’s Recent Conflicts

The Angry Staff Officer

When World War II came to a close in 1945, about 13 million service members began the transition into civilian life. Some had been in uniform for the whole four years; some, for just a few months. Some had served overseas; some had served at home. Many had been in terrible combat; many more had never heard a shot fired in anger. Many were men, many were women. There were whites, blacks, latinos, Indians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, alcoholics, teetotalers, the illiterate, the highly educated; in other words, the whole spectrum of society. In one way or another, over 16 million Americans served during the war. For those who received an honorable discharge, the War Department issued the Honorable Service Lapel Pin, more commonly referred to as, “The Ruptured Duck.”

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This pin, worn on the lapel of a civilian suit or sewn onto a military uniform, provided visible proof…

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