Analysis: Military parade a political tug of war?

— -- Loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, personal courage, and selfless service. Those are the seven core values every U.S. Army recruit is taught in basic training. Selfless service is defined as doing your duty “without thought of recognition or gain.” It is why so many members of the military I have met over decades of covering conflict find the idea of a massive parade in their honor highly uncomfortable. “It is not who we are," said a decorated veteran.

Perhaps the best way to honor our service members’ sacrifice is not with a parade, but by pressing Congress to pass a long-term defense budget that allows for modernization, more training and improves readiness.

None of this is to say that our servicemembers don’t deserve more attention for their sacrifice and dedication. I have been a loud voice over decades of covering war and conflict in urging Americans to do more to respect and honor service. But this is not the Vietnam generation. This country loves its veterans. A recent Gallup poll shows they are the most trusted institution in the country. But a rumbling, roaring parade down the streets of Washington may not be the best way to show our respect, and unnecessarily places the military in the middle of yet another political tug of war.