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Mike Rowe Urges American Appreciation for Armed Forces

Photo from Mike Rowe Works on Instagram

Mike Rowe Urges American Appreciation for Armed Forces

By Movieguide® Contributor

Mike Rowe shared his thoughts about Memorial Day and why he believes it highlights a large problem in Americans’ understanding of the country they live in and the freedoms they enjoy.

“The tendency to conflate Veteran’s Day with Memorial Day is unfortunate, but I don’t think it poses a threat to our country,” Rowe wrote. “The real threat, in my opinion, is the gap between those Americans who appreciate our military, and those who do not.”

“One of the biggest threats facing the country, is the degree to which the average American has become disconnected from The Armed Forces. Most Americans today don’t have a personal relationship with anyone in uniform,” he continued. “Statistically, that’s understandable; less than one percent of the population actually wears one. But that’s no excuse for the breathtaking ignorance of what our men and women in uniform do on our behalf.”

“Wars today require zero sacrifice from the civilian population, and therefore zero understanding,” he added. “Zero understanding leads to zero awareness. Zero awareness leads to zero gratitude. And zero gratitude is a clear and present danger to our many freedoms.”

Rowe believes that this is the case for many institutions in Americans’ lives which allow them to enjoy the luxuries they take for granted. In fact, many Americans degrade those who work tirelessly to provide America with the high standard of living that is prolific across the country.

“One percent of our population now feeds 300 million people three times a day. Are we impressed? No, we are not. The modern farmer is under siege, and grossly misunderstood by all those who rely upon his expertise,” Rowe explained. “Likewise, the skilled worker, the teacher and the first responder.”

“We have become a people of overwhelming nonchalance, spoiled rotten by the sacrifice of those who do the heavy lifting, and profoundly disconnected from a great many things that make freedom and civilized life possible,” he continued. “If I were to allow myself to get offended by anything this weekend, that’s the thing I’d rail against – the monumental indifference among those who take our freedoms for granted. That frankly, scares the hell out of me.”

To combat the nonchalance towards the workers that make everyday American life possible, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation works to bring dignity back to trade jobs that are seen as lesser than others. Through his foundation, Rowe offers millions of dollars in scholarships every year to encourage young Americans to pursue careers outside of the four-year college system.

“They’re seeing all the craziness that’s constantly in the headlines, and they’re just saying, ‘Look, why do I want to start a career in a major I haven’t even declared yet and go that far into debt to pursue a job that probably doesn’t even exist when we got 10,000 other jobs over here, many of which…don’t require four-year degrees?’” he explained.

Through his scholarship and trade jobs advocacy, Rowe is reconnecting millions to these essential industries and helping more and more people not take the life and freedoms they enjoy for granted.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Mike Rowe recently talked about alternatives to a four-year degree as tuition prices continue to skyrocket and fears of a recession loom. 

“Here we sit, we’ve got eleven-and-a-half million open jobs, most of which don’t require a four-year degree. We’ve got $1.7 trillion of student loans outstanding that we’re being asked to pick up the slack for and we’ve got a generation of kids who are simply not trained for the opportunity that exist,” Rowe said.

“At my little foundation, mikeroweWORKS, for the last fifteen years we’re been talking about this. And I’m telling you, I’ve never seen the headlines catch up to us as the way they are right now. The word has gotten out and people are really taking a hard look at learning a skill that’s in demand,” he continued. 

Rowe believes that the current generation of teens and young adults has been taught to only value jobs that require a college education. They don’t see vocational school or trade school as viable careers paths and the jobs that these programs lead to are seeing the largest numbers of employment opportunities.


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