Many were shocked and caught off guard the other day when retired General Thomas McInerney went on Fox News (where he is a paid contributor) and claimed that Senator John McCain betrayed his country while being tortured by Vietnamese communist forces during the war. He referred to McCain as Songbird John. I was not amongst those who were surprised as I previously wrote an entire article about the many bizarre claims that McInerney makes. He was also close friends with fake CIA tough guy Wayne Simmons who was also a Fox News contributor up until the Department of Justice moved in and arrested him.

Thomas McInerney routinely says ridiculous things on Fox News, even outright malicious lies. He claimed that the passengers of Malaysian Flight 370 had been flown to Pakistan where they were being held hostage. He went around saying that America should increase our nuclear alert to DEFCON 1, which means that nuclear war is imminent. He has claimed that Iran will engage in nuclear terrorism on US soil, he has claimed to have planned out the invasion of Iraq on a napkin before pitching the idea on Fox News. Insulting John McCain’s service is the least of it. However, it is amazing how low we have sunk that none of this seems to bother us anymore.

Senator John McCain is someone I’ve admired since I was a kid because he was a POW who had the chance to be repatriated back to the United States but chose to remain in North Vietnam as a prisoner and come home when his fellow POWs were released. Many disagree with McCain’s politics, as do I in many instances, but in so many others he handled himself professionally. I liked the time that he said that he saw three letters in Putin’s eyes which were a K, a G and a B. I appreciated the fact that he shut down the narrative that Obama was a secret Muslim terrorist while on the campaign trail, stating that Obama is a good man and a family man, just someone who he happens to have political disagreements with.

Today, the military is lionized in American society in a time when citizens have lost faith and trust in nearly all of our other governmental institutions. But when you can go on national news and tells lies about a war heroes service and get away with it, we should ask if there is really anything that sacred about being a veteran? We serve, we fight, and many of us die. Then we come home and many of us commit suicide. Many others end up homeless. Others just end up in a morass of depression.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen veterans attack and tear each other down. From the petty attacks against Delta Force officer Tom Greer to the fickle anger directed against any veteran who dares to start a small business selling t-shirts or ball caps, the impotent rage of veterans is quickly becoming a cliché. If this is what we are, then where does the sanctity come into play exactly?

Given our many flaws and the way we treat one another, I’m not sure what is so sacred about being a veteran. Much like celebrities and sports stars, we like to build our heroes up and then tear them down. Considering the drug use, war crimes, sexual assault, and even the murder of fellow soldiers in our ranks, perhaps it is time to start putting the emphasis back on professionalism and maturity.

Therefore, more and more of my friends no longer tell people that they are veterans.

Personally, I will never hide my service, although I feel that I’ve moved on to other things in life. The military is a still a part of who I am. But that said, there are certain people and ideas that I find despicable and will not associate with.