Are ‘social justice warriors’ veterans?

David Epps

A leftist writer, Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld, suggested in an opinion article in LGBTQ Nation that the category of being a veteran should now include “social justice warriors.”

He opined that that “a ‘true’ veteran speaks out, stands up and advocates for social justice and freedom …” “Take a few moments to consider those fighting a cultural and figurative civil war to reduce the violence and injustice,” he wrote.

Needless to say, the “real” veterans find the whole concept laughable if not absurd.

What is a veteran anyway? Ted Puntillo, writing in the Daily Republic, said, “Under federal law, a veteran is any person who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. Discharges marked ‘general and under honorable conditions’ also qualify. Other qualifying events are any person who served in the active military, naval or air service of the United States and was discharged from the service due to a service-connected disability or filed a claim and was service-connected for a disability sustained while in the service. For example, a person could go into the service and injure themselves while in basic training and receive a service-connected disability rating from the VA. They would be considered a veteran no matter how long they served.”

In other words, the term “veteran” when used in this context refers specifically and exclusively to military service. Thus, a “social justice warrior,” unless said person has served in the armed forces of the United States is not a veteran. And, although service in the Peace Corps is honorable, those participants are not veterans either.

I suppose one should not be surprised. In an era during which some people claim to be a member of a race they are not or are confused about which rest room they should use, it’s no wonder that, for some people – chiefly leftists — confusion about definitions reigns.

In a world where people can “identify” as black, as one white woman did who was actually, and deceptively, serving as president of an NAACP chapter, and where one’s gender can be “fluid” depending on the mood of the day, one can think of themselves as just about anything.

Except it’s delusional. I can identify as “slim” and “young” all I want. but all I will accomplish is making people feel sorry for the old, overweight guy who is losing his grip.

I can pretend to be a Vietnam veteran, as did Senator Richard Blumenthal, only to be “outed” as a member of a Marine reverse unit who never set foot in Vietnam.

Or, I can deceive myself into believing that I am an honest man, as did Richard Nixon, only to have the whole house of cards fall with a mighty crash.

One of the casualties of our modern society is the truth. I suppose that the truth has always been a rare commodity in human existence, but the ability of people to practice self-deception seems to me to be at an all-time high.

People aren’t rioting and engaging in thievery, they are “protesting.” White nationalists aren’t racists, they are “just proud of their race.” I personally know some men who claim to be “bishops” in the church, yet they have never served as pastors, neither do they have oversight over anybody. Yet they love to wear the purple clergy shirt and they buy all the episcopal garb. They deceive themselves.

But, I digress. Back to the point … the term “veteran,” as commonly used (unless used specifically, as in “a veteran of the NFL Super Bowl team” or, say, “he’s a veteran police officer”) refers to those who offered themselves to their country and enlisted or were commissioned into the military. They put their future on hold and their life on the line.

If one wants to claim to be a “social justice veteran,” whatever that means, then fine. But don’t confuse that activity with the service of real military veterans. It’s not apples and apples. It’s not even apples and oranges. There is no comparison. No amount of pretending or re-defining will make it so.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City ( He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at]


  1. Well said Rev. Epps. There are plenty of nouns available for a social activist without commandeering one already honoring our soldiers. Also, it is impressive that you bolster your argument with examples from both ends of the ideological spectrum. That rarely occurs on this website.