As you have probably have guessed this is going to be another opinion piece.
This Veteran’s day I have spent it watching news and television shows honoring Veterans. I saw stories of men and women black, white, brown and asain. Men and Women who when asked placed themselves at risk to protect our way of life. Even after finding out they were lied to by their leaders, finding out there was no threat kept their promise to our country and stayed on duty. Male and female soldiers grievously wounded but able to run away, who stayed and fought off deadly attacked to protect friends and fellow soldiers who could no longer protect themselves.
A White brother who gave up his life to protect a fallen Black brother. A Black sister who risked all to rescue a trapped Asian brother. A Brown brother who led the charge bringing relief to soldiers cut off. A pilot who risks death and court martial to fly into heavy enemy fire to rescue dying solders. A nurse who fights off an attack to protect wounded soldiers placed in her care. The rescue of an enemy child.
A pundit once said the first thing a real soldier gives up to survive combat is the ability to see skin color. The only color a true soldier who tasted combat can see is the green.
When you choose to become a soldier promises are made. Promises of help in finding a good paying job after you put away your gun. Promise of education to make your dream a reality. Promises of help in buying the home of your dreams. A promise that while you risk all for your country, your loved one and your children will be cared for. Promise that there will be help in making the educational dreams of your children real. Promises of help dealing with the physical pain of combat. Promise of help of adapting to the world after surviving your combat injuries. Promises of help in dealing with the emotional pain of war. Promises of help in living with the horrors of war.
Only to be told when you get off the plane and set down your weapon. All those promises your country made, ‘we will get around to them eventually. It may take 3 maybe 4 years for us to keep those promises but we will get to them. No worries.’ ‘In the mean time you are on your own.’
Then to be told “Thank you for your service you are such a hero.”
Now two or three years into patient waiting for those promises to be kept. With 1.6 million veterans and their families without medical insurance, 1.4 million veterans and their families now homeless. With millions more veteran families barely surviving on food stamps.
Now the Tea party republicans is the house of representatives who have never spent a day in uniform, never risked or worked for anything are saying ‘you know keeping those promises is going to cost just too much so we shouldn’t keep those promises’, ‘Oh yeah, food stamps cost too much money so we should cut food stamps but not the million dollar subsides to million dollar hobby famers. Those subsidies are just too important to cut sorry about that.”