Thursday, October 27, 2005

Don't Waste Me

I received this comment in response to a post I wrote about the continued attrition of money for veteran’s benefits over at Bring It On! I believe what he has to say will resonate with many. Our country needs to accept the responsibility of the lives who wield our weapons. Citizens need to protect our warriors from a political moral abyss that spends their lives or discards their bodies. It's the least we can do. His service means a great deal to me, and all the Bring It On writers, some of who are veterans themselves. Thank you, Liberal Jarhead, for being there for us.
Your nephew and friends are in my prayers. I hope they come home healthy in body and mind.

I'm a retired Marine, and my two brothers (also Marines) and I are all disabled vets. Although there are a lot of wonderful people working for the VA, experience convinces me that the bureaucracy doesn't give a damn about veterans.

I had some epiphanies about the military during my 20 years in, starting when I was 18, and I quickly learned to trust the people to my right and left, and often my immediate leaders, but not the system. We were ready to die doing our jobs if we had to, but we wanted to be valued - you could sum it up as, "I'm trusting you with my life - spend me if you have to, but for God's sake do it for something worth it. Don't waste me."

Now I see the same pattern between this administration and the people in the military, and the people of America.

Most people are pretty decent and solid, but this government doesn't care about ordinary people. They've spent the lives of 2000 young patriots now - for what? Halliburton. Similarly, starting with Nixon and Reagan, they've enacted policies that have directly and indirectly led to the suffering and deaths of many more thousands of Americans through cuts in needed services. While Reagan was in office, a homeless veteran froze to death in the park across the street from the White House. They knew he was there; they just didn't care. If the so-called Great Communicator had had a trace of compassion that could never have happened. I work with the mentally ill, and the way our government treats them (or doesn't) is a disgrace.

We the people are willing to sacrifice for our country, our society - look at the stats showing that Americans keep giving more time and money to help others every year; the kids in high school now are doing more volunteer work than any generation in history. Most of us are willing to pay taxes to help protect our people and help each other - we just ask, "Don't waste our sacrifices."

These people are basically corporate raiders who've pulled off a hostile takeover and are gutting the organization they've hijacked for the benefit of themselves and their friends. Once they've sucked it dry, they'll throw it away and move on. Except for the ones who want to impose a pseudo-Christian theocracy (for anyone who wants a look at what that would be like, read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.) The only way we can stop this process is to get active. Don't just forward e-mails! Write letters to legislators and newspapers. Organize discussion groups. Find candidates you can believe in and volunteer to help their campaigns.

These are sacrifices of time and energy, but they're worth it.


At October 31, 2005 12:06 PM, Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

This is such a great letter Jet- and it shows that people aren't all blinded by the plethora of untruths and false rationales.

Get involved indeed! Even if that means only showing up to vote. It would be a start if we could increase voter participation to over 90% participation.

At October 31, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger bhfrik said...

Very well said. For all the talk of sacrafice and what not it is just incredible how many in this current cabal somehow were able to escape the conflict that the military of their day was involved with. As have their sons and daughters today. I believe the sense of duty so often called upon by president Bush has not been evident in his own family since his father was discharged. Talking about sacrifice is just fine and dandy as long as they don't talk about their own flesh and blood it seems.

At November 01, 2005 6:18 PM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I feel for all veterans whom the government ultimately screws.

It's interesting that the Feds seem to think that the best way to help vets is to offer to pay their families upwards to half a million for dying but next to nothing if they survive being mistreated. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT? Is that not just a little too similar to paying suicide bombers to go die?

It seems to me that if we REALLY want to reward vets for their sacrifice, we should A) Take care of their families while they are gone, B) Take care of their families if they die and C) Take care of the soldiers themselves during and after the war(s). We are not doing that now but we ARE giving plenty of money to undeserving corporations by means of undeserved tax breaks and unearned cash incentives. I believe this government, ruled by the Republican Party I remind everyone, is utterly failing our men and wome nin uniform.


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