Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

What a disservice we've done for our veterans. They do a tour or two or three in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have a day to honor their service and what do we do? Go to the cemetary for some quiet ceremoney for fifteen or twenty minutes then it's business as usual. The banks and post offices close. Government offices are closed and buses are on holiday schedule. Furniture stores and car dealers have their Veterans day maddness sales. The focus shifts from it's intended purpose to an odd holiday that most people don't get off anyway. Here they've fought and risked their lives only to come home to be kicked to the side. I hear that 25% of homeless people are veterans. I've heard the figure of 1.4 million. Nothing like coming home from a war to be jobless, homeless and have no healthcare.
They get lured in by promises of education benefits but I'd venture to say that they can't use them unless they have a job and with the job market being what it is those chances are slim to none.
Now for the real kicker, it looks like the health care bill won't do much to help them either. It doesn't cover many in their situation.


Holte Ender said...

I have been posting comments on a few blogs today about homeless veterans. Like you said the estimate is 1 in 4 of homeless people are veterans, some of them from the Vietnam era.

Veterans make up 11% of the adult population and yet 25% of the homeless population. Staggering.

Tom Harper said...

I've heard the percentage is even higher than that for veterans among the homeless.

Health insurance for veterans? Being wounded in Iraq is a pre-existing condition.

MRMacrum said...

Your post caught a nerve. My original comment turned into a post I never intended to write, a memory I have tried to bury. Anyway if you want to read what I started here on your blog - A Sad Day In Phillie

BBC said...

I'm so sick and tired of wars that I refuse to honor veterans, of any county, it's just a bunch of fucking monkeys fighting each other.

And brainwashing others into supporting them. Don't fight any wars unless you have to in order to defend your own space and you won't have so many fucked up vets.

Besides, vets are a mixed bag, some get into too much drugs and booze and really fuck up their lives, others go through it just fine and get on with their lives.

Even if they get shot up they are smart enough to get the help they need and keep their lives going.

I know worthless vets that are killing themselves with drugs and booze, and vets that have good lives and macho trucks, because they know how to work the system.

Go figure. Hey, I'm a vet, but I've never asked the system to pay my way, I've made it this far on my own, and intend on continuing to do so.

And don't honor me because I'm a vet, it was just something stupid I did when younger and brainwashed into believing in such things.

BBC said...

I have a friend with a big crater in his back from a shell he got hit with in Vam. He returned to the states and got into the electricians union and got into a fine trade that took him into a damn good retirement.

And I know a man that barely got hurt and became a piece of shit. It's all in how you take it and there was a lot of drugs there that fucked a lot of those men more than the war did.

Not that wars don't fuck up spirits/souls, some just handle it better than others.

BBC said...

Opps, Vam = Nam

BBC said...

Some of them have signs saying, NEED MONEY FOR ALCOHOL RESEARCH. And some of them are just scam artists that live better than you do without having to do a damn days work.

Just saying.

BBC said...

Things are not always as they seem.

S.W. Anderson said...

I just saw a Senate committee hearing where they're looking into helping homeless veterans. The aim, I think, is a $3 billion effort over five years. I heard Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki say recently that about 131,000 veterans spend their nights on our streets because they have no home.

Are some of these people substance abusers? Mental cases? Have attitude problems? Of course. Combat makes some stronger and leaves others shattered. No doubt some would've gone down a bad path whether they served or not.

But the fact remains that they did serve. We owe them. And besides, they're part of the American family. How they are treated affects the rest of us and makes a statement about what kind of people we are.

We can't make all veterans healthy, prosperous and happy. We can and should establish standards of help that at minimum make a decent, if no-frills, life possible for them.

Demeur said...

Here the thing about these wars that nobody seems to consider. These guys are getting deployed three four and five times. Then there's 'stop loss' where you think you finally got out only to be told you have to go back. It's like playing football and they keep moving the goal posts until they're somewhere in the back of the parking lot. For christ sake WWII only lasted 4 years. This thing seems to have no mission and no end.

Randal Graves said...

Veterans are merely props, like flags. The only thing we honor is war itself, that should be pretty evident by now.