Thursday, November 11, 2010

The home fires went out.

The phrase "keep the home fires burning" came across my visual field this morning. I know what it means but its' history is a bit lost. The phrase was first used in a song during World War I but its' meaning goes back to colonial times. A fire that kept the house warm was very difficult to start. You couldn't pull out your Bic and fire up a presto log. You could go over to a neighbors' house and borrow some embers at the bottom of their fire place or if you were lucky enough to own a flint you could spend the better part of the morning trying to get some straw to ignite. It was therefore important to keep the fire burning 24/7. It meant the house was warm and food could be cooked over the open fire.

I've lost count of all the troops we now have over seas. They get rotated around in what appears to be never-ending wars. I'm sure they have a hope that sometime they'll be able to come home some day even after two three and four tours of duty. But come home to what? It's looking more and more like the home fires are dying. The home was foreclosed on and the occupants are living with relatives or under the overpass. Get a job? The factory was packed up and moved over seas. Munitions expert doesn't really translate well in todays' market. Nor does having to compete with six others for the same job.
We tend to focus on vets who didn't make it home both on this holiday and Memorial Day while forgetting so many out there on the streets who can't come back to the home fires.


Tom Harper said...

They can come home just long enough to get comfy for a few days; then we'll ship 'em to Iran to help neutralize the Iranian military.

Your first paragraph about the home fires reminded me of that Jack London short story "To Build a Fire."

an average patriot said...

I was following this today Are you a homeless Veteran, do you know any?

The VA has founded a National Call Center for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, that provides free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.

Call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838) or Chat Live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There r4ally is no reason for a vet to be on the streets unless by choice. I contacted my local VA outreach and they were fantastic and had space readily available if needed. Not the VA mind you but a community center and they are very dedicated.

Demeur said...

Ah yes I remember reading that in high school.

an average patriot said...

Tom one of my career sons has lost 17 friends and many are limbless one in particular he is trying to train up before they force him out next year.

Anyway he expects Iran to be next and it could be but I expect the Gulf of Aden. This is still just beginning.

Demeur said...

Jim I'm afraid things in other parts of the country aren't as good. A few weeks back 60 minutes did a piece. They had a gathering of homeless vets near San Diego and had a lottery for shelter space.
We have 1700 homeless here in western Washington. Many are vets. With budget cut backs some have closed and more will close next year with yet more shortfalls.

an average patriot said...

Yeah I know, you are in a hotbed area along with Oregon. I was watching something on getting more people to do something about it.

BBC said...

Some vets on the streets are just fucked up on drugs and on the take for what they can get above what the government already gives them, it's complex but if they would knock that shit off they wouldn't be homeless.

WW2 vets for the most part were different, they came home and got their asses back to work building themselves lives.

I haven't mentioned it but a friend of mine here died a few weeks ago. Had three big craters on his back from a machine gun in Nam. The cocksuckers finely killed him.

At least we don't call WW1 the war what will end all wars anymore.

BBC said...

Anyway he expects Iran to be next and it could be but I expect the Gulf of Aden.

I don't get it, why send men at all? Bomb it into a cratered wasteland and call it a days work well done.

S.W. Anderson said...

A million and a half people came back from WWII in a very short time period, creating a tsunami of demand for everything. During the Depression and war, relatively few homes and apartments were built. Cars and trucks from 41 on were strictly built for the military. So, places to live and vehicles were in especially short supply. That really hurt young couples desperate to finally live together and to start their family.

Another big difference in the immediate aftermath of WWII came about because that was a universally popular and supported war. It was a war of total mobilization, on the home front as well as for the military around the world.

When it was over, people in and out of service had the satisfaction of winning total victory. Germany and Japan were obliged to formally surrender. Many of their leaders were shown being taken to prison.

There really was a feeling of gratitude, of all Americans being in the same situation together, whether it was the war or its aftermath. That caused people to go out of their way to help newly returned veterans, whether that meant giving a ride to a hitchhiker, a loan to a friend or family member, making an attic, basement, carriage or guest house into an apartment, or even hiring two people where one might do.

Our wars now are night-and-day different from all that. We don't formally declare them. We don't achieve victory signified by unconditional surrender. We don't bring all the troops home en masse to be in ticker tape parades.

Which is to say that we're so screwed up nowadays that we can't even get warmaking right.

Demeur said...

Billy most of the guys on the street now are in the same sinking boat as the rest of us. No jobs and no options. I'm seeing more of those yuppies lose their homes too.
SW considering we bombed the crap out of most of Europe and Japan we were the only one left with manufacturers to rebuild it all. With the Marshall Plan we did just that and it gave rise to the middle class in this country.

Randal Graves said...

Which is why we need to cast aside candyass MMA junk and have televised war games using real live ammo. Take that, ancient Rome!

Ranch Chimp said...

Howdy demeur!

I dont mean to sound pessimistic, as many think, perhap's if one knew me in person, they could understand me better, that's why I write exactly like I talk. I try to promote optimism actually through "awareness". But the reality Demeur, is we will see it get worse before better, until we wake up and actually act, and get representation to act.

Vet's? ... when I worked street security in a large Dallas nightclub district, I knew so many homeless Vet's, it was remarkable Guy (of course I knew all the street folk's, and tried to establish relationship's with all). I had a few Vet's that I was able to get place's to stay on properties of local business owner's, along with a few buck's and meal's in exchange for them helping keep up the ground's and miscellaneous chore's. I have regular's here in my hood that stand at intersection's who I usually try to give a 10 spot ($10) to everytime I pass them and just came from the bank on a payday, a couple pack's of smoke's and what have you.

One early morning april 2007 I was in southeast downtown LA getting some Huevo Ranchero's for breakfast at an outdoor taco joint. A mid 30ish black feller, who was asking spare change also said he was a Vet, bothering no one with his back against the building while squating asking passerby's, was told by two utility worker's (city/ LA county) "Go get a fucken job Nigger ..." I felt like jumping in and saying something to the dude's, but they were much younger than me and big boy's (I was 51, and I knew they could've whipped my ass from here to sundown) ... but this was incredible to see this in a downtown such as LA by city worker's ... one would think of that sort of thing in a place like Texas or Mississippi, Alabama, etc. And the poor Guy, didnt even talk back or bother them or anything, just asked everyone passing by if they could spare help. I went to him after and gave him a few buck's.

S.W. Anderson said...

RC, kindness has a way of coming back to people. So does cruelty.