• Happy Veterans Day

    November 11, 2014

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Iraq

    VeteranSignWe should all take a moment today, Veterans Day, to thank people in the military for their service.

    They are decent and sincere men and women who joined believing they would serve their nation, or were looking for a job, an education, college money or some adventure, or all of the above. They then get sucked into America’s political wars. Civilians start wars, not soldiers.


    That said, because of the emphasis our society places on military service, sadly, many people who were never in the military now pretend that they did serve. This has come to be called “stolen valor.”

    But on this Veteran’s Day, it is worth not just scorning those pretenders, but trying to see what they are really after. They claim a right to things that they did not earn via service.

    While a few want to score airline upgrades and the like, many of the stolen valor-ilk are hoping to displace legitimate homeless veterans seeking your spare change. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates there are 50,000 veterans homeless on any given night. The Veterans Administration cites much higher numbers: VA’s specialized homelessness programs provide health care to almost 150,000 homeless vets. Additionally, more than 40,000 homeless veterans receive compensation or pension benefits each month.

    In addition to looking to lap up all that spare change real vets are entitled to, many fake veterans also want to not be able to access decent health care in a timely fashion. Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals, a CNN investigation found, and many of the “stolen valor” vets are pretending they served so they too cannot access life saving care.

    Another thing many pretend servicemembers want to take away is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). About 460,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars have PTSD; another 260,000 have Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Statistics are hard to come by from America’s other wars, particularly from Vietnam, but since the working figure from Iraq and Afghanistan is about 20 percent, that would leave millions of Vietnam vets suffering. Lousy stolen valor people want a piece of that too they’re not entitled to.

    Vets of our modern wars suffer alcohol-related problems stolen valor thieves can’t legitimately claim either. A sample of Iraq and Afghan veterans showed drinking problems in some 40 percent.

    Finally, stolen valor losers have no claim to the horrific suicide rates among veterans. Having been in the military doubles the risk of suicide. An estimated 5,000 veterans die by suicide each year. That number sadly outpaces combat deaths in even the worst of modern times.

    So maybe at this point the semi-satire of this article is clear. We will hear a lot this Veterans Day about supporting the troops and thanking them for their service. Please do those things; they deserve it.

    But don’t accept any bullsh*t this Veterans Day either. For all the talk by politicians and actors and musicians and media heads about how much we owe, not one will demand that it is time to pay up. If our nation insists on being so quick to send men and women into harm’s way, then it damn well better face up to its obligation to take care of them when they get home. They don’t need yellow ribbons and speeches. Food, shelter, health care, counseling– that’s how you support the troops on Veterans Day and every other day.

    Put up or shut up America.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Bruce said...

      1

      InDeed, DUPE$. As for y’all ELEPHANT$, the first two lines of this vets’ classic says It ALL:
      http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/tommy.html

      11/12/14 12:13 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      2

      Happy? Veterans day? oh..wait ..I’m slow today. Ok..gottcha.

      11/12/14 12:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      “We should all take a moment today, Veterans Day, to thank people in the military for their service.”

      We should take a moment to apologize to them.

      The truth is WE have used the troops as cannon fodder in a state of perpetual war where America has no remaining industrial state enemies capable of doing it military harm.

      11/12/14 11:22 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      11/12/14 12:47 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      5

      Given my dad served during WW11, he always flew a flag in front of the house on Veterans Day and the 4th of July. That is..until Bush’s Iraq war WMD lie surfaced. While he never stopped supporting the American ideals and values his generation fought for, his belief in the USG and military began to be challenged post Pentagon Papers, and totally disentigrated during the Iraq war. I’ve already told what happened. I’m proud of the role my dad played in the Pacific theater that lead to the end of WW11. However, at this point in time, like Rich said, we owe those Veterans of WW11 an apology, for allowing thier sacrifice to become the poster child for our current military mockery of “fighting for our freedoms”. In reality, the military of today is simply a tool of Empire and the Corporatacracy. Shame on the American people for their stupidity and beliefs that our military still stands for what my dads generation military stood for. In that light..here is the real deal. My dad is the young man kneeling on the far right of the picture….
      http://pbymf.org/nl/images/2007-05-a.jpg

      Thanks dad. I miss you.

      11/12/14 12:59 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      6

      Respect Pitch. Here’s one hoisted for your father.

      11/12/14 1:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      Orange is the new black…death:
      http://www.pennlive.com/projects/2014/agent-orange/

      11/12/14 1:04 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      8

      Thanks Peter. I appreciate that. Meanwhile, if there was ANYTHING America could do to show their respect for Veterans..is not CREATE THEM anymore.

      Not to mention ARREST those who would issue orders for deploying soldiers for un-lawful war making.

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/us-military-no-lawful-orders-exist-for-unlawful-wars-arrest-those-who-issue-them.html

      However, when Pigs fly comes to mind.

      bartender.. one scotch, one bourbon, one beer.

      Heres a toast. May all the scumbags in this country who participate in any way to continuous war have their face shoved in the blood of those who are innocent victims of it.

      11/12/14 1:40 PM | Comment Link

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