No sooner did we start bombing Afghanistan and sending military troops into harm's way, and the president and the rest of the politicians started jumping on the bandwagon praising the military. They could not wait to go visit the troops in the field and get publicity.
However, what they failed to mention is that once the fight is over and these soldiers become veterans, these young soldiers…… who put their lives in danger so the rest of us can sleep comfortably, go to the nearest steak house and shop in the malls…… will be forgotten.
I recently visited a veterans clinic, where I observed what appeared to be a disabled veteran from World War II walking from the parking lot to the entrance of the clinic. It took him about 10 minutes to walk those 30 yards. In another VA clinic I observed veterans sitting in wheelchairs in the hallways because there was no room, or the waiting room could not accommodate wheelchairs. I have just been notified by a care provider of a Normandy veteran that has to pay an ambulance over $200 each time he has to come from his rural home to a VA clinic for an appointment.
Only disabled military veterans, who sacrificed for our country are being discriminated against by our lawmakers.
If you qualify for disability payments, those payments must be subtracted from your retirement pay. In other words, for every dollar the VA pays a military veteran, a dollar must be deducted from his retirement check. However, if you are a retiree from another government civilian job…… for example the Postal Service or the IRS….. your retirement pay is not touched.
The politicians old story is that there is not funding to pay this extra money to these veterans who are dying at a rate of 1,200 a day. These are the veterans who survived the Bataan Death March, where their friends were bayoneted, forced to dig their own graves and buried alive. They are the forgotten Korean war veterans. Korea is where 33, 665 Americans were killed in action and 92,134 were wounded. And from the Vietnam conflict, where you would see every morning at the Pleiku Air Base, Vietnam, body bags arriving from those killed the night before and where thousands returned home without limbs.
Those veterans who are alive gave some; those who did not make it gave all.
And, as I write this letter more American military troops are being wounded or killed on foreign soil, so that the rest of us can live in peace.
Hopefully, when these military men and women return back from Afghanistan, we won't have to tell them, "Sorry, but we had to use all the money to rebuild the country we just bombed and you fought in. And some more money has to be spent on building new buildings in Cuba for the enemy prisoners that fought against you, therefore, there are no funds for you disabled veterans. You will just have to live as second-class citizens."
Retired Command Sergeant Major