Dis-Honoring our Military

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard a politician say that “I support the troops” and another nickel for the times I have heard that same politician talk about “Honoring Them” I would be lunching with Warren Buffet and vacationing with Sir Richard Branson.  The truth, the sad truth is that on the heels of Veteran’s Day America has failed those who serve the cause of liberty.  The greatest nation on Gods green earth has turned a blind eye towards the men and women who took an oath to give everything including their life to protect us so we could live ours.  The greatest military the world has ever known gets nothing but second-class treatment reserved for third world paupers.  Politicians feign love as they ooze patriotism for our warriors.  The Commander and Chief panders to the masses with nothing more than words and ceremony, the lack of action illustrates the level of contempt he holds for those he pretends to praise.  President Obama and the politicians existing beneath his robes ensure their compensation and their benefits but use those they honor as fodder for the petty wars of partisan politics they wage.   Then there is the average American, the phenomenon of this century, those LIV(s) or “Low Information Voters.”  You know, the ones who have elected the new ruling class that has replaced the public servants envisioned and instituted by our founding fathers.  They tune in and listen to the talking heads that permeate the airwaves, the chattering class whose reporting skills and methodology resemble your 6th grade newsletter and the announcements from the principle’s office.  

Do you think I am being a bit harsh? Here are some facts about just how much our anointed leaders, the ruling class care about the men and women who have served us.  At the VA we have seen as many as 751,000 veterans in line to receive the services they paid for with limbs and traumatic brain injuries.  These claims have sat on desks for in some cases over 2 years.  Recently the Obama administration reduced that number to around 457,000 with the goal of wait times of 125 days or fewer.  They are patting themselves on the back because of the progress they have made.  Still almost a half a million veterans, most with less than nothing wait.  Is this honoring their service?  Do your elected representatives really support the troops?

How about this fact, Military members were surveyed in January of this year; these are soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, about their employment situation.  Of the service men and women surveyed more than 16% said that they were unemployed.   Of that 16%, 33.8% are still unemployed.  Are we honoring their sacrifice?  Some of the most disciplined employees available to employers, proven dedicated individuals have an unemployment rate at twice the level of the civilian population.

Lets talk about poverty.  The American service men and women are the single elite fighting force the world has ever known.  These are highly trained and highly motivated and educated people.  So educated in fact that the average level of post high school education exceeds any other group.  Despite their training, education level and dedication to their jobs we learned from the latest census data that almost a million (968,000) veterans between the age of 18 and 64 have experienced poverty.  But lets focus on the here and now, since of course we are officially in the era of publicly thanking our troops for their service every time a microphone is forced in the face of a member of the ruling class.  According to a report issued by Congress, the JEC or Joint Economic Committee and I quote: “…poverty rates among post-9/11 veterans is nearly double the rates following other wars, with over 12 percent of recent veterans now living in poverty. Hardest hit are the youngest vets. Poverty strikes 21 percent of service men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 (who are over 80 percent of post-9/11 vets).”  How is it that the richest country cares so little when it comes to those who defend those riches with their lives?  Is this how were support the troops, honor their sacrifice?

Living in poverty means that you are more than likely homeless.  How is this for a sobering reality, 1 out of 7 homeless adults are veterans and 1.5 million veterans are standing at the edge of a cliff staring into the abyss of homelessness right now due to their dire poverty.   Our service men and women fought, bled, left it all on the field of battle, many paid the ultimate price and we can’t get our collective shit together to make sure they had a roof over their head once the battle was over?  Is this honoring their service, is this how we support the troops?

Finally, there is this sad statistic.  A soldier / Veteran commits suicide approximately every 22 minutes.  The records from 48 states we analyzed and they revealed that among the civilian population there were 14 suicides per 100,000 people.  Among veterans that statistic is more than doubles at 30 per 100,000.  Statistics also show that the rate of suicide has doubled in the year’s 2005 to 2011 according to the most recent data.  Another sobering fact is that more soldiers committed suicide in the last 10 years than were killed during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  

Our veterans are not show ponies and grand oratory followed by placing a medal on their chest does not repay the debt owed to them.  Honoring our veterans is more than a single day event it is a lifelong commitment.  It is unacceptable to research this and find contained in bits of data the sad news that we have left behind a class of people who have committed to never leave a man behind.    

As you put your flag out on your porch, proudly wear your flag pin and go out into the world believing that you have done everything to support our troops, honor their sacrifice and their memory we have to ask ourselves if that is true?  Or, is that what we say to assuage our guilt, hide our apathy or disdain?  Isn’t it time we really took to heart the sacrifice our men and women suffered for us and hold those accountable few who roam the halls of power.  Hold them accountable for their mistreatment of our greatest treasure.  The President and this congress should be held in contempt.  There is no partisan divide here, no blaming one side over the other, there is only the reality that has been spoken by this President and this congress, the reality that our military members are nothing more than pawns in their petty fight for ultimate control.  I will no longer stand as one who utters the words “Support and Honor.” I will stand in defense of those who have defended me.  I will no longer simply “Trust” the hollow words uttered by our faux leaders and their collective mouthpieces.  Until those who have served the cause of liberty and defended this country are made a priority, the single priority I refuse to accept the “Ruse” of the day.  I could care less who is the next “Real” conservative, the savior of 2016.  I could care less about immigration rights or gay rights or whether pot should be legal.  I want to see action over words when it comes to supporting our troops.  Honor their service by firing the political hacks that have dishonored their service and their memory.  Don’t just read the statistics I have provided and say to yourself, “How sad,” get pissed, get fired up and fight for our veterans as they have fought for you.