No Money from Old Men
During the late sixties, myself and a bunch of other older teenagers 18 years and older arrived at McAfees on Van Buren in Chicago, IL. Quite a few of us were drafted. I enlisted in the USMC at the age of 19 without knowing completely what my life was going to be like for the next 3+ years except for what my Master Gunnery Sergeant cousin gave a clue to. Fast forward to a few years ago and my young nephew whose father has pretty much left alone wants to volunteer. A family friend encourages him while I try to talk him out of it. The memories are still fresh.
I do not know why the Republicans and the Tea-baggers are holding Veterans hostage. Many are old men like I am. Many could not run a mile much less carry a rifle and a pack. Too many of them are too willing to send too many young men to war. The same old men are unwilling to give money to help those they sent to war without strings attached. These Senators will not fix what they broke.
To hell with the lot of you.
The vast majority of Americans have no clue about what it means to serve in the military.
My father was captured in the opening hours of the first major battle in Tunisia in WWII. Two uncles survived the 50 mile retreat back to Kasserine Pass which the tank driver described as hell on earth. A third uncle served in an armored division which arrived in France just in time to be rushed to Bastogne. Dad died at age 42. His best friend who served in the same gun crew died at age 45. (They had both come out of the war with disabilities acquired in the POW camp.) Dad and the uncle that I knew best would just fall apart under stress. The third uncle never really readjusted back to civilian life.
I was one of the lucky ones, I enlisted in the Army and never spent a day in a war zone. Overall my experience was positive but I was never tempted to re enlist. I had learned too much. My cousins who were about my age each enlisted in the military and came out changed but not permanently damaged.
My younger brother and a younger cousin each did a tour in Viet Nam after being drafted into the Army. They survived it but it was not a positive experience for them, in any sense.
I believe that I have a good understanding of the military. I trust the military leadership more than the civilian leadership when it comes to military involvement of any kind. But I never wanted any of my children to serve in the military.
Veterans get a lot of lip service, but most assistance is meager.
You have listed two of my senators and I can not think of any meaningful defense for them.
I remember my father, a soft-spoken, low-key, good-humored man and also a war veteran and a lifelong liberal Democrat, seething with anger during the late 1980s–especially during the GHW Bush campaign again Michael Dukakis–at the Republicans’ co-opting of the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance as their party’s symbols. My father said more than once that he thought the military should start accepting only Republicans as enlistees and, if ever it’s reinstated during a war, draftees.
Not just during a war. But especially during a war.
It’s basically welching on a deal. They do it because they can.
Good to see you. I had not seen you in a while.