Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day. More bodies. More wounded. More politicizing of people's lives.
We go about our daily lives without much thought to what is happening to our soldiers overseas.
There are precious few pictures of our war dead on the evening news. When this picture hit the airwaves, the airline personnel who took it was fired and our government did a lot of damage control to try to keep it off the air waves.
Here we are, five years later, with no end in sight. We are the poorer for the over 4000 military personnel who have lost their lives. We are the poorer for the thousands who have committed suicide. We are the poorer for the thousands of soldiers who are strung out on medication to numb the memories. And we are the poorer for the tens of thousands who are missing body parts - the walking wounded - who are finding it hard to get jobs and support their families.
And what of the female soldiers? Oh we've lost plenty and plenty have come home maimed and scarred. But, I thought our females weren't in combat? Oh how wrong we are. They are in the middle, in the thick, and facing the same trials as the men. What's the difference? If you think the military shames the men into thinking they are weak for needing help to overcome their horrors, try being a woman in that system. The VA is not set up to support women. Neither is the VA supportive of women combat vets.
While our candidates for president argue over who's more sympathetic to our veterans, more and more die. More and more vets don't get the healthcare they need. More and more vets are pushed out of the system. I don't understand how our leaders vote billions of dollars for a war effort that is crashing and burning and cannot agree to fund the needed VA programs for our veterans.
I guess my big question is this: Where are our priorities? When will we see that there are Americans out there who need help? These men and women, of all wars, have sacrificed to the point of death and yet cannot get what was promised to them by a government who uses and discards them. It makes me livid. I want to scream at the top of my lungs!
How many of you are livid at how our veterans are treated? How many of us have taken time to thank a veteran for their selfless service to the ideal that is America? I think today would be a good day to start.
Write your congress-critters and tell them to support our vets. Thank a vet. Thank that vet's spouse or partner. Believe me, the spouses and partners serve in silence and get very little support for it.
Today is the day. Now is the time. Thank a vet. Honor the fallen. Be thankful for America.