homeless vets do not deserve special treatment. now before you grab your uniform and your gun and start popping slogans at me, please continue to read. i'm going to paraphrase the op-ed some and i'm going to put in some opinions as well. but please, before you ask me if i've ever served, before you ask me if i've ever held a gun and before you say how dare i criticize a veteran who has protected this country....just read on.
during his sotu, president obama had as a guest, sgt. first class cory remsburg. the sgt. suffered a debilatating brain injury from an i.e.d. during his 10th combat deployment. he lost the sight in one eye and remains at least partially paralyzed on his left side. sgt remsburg is an american hero and deserves our true and honest respect, admiration and thanks. he served us all well and continues to struggle and show us the meaning of the american spirit and true heroism.
but here's the problem and the danger and the inherent wrong of what obama did. his tone and inference suggested that it's sweet and becoming to suffer an injury for this country. he suggests that it's becoming to die for this country. obama called all the vets who served in any armed forces a new generation of heroes. there is nothing heroic about dying. it's a tragedy and it causes an immense amount of sadnes and suffering to anyone connected to the soldier who gives his life for his country. it's time for a reality check, it's time to moderate the unbridled support of the troops. the truth is they do deserve our support. but very few of us ever criticize them. spit at them as they did during the vietnam war and few if any of them are abused verbally or otherwise for serving their country. but here's my point...obama used this veteran to divert attention from the hard truth that he himself acknowledged in his own speech. "we must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer..large scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism." obama is patronizing the troops for his own political agenda to draw attention away from the fact that we failed in afghanistan and we failed in iraq due to our inability to fight a sustained war on our own terms and not the terms of the terrorists and extremists.
now you might ask me what this has to do with homelessness. well...here it is. they're using the same tactics to fight a war on veteran homelessness. they're putting the veterans on a pedestal for their own political agendas and for their own political benefits. they're putting an enormous amount of money into a program for all veterans....not just wounded or disabled veterans....and not just for veterans of the afghanistan or iraqi conflicts...but all veterans, regardless of length of service. they're putting this money into a program they know full well they can't sustain. they're using the veterans to shine a light on what they want the ameican people to believe is their compassion and thanks for serving the country. after they do this, they call media attention to the fact that they're on the way to ending homelessness among veterans. it's a political ploy and a shameless tactic to win votes and make it seem like their party is the one of compassion and giving. it's the same old trap that kept us mired in vietnam politics long after the war was over. they're separating the homeless into different categories and groups for political gains and not fighting the larger war.
now again...i am in no way criticizing veterans. i am criticizing politicians for the unforgivable act of using our american veterans for their own shallow gains. they are supporting and paying for housing for the veterans on a mass scale only because it's politically expedient to do so. it's because of politics and the non-caring, win an election at any cost, attitude of these politicians that we can't make any real inroads into ending poverty and homelessness. they only care about the poor and homeless, veteran or otherwise when it benefits their vote totals or earns them a ten minute clip on a news broadcast. that's why i advocate local and state solutions to these problems and making the federal gvt. a nonfactor on decisions that impact our own communities. so no...veterans do not deserve special treatment by our politicians....they deserve better.....alot better. we all do.
see you around town
note: edward f. palm expressed some of these views in a recent opinion editorial and was the basis for for some of this entry. i paraphrased some of his opinions to meet my own views.