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America's Veterans need your help NOW!

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Americans who care about our veterans and doing the right thing have a problem. It is a serious problem but together we can solve it. The problem is that when Congress packed it in and left for the holidays they left many things undone. One of those neglected duties was ensuring that continuing veterans services were funded; Congress decamped to decorate their Christmas Trees and attend rounds of holiday celebrations, social and political.

Evidently, returning veterans were the farthest things from their minds. Therefore veterans will be coming home to anguish and closed doors when they need essential services.

This is the sort of thing we have come to expect from government. Government is paid billions to oversee veterans services. They have failed over and over again to do the job. Does it matter if a veteran of Iraq can't get his medication? Treatment? A bed in the hospital? To some of us it does.

But while Congress and government neglects its charge there are those who do care and who can be depended on to give their own money to ensure that America keeps its bond with those who serve.

The first Veteran's hospital in the United States was not funded by government. In 1918 the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks wrote a check for one million dollars, real money back then, to ensure that veterans returning from the War to End all Wars would be cared for.

Today, locally and nationally, Elks Lodges still routinely help veterans, providing food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities. Elks, Redmen, the Moose, the Masons, and other fraternal orders help those who government forgets. These organizations use their own money just as they did in 1918. Veteran's organizations help where and when they know there is a need. But they need to know what is happening so they can prepare. Then, working together, we can solve the short term problem created by the sloth of Congress. Long term we need to think about ways to eliminate the problem entirely by returning to local solutions. Perhaps the Elks should have started that hospital themselves. That is for later.

Solving problems is an old and honorable tradition for those who understand what it means to be an American.

Right now what is needed is a way for veterans who have encountered the closed door of bureaucracy to find help. The way for that to happen is for organizations in communities to come together to do what must be done and let those in need know where help can be found. Together, we can make sure that no veteran falls through the cracks. It is Christmas and those who served need us. Let us not fail to do what is right, no matter how government fails all of us. Veteran's organizations, fraternal orders, and more. Nearly all of them will be willing to help if asked. Through active military and online sites we can also get the word out.

Our veterans need to know they will not be forgotten.

America has always been a do it yourself project. The time has come to start doing it again.
God bless each of us this Christmas Season, especially those who served.

Next time this happens we will have a site up that aids coordination for this kind of emergency. Be looking for Local Liberty, a way for Americans to solve the problems that confront all of us. If you have questions or need a connection contact me at:
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Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father (more...)
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