At the conclusion of Veterans Day, there is only one question to ask and that is: Where was President Bush to pay homage to our veterans who gave so much for this country? As we all know, he was at his ranch in Crawford, Texas meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While there is nothing wrong with meeting with another head of state, there is something wrong when on this day of all days, Bush chose to snub our veterans and send Vice President Cheney in his place to Arlington National Cemetery. Here we have the former CEO of Halliburton who has made money hand over fist through a company that has profited dearly from this war while our veterans are not treated with the respect they deserve.
This was the same president who flew onto an air-craft carrier declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ when nothing has been accomplished as of this date. The only thing that has been accomplished is that 3,860 of our soldiers are now dead and 28,451 are now maimed for life. Some of them seriously that they may have wished they had died over in Iraq.
In my piece condemning the Iowa GOP for their refusal to have Cong. Ron Paul take part in the upcoming December debate, I erroneously stated that 25 percent of our homeless are comprised of Iraq War veterans. What I meant to say was that 25 percent of all of our veterans make up this population and that is truly disgraceful. We ask as a country so much coming from our veterans and they come home only to be treated like this? They and their families deserve much more.
I was simply stunned in reading this CBS report when it stated, “about 1,000 veterans who receive VA care commit suicide every year, and as many as 5,000 a year among all living veterans.” Our government sent our brave soldier’s into hell and back and I cannot even comprehend the pain they must have felt which led them to take their lives.
I wonder how many veterans or Americans alike can relate to an essay written by Alfred A. Hambidge, Jr titled, “The Wall” when he wrote this passage back in March 9th, 2003: “Ever read George Washington's Farewell Address?" I shook my head. "He told us not to concern ourselves with what other countries are doing to and amongst themselves. He said it would just get us mired in a big mess. But did we listen? Nooooo. He warned us! Jefferson warned us! Most all of the Founders warned us! John Quincy Adams, about thirty years later, said 'America does not go out in search of monsters to destroy.' Well, now we do, John Q.”
The passage continues "You know what I finally figured out? People don't start wars. Countries don't start wars. It's governments that start wars. Fuckin' governments. And we go along with it.” Please excuse that expletive, but I felt it necessary to in order to convey this message of anger towards our government comprised by both Democrats and Republicans alike.
Maybe Bush was correct in hiding out on this day. While I am angered that he did not show at Arlington National Cemetery, his lies sent many of our soldiers off to die and for those who came home, they get nothing. Maybe on this day next year every single politician should just stay away and let Americans herald our heroes.
As we face the reality of 25 percent of our veterans making up for all homeless within this nation and in the spirit of our founders beliefs as expressed in “The Wall” a news item came to my attention.
Our United States congress “approved a $155 million arms package for Israel, aimed at the development of the Hetz and David mid-range defensive missile systems and for the development long-range defensive missile systems.” It goes onto report that it “effectively increases Israel's missile development budget by 30%.” Meanwhile our veterans remain homeless and living on our streets suffering from all sorts of ailments. This is where both Pres. Bush and our congress should hang their heads in shame.
To end this piece, our veterans deserve our thanks and praise, but more importantly they deserve our help and it is about time that this government steps up to the plate and delivers this help. The next time we the people read of our elected officials self-serving earmarks that do not benefit the American people, our veterans and soldiers, we shall remember that come next Election Day. On that day and should they fail us yet once more, it is our duty as Americans to fire them.
Author’s email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org