By V. Eugene Kennard
World events transform around us, yet few take the time to ponder their significance. For the veteran of military service, they are not only significant, but felt at the deepest level.
Nations have been saved on the backs of these veterans, yet nations forget this most important fact. Time and again, those who have served are soon forgotten. Are we going to do it again?
Yesterday, I watched a winter Olympic event in which skiers performed feats of stamina which are remarkable. What was not emphasized was this sport actually was born by real-life demands placed upon soldiers in actual scenarios. Skiing and shooting with precision were demands placed upon real heroes; not Olympic athletes.
Why is my heart sinking? It is because, as you read this, veterans are being denied their benefits by people who have never worn a uniform, and by people who don’t know the heartaches and difficulties millions have faced.
Whatever our country demanded, we fulfilled; time and again. Through the decades, one after another responded with patriotism and a sense of duty, only to be kicked to the curb by politicians who have literally no sense of what true patriotism is. They get rich in the nation’s capital while young Americans sacrifice the most precious years of their lives, and often their very lives, so the “American way” can go forward. Is anyone going to speak up and cry “foul?”
In recent political news, I read about one example after another as to the extent politicians are willing to go in order to preserve their political careers, while veterans languish in need of benefits promised to them. It often takes four to five years for a veteran to reach the decision phase of a veteran’s claim, but it takes less than a month for a welfare recipient to receive their benefits. Am I crazy, or is this nonsense?
We are not talking about a handout! We are talking about veterans who, by virtue of their life-threatening service, have found themselves unable to “carry on” as others are capable of doing. They have reached a point of desperation, and are incapable of “sucking it up” any longer. Yet, we send our enemies billions of dollars in aid like it is candy to a spoiled brat you want to appease.
I say, “Take care of your own before you think of anyone else!”
We are Americans first, and humanitarianism, while noble, is not genuine until we have proven we can take care of our own first. I, for one, am tired of politicians and their empty promises. I side with any veteran on any stage who continues to be committed to the values and principles upon which our nation was founded. Whether on foreign shores, or upon friendly soil, the service of Americans must be honored. I was given an honorable discharge. Now, I say my service should be honorably recognized.
May God bless you, our communities and the United States of America.