Friday, May 23, 2014

"It has to matter." Memorial Day. (Language Warning)

Another Memorial Day is upon us.  Another weekend of sales... and barbecues... and picnics.

Another weekend where the vast majority of us will simply ignore what it's supposed to mean and go about our days... without giving a thought to those who sacrificed to give us what we have.

Another day where I thank God I helped to persuade my stepson to stay out of the military.

"It has to matter."

I love my country.  As screwed up as we are... and we are screwed up... I love this place.  I loath this government because it represents the failed promise to us all that we are supposed to be something special, that we are supposed to be something different, something for the world to look up to, that they, as a government, were going to be the best, most honest, most transparent...

That said, I cannot even begin to imagine serving in the military as completely and utterly fucked up as it is today.

And that's why I worked hard, over a period of months, to keep my kid out of the clutches of the Marines and into college where he belongs.

As a Veteran of 14 years in the Army, I know the value of value.  Whether freezing my ass off on the East German border or frying in the sands of Saudi Arabia, it actually mattered that I was there on that wall standing a post.  I believed that I was not alone, that I would not be forsaken, that my unit would walk into hell to be by my side if it came to that... because they would never abandon me.

These are the thoughts, I am quite sure, of Ambassador Stevens, USFSI Officer Sean Smith, SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty... likely up until the end of their lives.

But they were abandoned.  And there is no excuse or "reason" that justified that violation of trust.

Memo to Hillary Clinton:  It makes all the difference in the world. It would to you if your dumb ass had been there, Mrs. Clinton

But it is also the kind of thing that made me conclude that the death or dismemberment or crippling of my son... a possible outcome of his service... would have to matter.

It would have to mean something.

That exceeds the idiocy of military social programs, women in combat, ending DADT, cutting the disability and retirement pay of our military members (A move favored by our utterly clueless moron of a Congresswoman) or any of the other stupidities being foisted on the Armed Forces by non-serving POGS with an agenda... geometrically.

"Colby, if you go (To 0311, light weapons infantry) you may come back in a box.  You may come back minus pieces.  You may come back in ways that screw you up for life.  I won't be able to fix you.

And it has to make a difference.  It has to matter."

When your government proves its disdain of the military by abandoning those who've taken the oath, both past and present... gutting it while our enemies expand geometrically... showing a clueless ineptitude that only a community organizer can bring to the world stage... and illustrating that continuing lack of concern as our brothers and sisters die waiting to be seen for the promised medical care... at this point?

It doesn't matter enough.

This Memorial Day, I'll do what I always do:  Lower my flag on it's 24 foot pole to half-staff until noon; rapidly raise it to it's full height.  Go to Willamette National Cemetery to see my brother and the tens of thousands of others who all have one thing in common... one thread of the bond that cannot be broken through time or politics or lies or distortion.  All that have gone on before... at one moment in time... put their ass on the line for this country.

A country with a government that turns it's back on them and on us now as they have done for decades.

The President ran on a platform of fixing the VA.  But like so many other of his promises, that one was just as hollow, just as cynical and just as worthless.

I had an appointment last Tuesday that I waited roughly 4 months to get.  An hour before the appointment, I get the call: the doctor called in sick today: we have to reschedule.  Will June 24 work?

My wife went with me to the Portland VA once... we had to wait for a prescription. 

A prescription which, by the way, would have been $68 per year cheaper at Fred Meyers, or Costco, or K-Mart, or Walgreens... People who never set foot in uniform getting a better deal than people who served... and who were SUPPOSED to get free medical care for life.  And, so, we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.  Hours went by.  She couldn't stand it.  The men and women she saw in that waiting area... many very old, many very broken.  Tears in her eyes, she asked:

"How can they treat you this way?"

"Easy.  We've got no where else to go."

And we don't.  And now, we find out that many of us... far too many of us (And ONE is "far too many of us") waited into a grave.  And the Commander-in-Chief didn't miss a single stroke on his golf game.

"It's got to matter."

Seriously.  And no one should enlist until it does.

This Memorial Day weekend, pause a moment.  Stop for just one second and marvel at all we have.  Think about the sacrifices it's taken to make it all possible.  Ponder how much longer we can keep it.  And then go have a burger.

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

 “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  - Benjamin Franklin

1 comment:

Lew Waters said...

I have long thought that many of the problems associated with us Vietnam veterans were precisely this, our treatment returning home by too many let us know what had been through really didn't matter.

Of course, it goes well beyond that since we have to look ow the government sent armed troops against WW1 Vets in the 1930's in what we call the Bonus Army.

Then there was the post WW2 movie 'the Best Years of Our Lives" that was inspired by a magazine article on how the country initially was largely indifferent and at times a little bit hostile to those guys.

Korean War Veterans were just swept under the rug and forgotten.

And now today, we once again see how those who can't wait to stand with us in the background for their photo ops to get elected continue to turn their backs on us while pulling every demoralizing trick they can to degrade the Military and transform it into a social club for their experimentation.

Neither party has clean hands in this, both are guilty are using us first to protect them, then as pawns in their quest for political power.

It's BULL SHIT and it needs to stop, now!!!