Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Failures to Our Bravest...

I was at the intersection of Northtown & Old Canton a few hours ago, and as I cursed at the all-too-familiar ill-timed traffic light holding me hostage, I noticed a seemingly dazed and unshaven Veteran stumble across the street. So struck was I by his shuffling from Regions' drive thru, I nearly let him be hit by an oncoming car unaware of his presence. I bolted out of my seat & motioned for the merging Acura to slow, possibly saving the man's life. The driver seemed as moved by the man's appearance, and saddened (not angered or annoyed), as the man trudged on past, emblazoned USMC tattoed arm now shakily holding a cigarette at its' end.

I'm far from traditional political "polar" values, but I am a staunch supporter of our Veterans' well-being. The death of the disabled gentleman downtown and the contamination of dozens of patients at the Miami VA Hospital earlier this month puzzles and disarms me. I'm even remembering '07 & '08's Veterans' Rights marches during the previous administration: how in the world do we have hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending but unequal resources for the people it's spent on..? That's not looking far enough down the road, if at all. One of the reasons I voted for Obama was his take on our veterans' well-being, a sound stance echoed in his appointment of veteran Erik Shinseki to be his Secretary of Veterans' Affairs. Not to poke fun, but McCain is a Former USAF POW who *still* can't raise his arms high.

Things like this make me a socialist at heart: equal health care for all citizens is underscored for our military veterans, and I feel the same way for our police. Those who serve and protect the Populace under the will and control of government with nothing less than their Lives at the helm, must receive the same holistic care and well-being once they have served their duty. I'm talking about a Marine friend of mine being jerked around for getting antibiotics; another friend suffering from pneumonia and gambling with Mono because her Base's hospital is not covering her treatment, so she has to pay initial treatment in a public ER out of pocket. How can we do this to our population that we ask so much and so dearly of...?

We've failed our Bravest. We've gone deaf-mute to those who have answered Calls of Duty. We erect red-tape for those who DREW the Front Lines, then bravely tread across them. We proudly "support our troops" on bumper stickers, but can't seem to give a dime to the gentleman at the corner wearing well-worn BDU's.

We can't Fail them anymore.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

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