Veterans Day 2013

Reading this somewhat self-serving history of the Department of Labor during and after World War II: “When the war ended, attention shifted to the needs of those returning from war and their families. The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of June 22, 1944—widely known as the G.I. Bill—provided a weekly unemployment allowance, as well as counseling, placement services, education and job training to nearly 10 million veterans between 1944 and 1949.” Taking care of that generation was important to the country.

At the end, or near-end, of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we see that
most Americans now believe those conflicts were mistakes. I’m sure battle fatigue was a major factor in people’s opposition to an American incursion into Syria. Yet this is not a reflection of what people felt about soldiers’ bravery, from all reports.

The Veterans Affairs Department is drowning under mountains of paperwork representing services not rendered. During the government shutdown, the VA secretary said that “more than 5 million veterans, as well as some active-duty service members would not have received “crucial benefits after Nov. 1 if the event had continued much longer. As it was, the shutdown slowed the process of paying those vets.

The better photo ops during the shutdown involved patriotic old men in their 80s and 90s unable to get to war memorials. Yet, one could argue that veterans were hurt far more by loss of benefits during the shutdown than by the symbolic lack of access to some shrines. Open memorials may matter, but money for essentials matters, too.

4 thoughts on “Veterans Day 2013”

  1. Very few people these days can really comprehend the amount of sacrifice our military men and women give through their service. We ate breakfast this morning at a place that was giving free breakfasts to veterans. It was somewhat of a moving experience to see the range of ages in the faces of the patrons. Each with more “life experience” than a person should really have.

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  2. I know a lot of homeless vets, most with mental disorders, who hang around downtown Madison. It is simply inexcusable how these men and women are treated once they come home. Of course, as one guy said, “It beats coming home in a box… but not by much. My buddy froze to death on a bench by the Capitol Rotunda down the block. Ain’t that a statement?”

    All war is pointless. It’s about who has the biggest Johnson, the most money, and the biggest ego. Only the ones with the Johnsons don’t do any of the fighting, and that includes our current president, who has truly disappointed me on this issue – and I supported and worked for the Obama campaign twice. Amy

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  3. I’ve heard that the negative reaction to an invasion of Syria was wide and very deep. I think it very likely that Mr. Obama, who is a master politician, caught that reaction and decided that it was high time to defuse the whole Iran Is Our Enemy thing, now that it is quite clear that starting a war against Iraq has no popular support.

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