We have protesters and occupiers all over the country spending the freedom they have been given on the backs of our veteran's. We have politicians playing politics with that lives of our veteran's and our active duty soldiers. It is time folks for those who benefit from the sacrifice of our armed forces to step up and make sure that they and their families are supported.
I have been seeing a lot of these quotes showing up on FaceBook lately and I am happy to see that people, well some people, are paying attention. I am an admitted flag waver. Actually those who know me well can tell you that I wear an invisible flag on my sleeve at all times. I will never apologize for my outward display of patriotism and neither should anyone.
I served in the United States Army toward the end of the Vietnam War. Serving in the military is something our family has always done. Even my grandfather, at the age of 46 and after having been turned down for enlistment during WWI, tried to join the military in 1941 when his three sons volunteered.
When I enlisted I did not expect any parades when I got home and believe me there were none offered. We did our duty and we came home to start our lives. My welcome home from the war was given to me on Veteran's Day 1997 at a school ceremony by my son, who was 7 years old. It was the first time since my discharge, 1976, that anyone thanked me for my service. Thank God things have changed.
At the San Antonio, Texas airport in December 2009, when I was there for my sons graduation from Medics training, I heard something that I would have loved to hear when I was in uniform. My son was in uniform and while we were waiting for our flight to be called passersby stopped and thanked him for his service. Total strangers!!! A far cry from my day when we were told not to wear our uniforms off post because it would upset people.
I could tell he was proud. Hell I was proud. Up until that point, and based on my experience, I had believed my son had made a mistake in serving. I was very wrong!!
Personal experiences aside; we as a people need to impress on our government that balancing the budget on the backs of our uniformed services is an affront to all who have served this country since he Revolution.
Their sacrifices can never be fully repaid but we should make an attempt to do so. Good pay, quality health care for them and their families, decent housing, good schools for their children, college educations, a high quality of life and every bit of equipment they need to accomplish the missions we send them on should never be up for debate.
I would ask every citizen who has benefited from their sacrifices, and that would be every last one of us, to demand that our government put these men and women first and cut things we do not need. Send phone calls, letters, emails, texts, twitters and if Occupy wants to do something worthwhile go occupy the White House and Congress and demand that our military be taken off the chopping block.