Most people will assume I am referring to the Unknown Soldier whose tomb is at Arlington National Cemetery. I have been to Arlington and have seen the tomb. I also know a man who has served as a tomb guard. He is a very dedicated man and it was very interesting to learn many details about Arlington and the tomb.
As many of you know after reading my articles, I believe we should give things some deeper thought. Think past the emotions and ask ourselves what the big picture is. From what I have learned the Unknown Soldier is very well known. He has people visit his grave daily. He is guarded around the clock, by guards who honor him and respect him. Yes, we do not know his name, but he is well known and not forgotten.
The sad reality in America today is, there are many veterans whose names are known, but in reality they are unknown. Their suffering is unknown. The problems they have are unknown. They are shown no respect and are honored by no one. They may be occasionally told, “thank you for your service, but given how much they are suffering from that service, the good intended thank you, actually adds to their pain. Many of these veterans believe that if people really appreciated their service, and sacrifice, they would demand that the government pay for the damage these veterans received, and do something about their suffering.
What encouraged me to write this article was an article that appeared in Lew Rockwell.com by Catlin Johnston titled, “The US Army Asked Twitter How Service Has Impacted People, and they were right the answers were gut-wrenching.” The problem with this subject is people on both sides are led around by their emotions and therefore are unable to think rationally. As a country, we need to start thinking about things and stop allowing people to manipulate us by using our emotions.
I want to thank Catlin for writing this article. As a veteran, it means a lot to me. To me it is a real, “Thank you for your service,” a thank you that for once acknowledges how severe of a price some have actually paid, even though they came home alive. Some of these people have been injured by their own country more than they were harmed by the enemy they were fighting.
These are the people I consider the Unknown Soldiers. You can be dead and still be alive. Many of the people in Catlin’s article are dead inside. Their heart may be beating, but there is very little life in them. Some of these people, (like a friend of mine) have been dead inside for so long that they eventually make it a reality. My friend put a bullet in his own head. His body caught up with his emotions. He was emotionally dead and now he is physically dead. This is why being lead around by your emotions is so dangerous. Following the wrong emotions can destroy your life.
I understand how hard it is to get past that. Some really bad things can happen to people and it is hard to live with it. I remember what that is like. I wasted some years being dead inside. Leaving the military is not easy for everyone. Staying in allows people to delay dealing with the things they go through. Sometimes the physical problems delay dealing with the emotional problems.
There is a saying that it is the military’s job is to kill and break things. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that includes the military’s own members. Some military peoples’ lives are lost and some that live have their lives ruined.
I have had health problems for over a quarter of a century now. The only solution the V.A. medical has is to offer is to get me addicted to pain killers. Of course, they do not word it that way, but that is what would happen if I started down that road. Let’s be real, narcotics do not heal, they only reduce the pain. Sorry Doc, I would rather be in pain than end up a drug addict.
One of the things that I find especially annoying is when I tell people about the bad care I have received at the VA. Some people tell me about their family member who loves the care they receive at the V.A. These people fail to realize, that is like a police officer telling a crime victim about all the people who did not get violated. As if looking where the crime did not happen proves there was no crime. We veterans who have received bad care are not idiots that need to be told by people how great our health care really is. Some people getting good care does not prove we did not get bad care. I realize that people getting bad care does not prove that people do not get good care. However, the good care is irrelevant, why should someone getting good care excuse people getting bad care? Good care does not excuse bad care. Is our government too incompetent to give everyone who goes to the V.A. good health care? The answer is yes, our government is too incompetent to give everyone good health care, or it may be our government is just too corrupt to give good health care.
I went to the Mayo Clinic and they did a wonderful job. The V.A. could have done what the Mayo Clinic did. My doctor at the Mayo Clinic returned my telephone call within a couple of hours. The V.A. did not return telephone calls at all. The V.A. repeatedly talks about the latest reforms and makes new promises, why should I believe them now when I could not believe them then. There where medical things that needed to be done that the V.A. would not do. They could have done them if they were running a clinic instead of a bureaucracy. You see, the V.A. is about the system, not the soldier. If serving the soldier serves the system they will serve the soldier. If not, to bad so sad. Do not tell me Trump fixed it. That just means Republicans will call it fixed like the Democrats called it fixed when Obama was the President. Veterans are people, stop treating us like political tools. Stop talking and actually have your government do something. Tell them you will vote for someone else until they do, and then actually vote for someone else.
You see there are actually many Unknown Soldiers in this country. They are stuck in the V.A health care system that wants to make political victories, instead of healing people. Some Unknown Soldiers are homeless, some have been hurt by the government they served. Some Unknown Soldiers have committed suicide. The county does not know these Unknown Soldiers, and if they are known, it sure does not look like the country cares about them. Unless it is campaign season and some politician wants to benefit politically by making another promise they will not keep, or just blame their opponent for the problems. Empty promises are all they get. No 24 hour around the clock honor guard for the homeless Unknown Soldiers living in the street.
Our government gave trillions of dollars to banks and Wall Street. They claim to save the economy. Veterans are not stupid. We know what America really cares about.
As they say, follow the money.
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