Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For Veterans Day We Need A 21st Century Bonus Army March On Washington

Today is Veterans Day in America. The annual federal holiday where we honor Veterans, past and present.

Honoring Veterans is a fine thing to do. Expressing one sentiments honoring Veterans is a fine thing to do. Remembering the fallen is a fine thing to do.


Today something about Veterans Day is bugging me bad.

Currently, every day, on average, 26 Veterans commit suicide.

Remember the recent fuss made over one person in Dallas dying from Ebola?

I repeat, on average, 26 Veterans commit suicide every day.

We hear reports over and over again about Veterans hospitals not properly treating injured soldiers, now safely back home in America, trying to recover from the damage done to their minds and bodies.

The Veterans Administration is underfunded.

How much does one aircraft carrier cost? How much would it cost to fully fund the Veterans Administration?

How can Americans proudly salute the service of Veterans and then so drastically underserve them when the get back home?

I know of National Guard Veterans, called to serve in Iraq, leaving job and family behind, not paid enough to make the house payments, badly wounded, not able to get adequate treatment, returned home to face bankruptcy,

I have seen a Veteran living in a ramshackle cardboard shack in a wooded area behind a grocery store.

Many among America's returned Veterans are among America's Homeless People.

To me, much of this tribute paying to Veterans today rings very hollow.

But, this is not a new phenomenon in America. Read the Bonus Army article in Wikipedia if you are unaware of the long history of the American government's bad treatment of America's Veterans.

Just one snippet from the Bonus Army article should whet your curiosity.....

U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. Veterans were also shot dead at other locations during the demonstration. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned.

By next Veterans Day it is my hope that a Bonus Army of this Century marches on Washington, demanding that America do the right thing for its Veterans, as in all the medical and financial help needed to make the Veteran whole again.

And if Americans really want to celebrate Veterans Day in an actual meaningful way, they should join the Bonus Army march....

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