Wednesday, March 15, 2006


As Bill Putman pointed out in the comments in the "Dear Mr. President" post, Veterans have been shortchanged all to often. While many Vets receive their just due and care, many do not. Bill's case of improper assignment of Disability factor is one I have heard and read about many times. In 2004 the House passed a "Support The Troops Resolution." The next order of business was cutting funding for Vets.

For Vets to receive their just do, they have to be their own best advocates. While researching funding issues for Vets a few months back I found a premeir site for Veteran Advocacy.
So if you are a Vet or are interested in Vet issues please visit VA WATCHDOG. The link is also next to the "GI RIGHTS HOTLINE" link on the sidebar.

Most everybody knows that the Government does not allow pictures of the caskets when they land at Dover in the middle of the night. That the Families of the Fallen are not allowed on base to be there when their Loved One returns. Yes, the people who started the American Iraq War don't want the reality of the true cost known. They would rather you just forgot about Andy Aviles, Brandon J. Rowe and Kristen K. Figueroa.

An ingrained memory - My Father's last duty station was at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania(now civvy). My Mom was always the one to take me in. Which was often. Well on this particular day my Father took me to the Doc. He had never took me took me in to see the Doc before and never did again.

While driving in I saw dozens of Hueys fly in. All had the big red cross on them. I asked where all these choppers were coming from. He said that they were carrying in wounded coming back after being POWS of the "Cong". He added "some are in very bad shape". This was in late '72 or '73 and POWS started coming home. I had never seen so many choppers before.(remember I was just a kid then). He parked at the other end at the building from where my Mom usually parked to enter the Pediatric Ward. As a MP there he knew his way around the Base. I asked why are we going in this way and he said he needed to see someone.

As we walked along the corridor I realized that we were in an "grown up" ward. Instead of the animated atmosphere of the Pediatric Ward this place was eerily silent. As kids are wont to do I peeked in each door way as we passed. Every view revealed a man with horrible injuries. Missing limbs, full body traction, bodies wrapped up like mummies including sometimes their eyes. One man did not seem injured. He was just staring straight ahead. Vacant like.

I did not ask any of my usual incessant questions. I knew my Father had 2 tours in Vietnam. I knew on base he was often called to take somebody into custody that "went crazy". Not a word was said between us as we walked along.

Later on while as I was being poked and prodded in the Pediatrc Ward I realized my Father had not stopped to "see someone" along the walk in.

For all those who answered the Call with a "WILL DO"! and an "ALL THE WAY"!, I'll never forget.

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