The Love Chronicles, Still Elitist Bastards

Posted: June 8, 2011 in News and politics

Congress and the Military Brass
Still Elitist Bastards

If you are in the service receiving pay, if you are a wounded veteran, if you are receiving any kind of benefits or retirement package, you are about to get what congress always gives you after they don’t need you anymore. Still don’t have a picture in your mind? They think that this time if they don’t yell “bend over” first, maybe no one will notice! Is the picture getting any clearer?

Admiral Mullen said in his opinion, and I quote:
“The Pentagon’s top officer said Thursday that service members will likely see cuts in pay and benefits as the military plumbs its budget for nearly half a trillion dollars in savings over the next 12 years.  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen warned against taking the “relatively easy” choice of cutting hardware while maintaining the increasing costs of paying and providing ongoing health care to troops and retirees. “Two of the big places the money is, is in pay and benefits,” Mullen told defense reporters at a June 2 breakfast meeting in Washington. “And so when I say all things are on the table, all things are on the table.”

I have said this before, but I will say it again. If you ask men and women to risk their lives to protect our way of life, then if and when they are wounded in that endeavor, they deserve and should get the best medical care available on the planet for as long as it is needed. If you are receiving benefits because of service given or wounds received, these should be adequate for the individual to live a comfortable life, and this too should be left alone regardless of our economic needs. Servicemen should not have to receive food stamps to survive if they have a family. These are things I know from experience are promised you when they recruit you. As soon as the need for your service starts to wind down, the pay, the benefits, the retirement start to dwindle or evaporate altogether.. This is partly because the congressman who allows this to happen has never served, his children likewise. If they have, it was in some job that did not require them to risk their lives in combat, and they are independently wealthy and will not be affected by any loss of benefits. The John McCain’s of this world are few and far between. The congressman who understands or cares about the average enlisted men and womens needs are even rarer still, if they even exist. Obviously our top military officers would rather keep as much hardware as possible and cut what little the average Joe is getting. The treatment of servicemen while serving is already shameful , they are not being taken care of or compensated as they should be, even worse after he or she is released from active duty. To take away any services, any pay, any benefit, medical or otherwise is criminal. Hell, the pay, benefits, and medical care are a travesty now! Taking anything from the rank and file cannot be allowed. I urge everyone to call, email, blog, protest, and at the very minimum make sure your representatives know how you feel. I accepted substandard care and benefits after Nam because it was not a popular war and I felt I could not make a difference. As a result men rotted on the streets of America and could get no help for their disabilities! Men and women sat in hospitals with little or no proper care provided, sometimes in squalor, witnessed by me personally. Certain illnesses caused by Agent Orange, a Nam era problem for example, were denied to even exist for years until private medical teams finally came up with so much proof that the government was forced to admit there was a problem. The same thing has happened again, and only because of pressure by you and me did any of these get even a modicum of attention by the people who sent our men and women into harms way. Yes, in this I am partly to blame because I did or said nothing, along with a whole lot of other people just like me. So this time, we cannot allow our returning vets to suffer this indignity. You cannot ask men and women to give their all, and then not do the same yourself. You want to stop waging war, fine, you want to cut down on waste, fine, you want to cut down on the size of the military war machine, I say fine also. But do not, because you have been ordered to cut your budget, dare to say the big cuts are to be found in the pay and benefits of those that have and are serving, and in the same breath say you need to keep all the hardware of war at the expense of the fighting forces. Hardware that is supplied, by the way, by people who can afford to contribute large sums of money to the coffers of the elitist few, unlike the common fighting men and women of our various services. This is a blatant disregard of the men and women who serve. I would like to end with a poem I saw circulating on Facebook, it has no known author, but says a lot with a few well chosen works. I changed it a little from the way it was originally written, I hope it conveys to you the same message it did to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE FINAL INSPECTION

The Soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass..

‘Step forward now, Soldier ,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my teachings have you been true?’
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No, Sir, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear..
And sometimes, Sir, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears

If you’ve a place for me here, Sir,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was silence at this holy command post,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, you Soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on these heavenly streets,
You’ve already done your time in Hell.”

Former Sgt John Love USMC and Viet Nam vet

Comments
  1. James Mahon says:

    I agree 100%.

  2. James Mahon says:

    Ditto under my new email account….

  3. Terry Wilson says:

    JOHN, JAMES. THANK BOTH OF YOU AND ALL THE REST, VERY MUCH!

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