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Stripes and Stars - Poetry

Updated on April 14, 2012

I dedicate this poem to all the Veterans who have selflessly served their country. I want to say thank you to each of them for their sacrifice, and let them know that I am eternally grateful to them for my freedom.

Stripes and Stars
Stripes and Stars | Source

Stripes and Stars

War torn landscape up ahead

Brothers at my feet are dead

One is wounded he’s still here

Help him out of our worst fear

Back to the front line for me

Freedom never comes for free

I stand for the stripes and stars

No one sees my battle scars

I am calloused I do not flinch

The smell of death the awful stench

Pushing forward as we must

Stirring up this poison dust

Makes us sick and makes us weak

But we must not accept defeat

So we drag on to the unknown

Fear inside has grown and grown

Not for me or those who fight

But for those with no sense of right

We walk along the red stained stripe

So your stripe can be pure and white

The stars are there with-in the blue

They stand for freedom for me and you

In response to the question "Are our veteran soldiers being forgotten?" asked by ananceleste.

The Trenches
The Trenches | Source
General Solomon Meredith
General Solomon Meredith | Source

Veteran Statistics

There are an estimated 25 million veterans currently living; of those, only 5.5 million have healthcare, leaving the other 19.5 million with NO coverage. Another 21.6 million receive NO veteran’s benefits, and only 7.2 million are even enrolled in the VA’s system. It has been estimate that at least 150,000 veterans are homeless here in the United States. On average veterans are 3 times more likely to commit suicide when compared to the civilian population. It is believed that an average of five veterans commit suicide each day, and there are around 1000 attempts each month. The recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left an approximate 300,000 Vets with PTSD or major depression, and those numbers continue to climb.

Forgotten Soldiers

The question was; "are our veteran soldiers being forgotten?". I don’t think they have been forgotten, at least not by many of us. Though, it does seem that their service to their country seems to be viewed as less important than it is. They are certainly not repaid adequately for their service. I see the post on Facebook all the time, stating something about giving veterans the same benefits enjoyed by our political leaders. I don’t think that would be too much to ask. I’m sure that those who have served in the armed forces have sacrificed far more than any politician has ever sacrificed during the course of completing his or her duties as an elected official. Why should politicians be compensated more? Where is the report on all the homeless ex-politicians, with no healthcare or benefits, who are contemplating suicide due to the strain caused by their service to their country? Oh wait, that report doesn’t exist, because they don’t face those kinds of odds. No, they enjoy lucrative book offers and get paid to give speeches, all the while enjoying full retirement benefits and healthcare because they served their country. So I guess in a way they have been forgotten. Forgotten by a system that should remember what they have sacrificed so the rest of us can be free.

Alone and Afraid
Alone and Afraid | Source
War | Source
Soldiers | Source

Veteran Statistics

25 Million Veterans
VA Enrolled in Millions
7.2 Enrolled
17.8 Not Enrolled
Gender Percentage
92.5% Male
7.5% Female
Gender in Millions
23.125 Male
1.875 Female
Healthcare in Millions
5.5 Covered
19.5 Not Covered
Benefits in Millions
3.4 Have Benefits
21.6 Have No Benefits
Median Age
61 For Males
47 For Females
Veteran Suicide Rate
5 per day
1000 attempts per month

Do you think veterans get the Respect, Benefits, and Healthcare they deserve?

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Veteran Stats Quiz

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