ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • North America Political & Social Issues

Remembering Our Veterans With Honor and Compassion On Veterans Day

Updated on October 4, 2013

By the Numbers

There are currently 2.7 million military personnel serving in the United States armed forces in 150 countries. In addition, there are approximately 22 million veterans among us, meaning that about 1% of our population consists of active or inactive military.

You undoubtedly know them. They are your next door neighbors, your poker buddies, your husbands and your daughters. They are your car mechanic, your favorite actor, your labor negotiator and your dentist.

They are the homeless, the disabled, the disenchanted and the unemployed. They are the future suicide, the anger management case study, the abused wife and the imprisoned. They are an active and productive part of the American scene, and they are the forgotten, the faceless, the humorless and the dying.

My dad, a WWII veteran.
My dad, a WWII veteran. | Source

Liberty and Justice for All

While the average American citizen sits and watches television, U.S. soldiers are serving the country. Across this nation this coming weekend, people will be barbecuing, visiting with friends, going to movies and taking vacation, all while men and women march into harm’s way in the name of liberty.

While millions say the pledge of allegiance, millions are defending that pledge. While others talk about justice, soldiers are making sure that justice prevails.

So it has been for over two-hundred years, and so it will be into the future. The price of freedom is often not measured in dollars in cents, but rather in blood, trauma, and yes, death, and no segment of the American culture pays a higher price than the American military.

The cost they pay is steep, and they keep paying the piper long after their service to this country has ended. Problems they face are many:

· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

· Traumatic Brain Injury

· Substance Abuse

· Homelessness/housing Concerns

· Disability and Health/Illness Issues

· Unemployment/Under Employment

· Poverty

· Educational Deficit

· Money Management Struggles

· Financial Literacy

· Social Anxiety

· Mental Health Issues

· Family Issues

· Anger Management Challenges

· Criminal Justice Issue

· Inadequate Government Programs

Facing Reality

76% of veterans have faced, during their time of duty, a life-threatening or traumatic event. They have either been shot at, been in a threatening position, or seen a friend and comrade injured or killed due to violence.

When they leave the military, many are ill-prepared for civilian life. They were trained to be soldiers; they have spent three, four, or more years in high-stress situations, and the return to a normal existence in suburbia is not often easy. Away from loved ones for so long, they find it hard to cope in relationships, and social skills, once natural to them, have been buried deeply as they fulfilled their military requirements.

The Department of Defense estimates that 15% of veterans suffer from PTSD, but experts believe that percentage to be much higher.

On any given day there are 300,000 homeless veterans in the United States. A higher percentage of veterans suffer from alcohol and drug abuse than any other social classification, and the chance of suicide is higher for veterans than any other group in this country.

Sadly, they have been forgotten, and those not forgotten find unfathomable delays in receiving benefits and care that they deserve and need.

How does this happen in the United States?

Let's See Where You Stand on this Issue

Do You Feel More Needs To Be Done For Veterans?

See results
Four veterans of WWII in this family picture
Four veterans of WWII in this family picture

Personal Thoughts

I have never been in the military, but it really is not necessary when speaking out against injustice, and make no mistake about it, we are discussing an injustice with regards to veteran issues.

My father was in the army during World War II, and served in five campaigns in Italy. He would never talk to me about the violence that he saw, but those in our family who knew him before and after the War, say he came back a changed man, a man who laughed less and angered more quickly.

My uncle served on a destroyer during World War II; he came back early with a medical discharge, suffering what was then called shell-shock, which we now know as PTSD. During a heated sea battle he froze while manning artillery, unable to carry on his duties because of a paralyzing fear. He was haunted by that for the next forty-five years.

I had two friends serve in Vietnam; both saw three tours of service in Southeast Asia, and both, upon returning to the United States, committed suicide within six months of their return.

My purpose is not to list the horrors of war; we all can at least imagine what the horror must be like, even without experiencing it. Soldiers understand all too well what they are signing up for when they enter the military, and they willingly carry out their duty day in and day out. They understand the dangers and they understand the implied possibility that one day they may not return.

What they do not understand, and what they should never have to understand, are the problems that they face, oftentimes alone, when their time in the military is finished.

A history of Veterans Day

Let Me Be Very Clear on This

No soldier should ever be homeless!

No soldier should ever face a delay in benefits!

No soldier should ever be lacking support for mental issues

No soldier should ever be without the full support of his/her government

We, the people, cannot enjoy the blessings of liberty, paid for by the blood of our military, and then ignore the overwhelming problems that they face when they return home.

“I hate it when they say, ‘He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them.” Admiral Gene LaRocque.

We steal the lives of these kids…..I’m not sure I can add to that statement. Yes, in today’s world….hell, in any era that we care to speak about….war seems to be an integral part of global society. I wish it were not so, but the facts are hard to deny. Living in peace is an illusion and has been since this country was founded. The military is needed for as long as we have enemies, which will basically be forever.

So yes, kids die! It is expected….it is part of the war equation….but what is not part of that equation, what should never be a part of the equation, is for veterans to return home and not receive the care that they deserve.

When one veteran dies homeless that is one too many.

When one veteran commits suicide because of combat-related issues, that is one too many.

When one veteran cannot find work, cannot find aid, and cannot find relief from suffering, that is one too many.

I have utmost respect for our veterans
I have utmost respect for our veterans

The Bottom Line

Who shall we blame? Are you into the blame game? Fine, blame the government. They have known about these issues for decades, and the fact that the issues still exist speaks volumes about the government concern.

Blame the populace, those fine men and women who bask in the trapping of freedom, paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of the military. It would be a rare citizen indeed who was not aware of these problems, and yet we allow our government to ignore them.

I have a better idea, however, than playing the blame game. Why don’t we do something about this problem? Why don’t we demand that the government step up and provide for our defenders of freedom, rather than use the issue as a political football every four years during elections? If we are to believe that we are the power of this government, then perhaps we should begin exercising our power.

Rather than trotting out a wounded veteran at the Democratic and Republican Conventions, all in an effort to win votes, why don’t we actually get that veteran the care he/she needs and deserves?

I have heard it said that we are only as strong as our line of defense. I would like to alter that by saying we are only as strong as our compassion for that line of defense.

Twenty-two million veterans who defended us are now in need of three-hundred million citizens to defend them. Don’t you suppose it’s about time we did so?

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I have now many veterans in my own family alone. My father served during Vietnam and actually was honorably discharged right before being shipped out, because he ended up breaking both ankles during basic training, an injury he still suffers issues from until this day. He right now is fighting for benefits from the armed services. Both my grandfathers also served during WWII. My great-uncle (my grandmother's brother) also served during WWII and was at the Battle of the Bulge. He came back forever changed, having nightmares for years and needing counseling. Still in his late 80s, he suffers depression at times from what he saw. HE was awarded a Purple Medal and was given full benefits, but still very hard to to see him still suffer so. Your article was spot on and very timely. Have voted, shared and tweeted too!

    • Mindy Broyer profile image

      Mindy Broyer 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Wonderful hub! This is an issue that needs addressing. A couple of years ago I lost a friend to suicide after he returned from Iraq. He had been waiting on a referral for treatment of PTSD for several months. This should never be allowed to happen.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thank you for adding to the conversation with a great comment. Veterans were promised certain benefits and delay on those benefits is unacceptable. When we ask someone to risk their life for us, the least we can do is repay them in the manner in which we promised.

      Thank you for you caring soul; I call you friend proudly.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Amazing. Our soldiers were on my mind when I awoke this morning. No one sacrifices more for the rest of us than our solidiers and their families. We owe them a debt of gratitude but more, we owe them the dignity of being cared for, sheltered, and loved. Great work Mr. Bill. This one will be shared, tweeted,Pinned, and more. Thank you so much for putting another real issue in our faces.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mindy, I am sorry for your loss and you are absolutely correct....it should never happen. Thank you for sharing that personal story!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, there is no way I can ignore this issue; the ghost of relatives passed would haunt me if I did ignore it. I hate this issue being used as a political football every four years. What if the military went on strike for benefits owed?

      Thank you my dear!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I think soldiers deserve much more appreciation than they are getting now. Not only are some unappreciated, like you've pointed out, some are mistreated as well. Thanks for the share, BIll, I share too.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Bravo my friend. Unfortunately, I must admit having lost my confidence and trust in my Government. I no longer believe the average citizens interests are seriously taken into consideration. There are many solutions to this terrible plight of our brave enlisted people yet none are ever considered by those who truly hold the ability to change it. I will still participate in the election process as I realize so many others around the world lose their lives for an attempt to cast theirs.

      You are already aware of my respect for so many, such as your Dad, your Uncle as well as your soul-crushed tragic friends. And I must also shamefully admit I am one who has reaped the rewards that so many sacrificed for me to enjoy.

      It is a sad day when those who give the most receive so little.

      Another awesome hub Billy

      XO

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I think we would find out that many are mistreated, and to me it is shameful. They are there for us when needed; how about we stand up and be there for them? Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I have no faith or trust in our political system or our government and yes, I will vote, but change will come from me, and you, and others who refuse to turn our heads and let crap like this continue. I am encouraged by knowing people like you, people who care and are willing to speak out. I do not like this country right now, but I will again one day. Thank you my dear. Love always!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Great writing as usual Billy. Not able to add much after some wonderful commenters. Your words are priceless.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Bill - Our vets deserve to be taken care of in every way possible. The system is disgraceful. Not one vet should be over-looked in any way. To think that one of our vets must file for unemployeement after serving our country is abominable. It makes me sick!

      This hub should be read by everyone so I'll begin by tweeting, FB and more. You've done a magnificent job Bill. I'm proud of you for bringing this to our attention. A great and awesome read. UP and across with respect to you.

    • beadreamer247 profile image

      beadreamer247 4 years ago from Zephyrhills, FL

      I agree with you 100%, no soldier shall be left without proper care when they return. But I disagree on one point. While they think they are aware what they signed up for - when the reality is right before their eyes it is beyond anything. And we, who will never be out there in the fields fighting, will never be able to comprehend what it truly feels like and what it does to you - all the things you get to see out there on duty. The very young soldiers are the least aware, but have good intention.

      I would like to add a lyric from a song called "Field of Love". After hearing this song I got a hint of what it means to be a soldier, even though it is quite simple in words. The lyrics were laying around and it seemed nobody wanted to take on the challenge until he came along and sang it and I am glad he did.

      Field of Love (by Cliff Richard)

      When I was young I took an oath

      To fight for love and faith and hope

      But how was I to have known

      I would have to face myself, my cover blown

      Yeah I was shaken by what I saw

      Something in you breaks when you watch your comrades fall

      Even now I suppose the battle's not yet over

      And I'm just another soldier

      On the field of love

      Marching blind through the dark

      Somehow it fell on me to lead the charge

      I was wounded, I bear the scar

      And wear it like a badge of courage on my heart

      So sound the bugle and beat the drums

      The sky has turned blood-red at the setting of the sun

      Even now, heaven knows, the battle's not yet over

      And I'm just another soldier

      On the field of love

      Should I go down on this hallowed ground

      Surely more of us are willing to try for love

      Willing to die

      So sound the bugle and beat the drums

      The night is coming on at the sinking of the sun

      Even now I suppose the battle's never over

      As long as there's a soldier

      On the field of love

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

      I am veteran 6 plus year flyer with the USAF serving my time during the latter portion of the Vietnam Era. I certainly had my moments in the skies over SEA but nothing like what some young men endured daily in the jungles and elsewhere. I witnessed the turmoil back home as our own citizens and people in my age group basically turned against their own country and many remained such taking up the mantra of communism like Obama's friend, Bill Ayers, who still teaches today in a major university. I watched a president hypocritcally cry on television over the fact that he was shedding the blood of young Americans only to turn around and find ways to escalate the war and keep it out of reach of a viable conclusion. I saw the American soldier become the brunt of all that anger. My dad served in WWII earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. When my time came I felt a duty to serve. My dad returned home a hero in the eyes of his countrymen....I returned as a "baby-killer" virtually unable to wear the uniform of my country in public. I came home a changed man as well. To this day, I seldom join an organization...not even the VFW or American Legion. I think that is common in the Vietnam Era veteran. I am not really angry so to speak but deeply disappointed that our country did not stand behind those soldiers who served it with honor whether the cause was right or wrong in their eyes. I think most Vietnam service veterans will tell you that there is a certain "emptiness" in that regard in their lives because of the actions of those in our own country. Great hub, Bill. Thanks for the appreciation. ~WB

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Joseph, and your words in your latest hub are priceless as well. Peace to you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you are a kind soul! Thank you so much for caring about the soldiers who serve....thank you for caring about humanity in general.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      This is a very important hub, Bill. Veterans of war are never the same after they come home from what they have witnessed. For what they sacrifice, our country, and our society returns so little to them. Veterans of this war are coming home with more severe wounds than any previous war, because medical technology is able to save more of them. There are physical and emotional wounds that they will forever need help with and yet, we give them so little support. It is an injustice that we put upon the soldiers who risked so much. No one really speaks up for their needs. The shame is, it is our young, our strong, some of the best and the brightest, and we let them go to waste. It brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart that our great country values people so little. I'll stop now, so I don't go onto other rants. Good hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bea, I was actually playing the devil's advocate for all those who think that way....no soldier can possibly know what they are signing up for until they have experienced battle for the first time. Those kinds of horrors are the stuff of nightmares and not a reality anyone is ready for. Thank you for the compassion in your words and in your heart.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, you have earned my respect and gratitude. We do not have to agree on all issues for me to respect you. I have had a problem with our government ever since Vietnam; if we are going to commit to a war, then I want this government to totally commit to a war. If we put the entire strength of our military complex behind a war effort then there is no way we lose a war, and I don't believe we did that in Vietnam. As a government we played political games while kids were being killed. Soldiers had one arm tied behind their back by the political fat cats who were drinking martinis over a D.C. lunch. That I cannot agree with.

      Anyway, thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Toknowinfo.....Rhonda....yes, it breaks my heart as well. I simply do not understand the kind of hypocrisy that occurs at the government level, and it is shameless at the very least. Thank you for caring so deeply; you give me hope for the future and strength to carry on these fights of mine.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Like Wayne, I am a veteran of the USAF in the latter years of Vietnam. I also did not serve on the ground in the Jungles, but I did see and experience the horrible damage done to friends and comrades . I too am one that has been forgotten by the government and denied any and all benefits and with an illness that has changed my life permanently.

      When I requested my military records, I got everything back except my medical records which have seemingly and mysteriously vanished. So the records of the exposure to radiation and the exposure to Jet fuel is missing and I can not prove those events.

      That my friends is how this government works.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, your story is part of the inspiration for this hub! I can no longer silently abide by my government's actions. Those who can sit by silently and say nothing are giving approval to the types of things that you have suffered from. I can't do that my friend! Thank you for serving this country and I'm sorry your country has let you down.

    • Johnkadu123 profile image

      Johnkadu123 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I am always struck by how much Americans pay tribute to their soldiers. I suppose this is because they are liberators and protectors. In some countries the opposite is true because their soldiers are mercenaries and oppressors who work with regimes to overturn the will of the people. Great hub as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thank you! We do appreciate the job our soldiers do for us....well, many of us appreciate it! :)

    • bonnebartron profile image

      bonnebartron 4 years ago from never one place for too long

      So true. Our military deserves to have the promises made to them, honored... Thank you for being an advocate of our heros!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      Bravo for another great Hub! My three grandfathers were veterans of WWII and they all earned the purple heart medal. I barely knew them because of their age and the limited amount of time I saw them. You are absolutely right: they deserve to be respected more after what they have done for this country. It's truly sad to see how our veterans are looked down upon after what they did to preserve our nation's freedom and our way of life. My first grandfather died in 1985, then my grandmother got remarried in the 90's. My dad's father died in 1996; however, the only funeral I went to was my grandmother's second husband's in 2004. There were veterans there to commend his passing. Wanna know the sad thing? His own children were more concerned about who was to get his social security. Can you believe that? After what our soldiers have done?

      Thank you for a great hub, Bill. Voted up and shared!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bonnebartron! One small voice in the wilderness, but that's how all change begins! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, it does not surprise me at all. We just saw the same thing happen with a next-door neighbor. His relatives were fighting over this things, and he wasn't even dead yet, just sent to an assisted living facility. I have no words for that kind of insensitive greed.

      Thank you my friend!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Said perfectly, and from the heart, Billy. Well done. Awesome and up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb! Have a great Sunday and I always appreciate the visit!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      billybuc, this is a subject near and dear. My husband is a Disabled Veteran. We fought for 17 years to get his disability. When he finally did get it, he did not get it from the time of first filing. The first filing was thrown away, illegally, by the officious and obnoxious official that received it. Then it took me another seven years to convince him to file it again. I have written about our fight and how we lived from hand to mouth and sometimes missing the mouth.

      Homeless more than once, when I could not find a job that paid enough to support us. He definitely could not work. The Government officials who have hindered these veterans from getting disability will suffer in the afterlife, I am sure. The policy at one time was to put them off as long as they could, in the hope that they would die from their disease, or kill themselves, so they would not need to be paid. Bitter? Definitely. How would anyone feel whose loved ones were treated in this fashion; after giving so much of themselves.

      My husband is the recipient of over 5 Purple Hearts and 3 Silver Stars. I am extremely proud of him and his courage. I am extremely bitter, that we have been without a vehicle for over a year, because we cannot afford one. We do not own our own home, because by the time he finally got his disability, the housing bubble was on us and we could not afford one. 'But they are taking care of their Veterans.' I really need a sarcasm font.

    • bonnebartron profile image

      bonnebartron 4 years ago from never one place for too long

      a small light in the darkness is all we can hope to be... But imagine a world full of candle light, and it all starts with one.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      My grandfather fought in WWll, he lost one brother and another was captured but escaped from an Italian prison camp. Every veteran as you say Bill, needs to be honoured, shown appreciation and given care. Up, interesting and awesome.

    • KCap profile image

      Kelly Capozzi 4 years ago

      Great hub. Voted up! Thank you for writing about such an important issue that too often is ignored.

    • samnashy profile image

      Sam Graham 4 years ago from Australia

      excellent hub. I think many families have some affiliation with the forces via family members/friends. It's a job/task I certainly wouldn't want to be part of so I'm grateful there are people who are willing to do do whatever the motivation for signing up is. These people should be cared for post service at an affordable cost. In Australia all veterans and close family members receive free health care, including taxi's to appointments etc.,

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very well said...All of us who enjoy the freedoms of this country should be held accountable for making sure our veterans get all the help they need to return to this society-a society that wouldn't even exist if it were not for their sacrifices. Great hub and as always, eloquently written.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Well said Billy, its just the same over here. There was a tv program about this recently and I was appalled at the amount of service men and women on the streets, it just makes me so mad, especially as so many people from other countries are coming over and walking straight into a house given them by the government! drives me insane, great hub, and votes all the way, nell

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Thank you for writing this Billy. I don't have the words in my vocabulary to express my disgust with our government over their treatment of our veterans. Every male member of my family has served in the Military for generations. Both of my sons were Army Rangers, one of them staying with the Rangers for 24 years before retiring.

      In Vietnam, we sprayed our own troops with a chemical called Agent Orange. This chemical was strong enough to kill all the leaves on every tree it landed on. Yet nobody thought it just might be harmful to our troops? I believe it was finally determined that exposure to this chemical would qualify a vet for treatment at a VA facility, but only after a long hard battle with the government. This is utter madness in my opinion.

      If the poor treatment of vets is not corrected, we will have very few willing to serve. What will they do then? Most likely just start another draft system and hundreds of young men and women will be forced to head for Canada to avoid being drafted.

      The great freedoms we enjoy but often take for granted is because of these brave men and women who have served this country so well. To turn our backs on them when they need help is shameful. We should be screaming at the government to fix this problem, not just accepting it silently.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, I have no words for the way you and your husband have been treated. I am sitting here seething and it didn't even happen to me. All I know to do is keep writing and raising awareness. We live in a country now where everyone thinks bad things can't happen to them, so they hide their heads.....only when it does happen to them do they come to realize just how bad things are.

      My best to you and yours.....and I am truly sorry!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bonnebartron, you are right of course; I am one of the candle holders from the 60's, so I've been fighting this fight for a long time. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shelley, and your story beautifully underlines this hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      KCap, thank you, and thank you for the follow; I hope you enjoy Hubpages as much as I have.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Samnasy, then Australia is light years ahead of the United States. It is criminal the way veterans have been ignored and/or treated in this country.

      Thank you for your comment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mpropp, thank you so much for your kind words, and of course, I agree with your comment about veterans. I appreciate you stopping by again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, that's interesting.....here we give non-interest business loans to foreigners on a quote basis, with the heaviest quote being for those from Korea and Vietnam. I'm not sure the logic behind this, but meantime we have 300,000 veterans per day homeless. I need someone to explain the logic behind this because I sure don't understand.

      Thank you my friend!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Come to think of it, in all the crap we have seen on TV from both Presidential candidates did either of them mention anything about what they were going to do for our vets? I sure haven't seen anything.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Poolman, I guess that's what bothers me most.....nobody is screaming because it isn't happening to them. That's the attitude in this country that turns up my anger dial to high! I agree with you, eventually nobody is going to serve and then the next draft will come and the madness begins again.

      Yes, I am disgusted by this government, and I'm going to keep speaking up because disgust like ours needs to be voiced.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, in Obama's convention speech he mentioned that vets deserved better, but you know what? I heard that four years ago too. I have no faith in either candidate at this point.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      If the plans to reduce the size of the Military are implemented, watch the numbers of homeless vets grow rapidly. Where the heck are they going to work when there are no jobs to be had?

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      Billy, I like the statement "we are only as strong as our compassion for that line of defense." These men and woman deserve so much and seem to get so little. I have a grandson, nephew and niece all in the Navy. My husband served in Vietnam and I feel as strongly as you that our military deserve the best, the best health care and mental health care.

      As a side note, my mother has probably crocheted 200 caps for the military in Afghanistan as it is so cold for their heads under their helmets, starting in Sept. Beside the soldiers being in harms way all the time, it is miserably cold there in the mountains much of the time.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Yet we now give disability benefits to high school grads with Attention Deficit Disorder? And by the way, they will receive these benefits for the rest of their lives.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I am in complete agreement, and the answer to your question is they are not going to work.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, quite frankly I am amazed more people are not outraged, and hooray for your mother. What a beautiful gesture! This problem is only going to get worse, and that saddens me greatly.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I hadn't heard that, and now I'm outraged once again.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

      You have to understand that our deep division in this country politically came with Vietnam and the line that separated those who had to serve from those who did not or opted out. Soldiers came home from that war basically the targets of the public's disallusion with the war. The crowd who marched against it went on to other "causes" or moved to the socialist thought process promoting or threatening terrorism within their own country. So it is today...the baby boomer run the country and populated it throughout still divided. The protesting sect has embraced the progressive, socialist agenda which says that America is a failed enterprise and needs to be replaced with a land ruled by a big all seeing government. We have a president who dares to insinuate that veterans injured or maimed on duty should participate in the cost their own medical care. Sure there were some things wrong in Vietnam but the reasons we went there fit into the values we possessed at the time....a fight must might have just bought us the right amount of time to survive the cold war ahead of the Soviets. So, it that enough reason to cast your country aside and run over in support of a social philosophy Americans lived in fear of for decades and for good reason? It is not for me. Bill Ayers wanted to blow up government buildings all over America not caring who he killed in the process. Now he is "one of the guys" in the neighborhood Obama comes from in Chicago. He teaches at a major university yet he is cut out of the same cloth as the terrorist who took down the Twin Towers. Is this what the blood of the Vietnam veteran was shed for? This is where we have come...to throw our veterans aside like useless machines and embrace a direction that can only end in a communist state. The approval of just that is a slap in the face to every man an d woman who has served this nation and continues to serve it to date. People have shed their blood for our way of life since the first day and now we have people in high places willing to throw it all away for some empty Utopia that promises to rid the world of suffering and poverty...why not throw in cure world hunger too? If you want to show some appreciation and respect for the veterans....stand up for your country and fight like hell to save it from where is most certainly headed today. ~WB

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Wayne! I have absolutely no problem with anything that you have written; number one because you are passionate about it and number two because I believe you are right.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill,

      As many, I am a Vietnam War era veteran. We didn't have it easy when we came back. Many now try to correct this for those currently returning from armed services. It's nice that they do this, but when are we ever going to get appreciated? I'm not talking public recognition, but, let's say in the job market. It's like if we're not just returning from the war, we don't matter. We didn't then, and we're still not. No wonder so many from those years are still bitter with society. Great read, my friend! Keep 'em coming!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The unthinkable idea of a returning Vet who is homeless sickens me. They above all should be taken care of. What is wrong with this country that we can't see this? Keep on writing, maybe someone will see.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I will, indeed, keep writing, and thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I have no words. I have far too many friends who, like you, feel forgotten and unappreciated. I have no answers; only a heartfelt thank you!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It is a shameful thing that soldiers who return from war, damaged in body or mind, are not cared for by the nation they served. Thank you for reminding us of the comfort and gratitude we owe to those who have served our country.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I was just one active volunteer. You know my feelings toward our heroes. Except for Toy For Tots and visits to the hospitals my charity work did not include veterans.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sherry, for reading and for caring about the soldiers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, anyone who reaches out to others is a friend of mine. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

      WONDERFUL HUB. As a combat veteran myself, it is difficult to readjust to civilan life. For me it was more that I found civilians were lazy and have no common sense, but, this comes from military training. I don't like hearing that 'well you joined so you knew what you were getting into'. Yes, I did know what I was 'getting into' and as a soldier it is about a job that you volunteered to do. I go to the VA for my doctors visits and it's so frustrating and aggravating to not be able to see a real doctor. Instead you see interns or nurse practitioners. Now, I'm not knocking these people at all, however, I'm tired of being a guinea pig. In the current 'regime' our illustrious president does not want the military to vote, states it all voluntary so they don't deserve benefits and soldiers who are coming home have to wait 2 years to receive any benefits. Not to mention he has never been a soldier himself. The proudest moment of my life was being able to have the right to wear the uniform of a United States Soldier. I'd do it all over again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra, let me start by saying thank you for serving your country. I will never under-appreciate you and you can bet on that. In all honesty, at this point I don't care who's fault this is; I just want it fixed. Two years to receive benefits.....that's about one year and eleven months too long. I don't know what good i can do but I'm not going to drop this topic, or the topic of unemployment. This country needs to get its collective act together.

      Thank you again!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      A rehabilitation program or re-introduction program to society is much needed to transition soldiers back to civilian life. We should have a program that supports their being able to use their skills on jobs. It is sad that our country does not appreciate and value these soldiers who have sacrificed for the country. Yes, it is such a farce to use them to gain votes. They deserve our respect and should not be treated as a show-n-tell object.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      As a veteran myself (Vietnam era) I mustered out of the Navy right into a miserable economy in 1970. There is nothing more demoralizing than not being able to land the job you dreamed about while overseas on deployment. I hate to be cynical, but politicians do not see veterans as a distinct voter group, and therefore don't wast a lot of energy worrying about veterans' issues. We, as I do, should look to some excellent private organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project to take up the slack that government leaves.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I feel like I am screaming into an empty room....the passionate writers are listening because they are people of compassion....but when will the government listen? I am discouraged.....but I am also stubborn. :)

      Thank you Dianna; have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rfmoran, excellent comment, but all I want to do with my answer is say thank you for serving our country in Vietnam!

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

      Billybuc, I don't want to drop this subject either. We need too act as one unit to stop this attrocious treatment to our veterans. If you want to band together, count me in.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra, I would be honored to work with you. If you have any specific ideas on collaborative work, let me know.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      What a wonderful hub! Living in Arizona has given me an even stronger affiliation with Veterans as has being the daughter, granddaughter and wife. I think this is a hub that needs to be shared everywhere! Thank you for saying what needs to be said!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Btrbell, thank you....I happen to agree with you, this should be shared everywhere! Veterans need others to stand up for them the way they have always stood up for us.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill...superb, from start to finish. I have such deep feelings on the topic of our Vets. Your words beneath the capsule Let Me very clear on this.....IMO, cannot be repeated enough nor shouted loudly enough . Wake up government......your shame is showing!.....Thnak you, bill....UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, the shame is showing very clearly, and it sickens me. I'm glad you got a chance to read this; you are appreciated greatly by this man. Thank you!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      If you would like to learn how the mental health care is for Veterans, I can tell you, but you had better take some tranquilizers first. My husband's therapist is a student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. They use the VA hospital right next door for their students to learn in. They have all the latest information about how to help PTSD. Few of them have any military background, and for some unknown reason, they never stay for more than six months. It takes longer than that for a rapport to build between a patient and a therapist. That is when the patient finally starts to talk honestly with the therapist. Also, due to the incredible youth of these young people, they do not have anything in common with any Vet over 25. My husband and many other Vets from the Vietnam era and older, feel like their grandchildren are telling them what to do to get their minds straightened out. This does not go over well, needless to say.

      If you would like, I can also enlighten you about the medical care.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, anytime you have things to share, I'll listen. I'm just getting warmed up on this issue. I have to pace the articles because I have found few people want to hear about it too often. Most people would be very happy not to hear about things like this; makes them too uncomfortable. I'll tell you what my friend; they have no idea what uncomfortable feels like.....but it's coming down the road and it's not a pretty sight.

      Thank you; tell your husband I said thank you for serving his country!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi billybuc, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, My dad was a veteran and he suffered much with PTSD and back in the day, we did not hear of such. I know all too well what our veterans have suffered, as I heard him every night reliving those horrors of war, suffering. And now, today, the veterans are on the streets of America, after having served our country, what a shame!!! I know, unfortunately, some of my friends' sons coming home with brain trauma from the battles of late. I have read about some who are really trying to help these veterans in new and unique ways, so that is a positive note to hear. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I have heard of new groups that are doing very good things; unfortunately, it shouldn't even be necessary. I simply cannot imagine how our nation allowed this to happen, and the more I think about it the angrier I get.

      I am sorry about your father; thank you for sharing that personal story with all of us.

      Blessings and peace to you,

      bill

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 4 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      Excellent Hub, Bill! What a wonderful tribute to our troops! My son is in the Army National guard in basic training at Fort Benning, GA. right now and the one thing that I always think about is this: I have a 7 year old daughter. When she goes to sleep at night, she sleeps in her bed, in our city, in our state, in a country that is free. And while she sleeps, there are very brave men and women of our armed forces around the world, standing watch and they will NEVER allow anyone to take my daughter's freedom away! God Bless them!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      William, God bless them indeed! Tell your son I said thank you for serving our country! And thank you Sir!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      You have said so well what I have been thinking for at least a decade. Bad enough that we have a single homeless person in this so called richest nation on Earth, but to allow our veterans to go without the medical care they need, the psychological care they need, and to top it all off, leave them homeless after all they have done for this country, is in my not so humble opinion America's Shame.

      Ours is supposed to be a government of the people and by the people. We are the government. As you have already asked, why are we allowing this shameful situation to continue?

      Voted up and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Au fait, thank you! I'm not sure what more to do other than keep the awareness up, and let politicians know that we are unhappy about it. That's at least some sort of positive action. Thank you and I agree with everything you stated....it is America's shame for sure.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hey billybuc, I forgot to mention in my comment earlier, that I had written a poem called, "A Soldier's Child" when I first joined HP, so it got pushed down, but it is all about what I described to you earlier, but really gives the full understanding from the perspective of a child, as I was a small child, and I did not understand what happened to my dad. I am sure the children of these wars of late, are really experiencing somewhat of the same. The only "medication" back then for my dad was to drink alcohol. When they return home nowadays, I believe they are being treated better as far as the understanding of the mental trauma, but still way too many of those who go into battle, wind up homeless, as they are not informed as to their benefits, unless a lot of their benefits have diminished now. I would not know on that issue of this date. God bless you dear one. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith; I will check out your poem tomorrow as my mind is about on overload at this hour. I agree, when soldiers came home from the earlier wars, alcohol was the solution. In their way of thinking, if they were upright and breathing they didn't need any help. Now I do believe we understand more and there is more help available, but it is not nearly enough.

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

      I so agree with Becky Katz.....the healthcare is atrocious in the VA system. You get 'baby doctors' and veterans are treated like guinea pigs and it's wrong! Under our current 'regiem' Obama stated that since it's an all voluntary military soldiers do not deserve any type of benefit to include voting in the upcoming election. Is that a way to treat our military who are risking their lives on a daily basis to fight an 'idea', a fight we will never win. Sorry if I rambled.....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra, it's perfectly alright; I like rambling! :) Especially rambling that speaks the truth. Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, coming from a USAF background, I agree with you completely. My father is a retired fighter pilot. He flew in Nam and put in over 20 years in the Air Force. Thankfully, he has not suffered emotional or physical distress, but it is because of his dedication to our country I have a soft spot for our military. It pisses me off to no end, not to mentions hurts my heart to see how our heroes, who put their lives on the line, are treated and disregarded in this country.

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

      Amen Bravewarrior. My gr. grandfather was in the civil war, my father was in the Korean War, my brother in the Vietnam War, I in Desert Storm. It hurts my heart too the way veterans are being treated.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sarra, I love the history in your family. Actually, my maternal grandmother's grandfather (perhaps great grandfather?) was Stonewall Jackson himself! Pretty cool, huh?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, my dad put in his time and lived through hell for this country. Veterans will always hold a special place in my heart.

      Thank you dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarra, you said it all. There is no excuse for it, and our leaders should experience shame for their treatment of our military. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, there was a true American character! Stonewall was a fascinating man!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Not to mention idiosyncratic!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      yes indeed, Sha!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Okay, now I see that you updated this one today. I feel better. My comment written earlier still stands. You are amazing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As are you, Linda! :)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I just came from Linda's and am especially glad that I happened upon your tribute in the process.

      Oh the outrage we felt at the great numbers of homeless who had served our country at the agency I worked for.

      Nurses, doctors and all members of the health care team tried...continue to provide and ensure quality health care. In a system that is so broken, there are many quiet angels doing their best, giving from hearts and pockets to these heroic citizens.

      Like you, this is beautiful, Bill. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, you personify all that is good about HubPages! I commend you, and respect you, for the work you have done for the less fortunate. If I could clone you about one million times I would feel better about this nation. :)

      Thank you for your kindness and your compassion.

      Blessings to you my friend, and hugs are returning to you.

      bill

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Those flashes across the screen being remembered all over the globe on remembrance Sunday. What is amazing is the realization that the total number of battles is rising instead of declining which is which depends upon the circumstances and yet the conflicts go on so something has an ongoing theme - however dis-tasteful though it is good to remember those that gave for ours to go on. For that we are thankful :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, well stated my friend. I am not a friend of war, but I am a friend of the military. As much as I'd love to sit holding hands and singing "Give Peace A Chance," I realize the necessity of the fighting men and women. So yes, I give thanks.

      And thank you!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      There would be no America, or no free America, if our vets had not fought for us. Sadly, the suicide rate among veterans and active duty troops is shocking. Our elected officials, from the top down, can do much better for them. Bill, our Senator Patty Murray is a champion advocate for them. I don't agree with most of her politics, but she's tenacious on their behalf and I am so grateful. Thanks for writing this Bill. My son is a veteran and has suffered tremendously with PTSD.

      THANK YOU VETS AND ACTIVE TROOPS.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Lori. and God bless our soldiers!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      The thing that impressed me about your Hub is: it was written over two years ago, and I can see NO improvement in the way our Vets are treated, at least from my viewpoint. I read all the time about these Vets who are homeless and are treated as second rate citizens instead of the heroes they are.

      Voted UP, and will share in time for Veteran's Day.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Amen my brother. whonu

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 2 years ago from San Francisco

      We didn't do so good in SF. Attendance at the veteran's parade was embarrassingly poor. Maybe it was too close to the Giants' victory parade

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Mary, and no, there has been no improvement. This is a national shame and one that must be addressed sooner rather than later.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you whonu...I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, welcome my friend. Yes, I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head...it's all about priorities.

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Its a shame for our veterans to not get the care that they should. I agree that they should always get what they need. For them to come home and suffer because of the poor of care is terrible. There is no excuse. If enough people keep complaining about this then maybe something will be done. I hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      handymanbill, that's my hope at least. This is a national shame and I'll continue to write about it. Thank you my friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Well put Bill. My father was a veteran and my son is a veteran. They deserve nothing but the best that this country can give them. Shame on us for allowing this to happen. You are right, we need to exercise our power to change this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I do think there is a movement to change the problems regarding veterans, but I think it is going to be a long, slow process.

    Click to Rate This Article