Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day

Hey, veterans. Look, we know the VA has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of claims and you're not getting the treatment you need for your PTSD, brain injury, side effects of chemical exposure, or whatever. And look, we know you have twice the chance of being one of the long-term homeless as none-veterans, and that 25% or so of the long-term homeless are veterans, and that more veterans are dying every day of suicide or high-risk behavior (motorcycles etc.) than die in Iraq and Afghanistan in combat.. And hey, Preznit Obama's Catfood Commission came back and said we need to cut the deficit by cutting the veteran's benefits that you earned by doing shit that the civilians didn't want to do (can't get their lily-white hands dirty with those nasty "guns" and "bombs" and shit, and living in the dirt for months at a time? Horrors!). But look, we got a day set aside just for you! Now, isn't that just so special?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. I'm no fan of superbad warriors, nor of people who join an organization whose main project is to kill people, but even so, the way they get screwed is just unbelievable.

    What puzzles me is that there must be hundreds & hundreds of thousands of vets, yet apparently no organized and, uh, militant, advocacy group demanding they be treated right. Working together these people should have enormous power. They should be more like those good folks who marched on Washington in the '30s (and who certain leaders wanted to attack. With weapons of war. Unbelievable.)

  2. I'm not much for veteran-fetishism myself. I know why I darkened the door of the Air Farce back in '84, it was because I was unemployed, broke, had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, figured I'd get to travel way beyond where I'd spent my entire life, and maybe I might even get the chance to defend my country, who knows? Pretty damned prosaic reasons for the most part, in other words. Hardly worth being worshipped for, even if the Air Farce *had* been interested in flightless waterfowl and enrolled me. I think the only people who fetishize veterans are the non-veterans who were too cowardly to join up themselves to fight the wars they advocated and supported. Which, alas, is a whole lot of people in today's America...

    Regarding why veterans don't rise up, it's simple. They understand that the United States is a democracy, and that the way they're being treated is the way most people want them to be treated. Oh yes, people give lip service to giving veterans the care they need to deal with aftermath of the shit that the majority sent them to do, but hey, nobody wants to actually spend the money to do it. In other words, the lip service to veterans is just that -- lip service. Bullshit. Farts in your general direction. And that's what veterans understand -- that rising up and marching on Washington wouldn't get them anything except gassed, bombed, shot, arrested, and deprived of what few benefits the majority deem to throw out like scraps to an old dog no longer useful for hunting anymore. Or as an old Marine who fought in Vietnam told me, "they taught us to kill, then they just threw us on the streets like offal." It's an old, old story... alas.

    - Badtux the Military Penguin

  3. I'm a vet because of 'Nam and the draft. I joined the USAF(U Sure Are Fucked) because I figured if I have to go in the military anyway, I might as well pick one that gives me the best chance of returning home again. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have gone around the big Gitchee Gummee to Canada and hey, I'd have health insurance!!

    What gets me is everybody says they love the troops and vets and are always saying thanks for you service. Well, that don't feed the bulldog. That thanks and $4-5 might get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I wish people would put their money where their mouth is and get veterans and those currently serving what they need. But you're right, nobody really gives a fuck, they are just cannon fodder to be used and thrown away. They don't even bother anymore to put a cheap-ass magnets made in China on their car saying "Support The Troops". Maybe they pray for the troops(a way to pretend you are helping without actually doing Jackshit!!)

    It would be interesting to see vets rise up and scare the shit out of everybody, but when you have organizations like the American Legion and VFW sucking up(the leaders of those two groups had built-in kneepads in their pants) to 5 deferments Cheney(I had better things to do) and aWol who couldn't even be bothered to attend all the weekend drills and drink beer while avoiding 'Nam after his daddy got him in the Air Guard. Is it any wonder they are disillusioned??? Who are the vets going to turn to fight for them???

  4. Kulkuri:

    Excellent comment, thanks for fleshing out the reality.

    It wouldn't cost much to divert a little of that larger-than-the-rest-of-the-world-combined defense budget to take care of vets. But when you have 2 legislative houses full of reps who don't even have a GI in their extended families (I think there might be one) well, you might as well not exist.


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