Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ranting for my dad

*warning: this blog posting is another rant against the chicken-hawk president's little war in Iraq and has language chicken-hawks may deem offensive.

As I prepare to take my dad to the VA Hospital tomorrow, I am reminded of how much America gives lip service to its veterans, but treats them with little of the respect they should be accorded.

Sure, on 2 or 3 days per year we say a few nice things about their sacrifice and the commander-in-chief uses them as photo ops any time he can. But, sadly, most people do not know how many earned and promised entitlements have been taken from them in recent years. The Defense Department, headed by bean counters and political loyalists, seems to have little understanding of what a typical veteran lives like. Continuously, things they earned are taken from them, such as free medical/ dental care for Retirees for life. My father was sent to risk his life for little pay on the promise that he would be taken care of for life. Throughout my life I watched as the government and VA have cut the budget for veteran care, with no outcry from the general public.

But, the federal government would rather use funds for public relations and pork barrels than pay for hearing aids for a man that lost much of his hearing during WWII because his medic office was between 2 of the big guns on a destroyer tender. They would rather tell him that he was "not in combat" in the Pacific Theatre, because he did not fire the guns himself or invade the islands. Because he saved lives on a ship, he is not entitled to such benefits.

Of course, this is not of particular importance to members of this administration due to their lack of military service (same with Clinton's administration). Along with Congress, they would rather send poor kids to serve and die in foreign countries to protect their precious freedom instead of sacrifice for themselves. Even more sickening to my conscience is the number of CHICKEN-HAWKS trumpeting the virtues of the military-industrial complex, the need for military action in the Middle East and the constant justification for this war and the death of young Americans in their place, all while sitting in the comfort of a television or radio studio (Limbaugh and the ilk), a seminary classroom (the staff of SBC seminaries), or in front of a computer (many bloggers) having never had the guts to put their "beliefs" to the test by signing up for the military or encouraging their children to enlist. I have no respect for the militaristic convictions of such people.

Interestingly, much of my pacifistic belief system comes from living close to the military and a proud veteran. My father retired, lest he deal with a 3rd war (each less justified than the previous war). I heard from a hero about the disaster of Vietnam. I was banned from joining the military after high school by my father (a career enlisted man) and encouraged to only join the Air Force or Navy as a Chaplain or lawyer (I tried as a Chaplain but there was a freeze).

As I have said before, and I will trumpet until this President's war and power is finished, if you support this war, then volunteer at your local recruitment office (they need you). Call upon your congressman to send his or her kid to the recruitment office (if they voted for this war). Click here to read how one Pro-War Chicken-Hawk politician reacted when the press (doing its job) by asking if he would encourage his child to join the army.

Lastly, hear me once more... "I will never vote for a president to be in charge of sending kids to die in foreign countries, if they did not have the guts to serve in the military themselves." It should be something you decide when you are a kid. I am either in the running for president (by joining), or I opt out. Better to have a Dole, Bush I, Gore, Kerry, McCain, Carter, Powell or Wesley Clark asking for kids and their families to sacrifice than a Clinton, Bush II, Cheney, Rice, Quayle or (moving past the politicians to the general public) Limbaugh Savage, .

At least I know the vets would be respected and not just when they are photo ops and potential voters.

3 comments:

Kyle said...

George W. Bush did serve in the military (Texas Air National Guard). Get your facts straight before you rant.

You're saying that you would rather have a liberal Left-wing nut like Kerry serving as president? I would have been very afraid to see who Kerry would be nominating to replace the Supreme Court judges had he become president.

Bush may not be the perfect president, but he was a whole lot better than the alternatives (Kerry or Gore).

kidpositive said...

there's a big difference between enrolling and serving. bush enrolled in the military; kerry actually served.

it never ceases to amaze me how american christians have refrained from speaking out against the blunderous atrocity that is the "war" in iraq. we claim "turn the other cheek" and yet show no hesitancy for ruining millions of lives (not just the soldiers and civilians who have died, but also their families have been affected)invading a country under extremely weak pretenses. of course, when you're "saved by faith alone...not by works", what the hell does it matter what you do in this life? all that matters is that you "believe" the right thing.

Rick said...

Kyle,

Thank you for wanting me to get "your" "facts" correct before I rant. While Bush did procure an assignment in the National Guard, it is my belief (from reports, etc.) that this assignment was based upon his father's status and power. This is fine, but it shows something about his character and what he valued during Vietnam and afterwards.

Unlike, McCain (who could have used his father's position for his own advantage) or even Kerry, who chose to join the military, Bush chose to take the path of least resistance during a time when many others were willing to die for their country. He chose to have less than stellar attendance (at the best- there is no dispute to this) and chose to work on a campaign while he should have been serving in Texas (while he could be transfered, it shows his priorities). This is not a person who has taken his duty to his country in a military capacity as sacrificial.

Therefore, I stand by my statement regarding Bush's "service." I also stand by the facts of the situation. If you choose to look at Bush's "service" through Rose colored eyes, based upon political partisanship, that is your perogative. However, I do not base my opinions of a person's character or actions on their politial affiliation or how I may agree with that person or not.

I am not blinded by such partisanship. I may be blinded by other things, such as a person's capabiltiy to lead the military that lacks a rudimentary understanding of the cost of war to human lives, etc.

As for your childish characterization of a preisdential candidate as a Left-wing nut, I see no reason to debate such a crass statement.

I am glad you shared your opinion regarding Kerry vs. Bush and who would be the better alternative or who would make you happy regarding Supreme Court nominees. As you may see from the actual posting, I said that I would rather have someone like Kerry or Gore lead a family to make a decision for their child to serve in the military, since they chose to serve in a foreign war. If you see my post as mentioning the things you are addressing, please let me know.

As for your characterization that Bush is the better alternative to Kerry or Gore, that is your right. As an independently minded sould, I may disagree with you based upon his track record. I may also say that I see no need to see him as better than that alternative, when Republicans clearly had the choice between Bush and a War Hero with a 100% prolife record in the Senate. He is not better than that alternative, whom I would be much happier to follow into war (although he would not have taken us into the fiasco of Iraq).

I would love to hear your opinion on the actual matter at hand.