Saturday, June 04, 2005

New March on Washington

New March on Washington
By: Columbus Lee


This picture of a young Marine in a wheelchair saluting as the President's motorcade passed by has haunted me since it was forwarded to me by a fellow former Marine.

The Marine in the wheelchair does not realize that he is just starting one of the longest battles in his life. A battle many other veterans before him have had to fight and many have not won.

This battle is with the Veterans Administration over his Veterans Benefits. If you have any doubts please read "From Vietnam to Iraq: Ignoring the Veteran Healthcare Crisis."

Next week a group of Veterans will march on Washington as was done by their brothers of the Bonus Army of 1932.

This quote from PBS's American Experience gives some idea of the feeling about the First Bonus March.

Few images from the Great Depression are more indelible than the rout of the Bonus Marchers. At the time, the sight of the federal government turning on its own citizens -- veterans, no less -- raised doubts about the fate of the republic . It still has the power to shock decades later.

It is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy that this president walking in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover cuts the benefits to Veterans when the country is at "war." At the same time the administration wonders why the armed forces cannot meet their recruiting quotas.

I guess the armed forces don't consider Veterans as "Influencers." Or maybe the children of Veterans can see how the VA has treated their parents and grandparents and are not willing to take a chance with this administration.
Maybe they realize if this administration is so willing to cut benefits to Veterans in time of war - what would they be willing to do when we are at peace?

It is not only Veterans that are treated so poorly, widows and their children are treated no better.

To find the answer all you have to do is read the words of David Chu, the Pentagon's undersecretary for personnel and readiness.

"The amounts (benefits) have gotten to the point where they are hurtful. They are taking away from the nation's ability to defend itself."
How true that is if you cut taxes for the rich while asking the poor to fight and die in this war.

As a consequence a small group of Veterans came together to form Americans For Shared Sacrifice so we too could become "Influencers."

We believe that if we are at war we all should share in the sacrifice of war. Not just a select few that this administration feels it can push around because they do not have enough political capital or any capital at all.

To put it simply, we all either serve in the military or if you are over 39 you are only required to pay for the war. If the American people are not willing to serve in this war, have their children serve in it or pay for this war (as it is being fought) then we should leave.

We believe in bringing back the Draft to make it possible for all the mothers and fathers of America to realize what it is like to have a child serving his country in time of war.

The sooner the Draft is instituted the sooner this war will end. That is why this administration will do anything to keep the American people from waking up to the horrors of this war.

To help start the conversation on this war we have put together a flyer that explains our position on Shared Sacrifice and a Solution to this war. Please download this flyer and share it with others of like mind and those sunshine patriots who believe that all you have to do when your country is at war is stick a Yellow Ribbon on your car.

If you have any ideas that can assist us in helping "influence" a quicker end of this war please stop by and join our Forum.

Semper Fi

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