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Taking care of those who serve?

God Bless America

Source: Wikipedia

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” No vet should go without food, housing, healthcare,work, and respect….ever!

                                                           

That’s what today’s Facebook meme said and on the surface the sentiment can certainly be appreciated. I respect veterans immensely for the sacrifices they make, especially since they volunteer to serve in the military nowadays. To those who were drafted and later suffered after their service I believe your country does owe you its thanks and support where and when appropriate.

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The idea however that all vets are owed food, housing, health care, and a job is somewhat suspicious to my way of thinking.  To many the military is a place to serve their country. It is a place to get an education and training, provide opportunity and for some a refuge from a life of crime, poverty and street living.

If vets leave the military I think there should be good military programs in place to get them job placed and trained to function in the civilian world. Any health issues or dependency issues like PTSD, drug or  alcohol should be dealt with so that when they separate they are squared away or at least given a status that requires they seek treatment after being taken off of active duty.  If they are badly wounded and cannot take care of themselves then I agree they should receive those things mentioned in the Facebook meme until they can take care of themselves.

If however they develop dependency problems years later after their service like many do, or health issues unrelated to their military service I believe we the American people don’t owe them food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and a job for the remainder of their life. We would be doing them a disservice and enabling dependency to their addiction and their government.

No healthy American citizen should think they are “entitled” to receive anything from their government especially for making poor lifestyle choices in life. Help is available in other places like family, civic foundations, churches, etc.

It is the individual that provides charity to his fellow man; it is not the place of government to do so or force its citizens to provide it.

When you start grouping citizens into categories simply because of vocation and giving them perks that other citizens don’t have access to or the ability to have ie, members of military, member of Congress, federal govt workers, law enforcement, firefighters, teachers,  union members etc etc eventually there is no equality among the citizens any longer.

For example when they say “vets” do they mean people who are shot at or just people who put on the uniform? Do they mean the SOF guy who served behind enemy lines or the guy who served food at the chow hall on the front?

Why should a homeless drug dependent veteran receive all of the benefits mentioned above but someone who worked their whole life providing goods/or services to their community be left to fend for themselves? Everyone in a sense serves the country if they are gainfully employed or provide service. Some more than others, granted, but are we placing a higher value on people these days simply by the nature of their chosen profession?

The guy who served on active duty gets VA benefits but the part-time reservist does not? The federal civil “servant” should receive good healthcare but the electrician should not? The school teacher should be allowed to purchase computers at cheaper cost but the insurance salesman cannot? The firefighter can receive discounts on his cars and mortgage but the local Subway owner cannot? The Senator can get better healthcare than most and receive most of his salary for life but civilians cannot?

In my opinion the road to entitlement is getting more and more bumpy. Who gets to decide the value of these people and their professions ? Who decides who gets the perks and benefits and who gets left out?  Who decides who pays for it all? Our all knowing government masters, the faceless nameless bureaucrats in Washington?

 

That sounds decidedly un-American doesn’t it?

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2 Comments

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