Veterans Day: An Opportunity for Honest Reflection

Veterans Day offers an opportunity for honest reflection of how we act the other 364 days.
Veterans Day offers an opportunity for honest reflection of how we act the other 364 days.
Student of the Gun
Student of the Gun

Biloxi, Mississippi (Ammoland) 

As I sit to put digital pen to cyber paper, it is Veterans Day, November 11, 2014. Those of us long enough in the tooth remember old calendars from Elementary School that had Nov. 11 marked as Armistice Day. One thing is certain and that this is not Memorial Day.

Each year on Veterans Day I see social media posts with sentiments to “remember the fallen” or “pray for the families of those who gave their lives.” Yes, those are noble thoughts, but today is not about the dead per say, it is about the living. I would like to take a moment to consider the living veterans and pose some sobering questions about how we as a nation treat them the other 364 days a year.

VA Scandal, a Sick Joke

To actual veterans, the VA Scandal of 2014 was a bit of a joke, not a funny joke but a ridiculous one. All of the sudden the public and Congress seemed to realize that the Veterans Administration was inept and corrupt simultaneously.  Ask a Vietnam or Cold War-era veteran about VA Medical treatment. The VA is a joke, a bad joke and it has been for decades.

In 1984 VA officials “diverted” $40 million the Congress had approved for treatment of Vietnam Veterans. A 1986 investigation of the VA found that 93 of it’s physicians had sanctions against their medical licenses, including suspensions and revocations.  As far back as 1947 and 1955 government commissions and investigations had found evidence of “waste, duplication, inadequate and poor care” on the part of the VA.

To the thinking man, this should not come at all as a surprise. Federal Government programs and agencies have been and continue to be inept, inefficient, and easily corruptible. Take your pick; the IRS, EPA, US Postal Service, etc.  Each and every time tax money in large sums in funneled to an autonomous agency the result is waste and corruption.

PTSD and Suicide

Almost on cue, we are treated to regular news stories of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide in modern veterans of war. The authors of the stories fret with concern and offer the typical solutions to pass new legislation and spend more tax money on VA counseling centers. Not one time have I ever heard or read a story that addressed the root cause of PTSD and depression related suicide.

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Looking at this guy and the others that I now see in uniform, I wonder why soldiers are so fat and in my mind, obese. I know they have the bullet proof vest now and that makes them look even bigger, but I have seen these guys in the flesh and they are huge. How do they pass a PT test? We were all skinny as a rail, when I was in, and I still am. These guys would not have stood a prayer in Viet Nam. They could have been hit with a rock at 100 meters. When I… Read more »