Many years ago, the United States government gave me one of two choices: either get drafted into the Army or join another branch of the military. I choose the later with my recruiter making certain promises that were never kept.
After completing my basic training I was shocked to find out that I was singled out for Officers Candidate School (OCS) and, after that, flight school where I learned to fly the then most sophisticated killing machine in the military. My previous acquaintance with aviation was flying to O’Hare airport for basic training.
While we can debate the rights and wrongs of Vietnam endlessly, the reality for me, and those like me, was that each day we came close to getting killed. Each morning many of us would wonder if it was our last. We were fighting against an enemy that this country now freely allows to run our government and our lives.
Making it through alive was an accomplishment. But the real horror was how many of us were greeted by the Left when we got home. Many of my so-called “friends” now reviled me. While I was lucky enough to make it back physically and mentally in one piece, many I knew didn’t. Many required the services of Veterans Hospitals that were like something out of science fiction horror movie. The one that was closest to me, in the Bronx, was a roach-ridden hovel where the patients were treated as nothing more than experiment subjects with horrifying results (it is since been torn down and replaced by a more modern facility that is still far behind most modern hospitals of today).
It angers me to no end when I get solicitations and see advertisements for organization like Wounded Warrior. Organizations like that, and Vietnam Veterans, do fine work. What angers me is that in 2021 United States these organizations are needed. We can spend billions of dollars housing illegal aliens who have done nothing for this country except disregard our laws while, at the same time, treat those who have sacrificed so much to defend this country like forgotten garbage.
We see people who have never had to face real life-threatening adversity insouciantly tell us how wonderful an ideology that is the very antithesis of what this country stands for is. We see people whose biggest adversity is someone saying something they didn’t like on social media.
What the hell did we fight and sacrifice for? When I go to Washington D.C. and look at the Vietnam Memorial I had friends whose names are now on that wall. What the hell thanks are they getting? Memorial and Veteran Days are no longer much more to people than great sales days at the shopping mall.
Trust me when I say that I am not looking for people to say to me “thank you for your service” and getting $5 off of something because of my service. While the thought is appreciated what I am looking for this country to finally start treating its veterans with the respect and honor they deserve. I want to see a country where organizations like Wounded Warriors is no longer needed.
I didn’t have a choice about the military. But today’s warriors are doing so voluntarily and for that they deserve even more respect and honor. Many of them are fighting for the people in hellholes like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Each and every day we should all take a few minutes and think about the sacrifices those presently, and in our history, have made to build and preserve the freedom that is being so easily taken for granted and being discarded today.
Tell it like it is