I have been thinking about running for the U.S. Senate, but I have reached a point where someone younger should pick up the ball. There is not one senator who remembers what a young man or women gives up for their country when he or she enlists into the service as a soldier.
Yes, they play with the words, but down in their hearts it is to get votes. Every Veterans Day they come out in droves. What about every day of their lives making life a little better for the veteran?
War, death or injuries received in combat are measured by a bunch of bureaucrats who set up a medical evaluation board looking at the percentage as applied to injury. I do believe that a soldier who receives long-term injury, or if there is a chance that he or she will develop problems in the future, should never have to wait for their claim to be settled.
As a great country, we have been dragging our feet when it comes to the doughboys of this country and all the wars they have fought in. Where is our pride? These soldiers gave it all for this country and should receive the best care and help available. Our country gives millions to foreign countries in aid. What about our men and women who give their lives and bodies for their country? After all, these soldiers started out being the best, healthiest, young and strongest that we have. Letting them down is hard to accept in this day and time.
What's wrong with this picture? In the prime of their lives they are cut short with no thought to their welfare in 10 to 20 years. The Veterans Administration, because of cost, downgrades them to second-class citizens. Right now, they are talking about closing veterans hospitals because of those costs.
This brings to mind the $89 billion that is being sent to help out the government of Iraq to rebuild, and these young American soldiers will get the short end of the stick. What about rebuilding them?
The soldiers of today should become healthy citizens of tomorrow. What future will they have if we return them broken and abused physically and mentally?
The president said no soldier would be left behind. The soldier that I am thinking about is Army Spec. Shoshana Johnson, just for one, plus all the other young soldiers still to come in this campaign to end terrorism in the world. We could help with good jobs, education and free medical no matter how much they make in the future. Yes, a living wage. After, all the U.S. Senate just got a raise on top of their $156,000 yearly wage, plus COLA. How many bullets did they dodge? As senators, they also retire after a few years at full pay and COLA.
So, why are we balking at a small thing like 100 percent income for life if you have received injuries in war that could be with you for the rest of your days? A wound may heal, but it will never be the same. There will always be the pain, the thoughts of war and death that wake them in the night. These are things that we can never heal. These wounds are in your mind and the very depth of your soul.
All military personnel live with what they have seen during the time they served in combat. I sometimes lay awake after a bad day thinking about some soldier or sailor that I nursed as a corpsman in Korea while in the Navy and at different naval bases from California to Norfolk, Va. You will always hear stories about what one young soldier or sailor said on his deathbed, but one I will always remember is what he said with his dying breath, "Mother, mother I am thirsty." Then he died. His thoughts were on the saving grace of his mother, the mother who always came to his rescue.
Are we going to rescue the wounded soldiers and the families of those who made the great sacrifice of life for this nation, never to return home or to return as wounded and broken comrades?
America, it is time we make a change in how we treat the youth of this great nation. War is hell. Thousand of writers have voiced this throughout the history of wars. This nation has grown fast since 1776. We have come a long way in 227 years. Let's not let another year go by without a change.
The Constitution says it all: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Sates of America."
These words should be engraved on our hearts and minds forever.
Webster's Dictionary defines posterity as "the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation." Ladies and Gentleman, these words, the articles and the Bill of Rights is what made this a truly great nation.
Raymond P. VinZant Sr. , Soldotna
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