Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day "Your Service is no longer Recognized"

Forget the Veterans
As another November 11th comes and goes, we are reminded of Veterans Day, a day of remembrance for the Armed Forces Veterans who have served the nation in times of war and peace, past and present. Remembering the Veterans is a testament to our acknowledgement of their service.
With the thought of keeping our Veterans in mind, we remember Veterans Day. The events of recent years in Afghanistan and Iraq draw attention to the service of Veterans. Throughout history it would seem that during times of war the eyes of the nation are on those who currently serve in the military, while the memory of those who served in previous wars prior to the current war seem to be a distant and forgotten memory. While the intent of the people is not purposely aimed at forgetting past Veterans, it nether the less seems to be the reality. This tendency is even more evident with the elected politicians who seem to be, in their own self interest, more concerned about current Military Members or Veterans verses Veterans who served prior to the current wars. This is very apparent with the flurry of Politicians who flock to public appearances and debate over legislation concerning Veteran benefits. The concern for benefits would normally be a welcomed concern, but unfortunately the concern seems to be primarily focused towards current Military members and Veterans, who without a doubt are deserving of the attention and improved benefits. This attention to current service members does not change the reality of the previous lack of adequate funding for Veterans Administration operations and programs, which attest to the Political lack of concern except for when it serves their own interest.
A major issue with current changes both within the Military services and Veteran benefits is that the addition of new or improved benefits are being provided only to the current serving personnel and in some case spouses. An example is the new GI education bill, which does provides excellent benefits, but only to the Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans of the Cold War, Vietnam and numerous other small conflicts and covert operations are left out and basically being told “Post 911 Veterans are more deserving than the rest.” This is even more reinforced by the fact that Veterans GI bill for pre 911 Veterans also has 10 year expiration. Imagine the surprise of Veterans who served, under the impression that they had a GI bill and then years later were told it expired. Why couldn’t the Politicians who prepared and passed the new GI bill include all Veterans? Maybe their service is not as appreciated, or deserving, as the post 911 Veterans. What a cliché to be told by your country that "Your services are no longer recognized."
Forget the Veterans unfortunately seems to be more true than many of us would have ever imagined. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

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