America's Veterans Are Homeless

For those of you who wonder why I refuse to accept the over stated and completely false idea that this nation is anywhere near the greatness that it claims to have achieved, please consider the following.

During the destruction of most of what made America a caring nation, in the first few years of the Reagan regime, the budgets for America's mental hospitals and then Veteran's hospitals were first decimated and then the occupants were thrown out into the streets to begin America's process towards its huge homeless population. Of course, the right immediately branded these same people as "criminals" or "lazy" or "drug addicts" or just "crazy" in order to convince the lowest common denominator of America's voters that there was no reason to try to help them since everything bad happening to them was their own fault, anyway.

In other words, the Republicans destroyed any hope that these people had of finding their way out of whatever mental illness they fought, then they called them names and placed labels on them so that the rest of us could forget them and pretend that our consciences should be clear. Pretty low, at best, but about par for the right.

Now, of course, they would rather that you didn't know some of the newest aspects of their meanness. In fact, the LA Times, one of the premier examples of the lie of the "liberal media", buried, on page A28 of its Sunday, Nov. 9, 1997 issue, some very heart breaking information.

One third of all men seeking refuge at homeless shelters and food kitchens across America are combat veterans of our exalted military system. There is no assistance available through the vastly cut back complex of the Veteran's Administration nor does the federal or state governments deign to provide any help for these men through their budgets. Instead, America just wants to ignore these warriors and hope that they will eventually just die and go away, at least until the next batch from the next stupid and useless war comes onto the scene.

Now, for those who hate the Viet Nam vet for whatever reasons you have created, 42% of the homeless veterans fought in that silly but costly "war", while only 10% of America's population are veterans of that era. The rest are veterans of World War II, the Korean War and, increasingly, the fiasco of the Gulf War.

To force the very men who risked their lives and futures in defense of your freedoms to live in such horrifying conditions is pure and utter evil. While our government falls prone in worship before their wealthy owners, the very people who insured the continuation of the American way of life are forced to beg for their daily sustenance. To have even one combat veteran without access to every medical and psychological treatment available is an excellent example of just how low the government and its supporters have gone. The idea that tens of thousands of them have no where to turn for help is directly attributable to the greed and degrading attitudes of America's right wing party.

Of course, the next time our government arms some ridiculous petty dictator somewhere in the world, then decides that this person is some sort of Hitler (oh, surprise, surprise, Mr. Bush!), we'll again go rob the colleges and high schools of children and send them off to experience the horrors of war. We always seem to remember our vets when we need them to die but try to ignore them if they succeed in living long enough to become an embarrassment.

Think about this, gentle readers, the next time you see one of those ads "Be all that you can be!" Go downtown and see what they did become. Go downtown and watch them debase themselves for spare change while Corporate America uses their record profits to buy every politician in sight and the government acts like their loyalties are part of a world-wide fire sale. Go downtown and watch the men who defended your Constitutional rights die slow, sad and degrading deaths out of the view finders of the supposedly liberal media's cameras. Go downtown and see what you are allowing to happen to those who offered the ultimate sacrifice for you and yours. Go downtown and thank them, America, and then demand that your government treat them with the tremendous respect and appreciation that they have earned, but are now denied. Go downtown and visit your children's future.

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Copyright 12/10/97