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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Glad You Asked

Today Trump held another rally where he offered the audience no information but continued to promise that he is going to fix everything wrong with our country. One of the audience members asked a question of Trump and told him that the CNN debates were a disgrace because no questions were asked about the veterans health care. He asked if the reason the question wasn't asked was because CNN (which he decided stood for Clinton News Network) didn't like veterans. Of course, I have no knowledge of why one question was given and another wasn't, but I know that the Regressive Party never wants to have an honest discussion about that lest their own voting records be mentioned.

I would respectfully ask the gentlemen at the Trump rally the question I always ask myself:

Why do veterans need charities?

The fact that this even needs to be addressed is disgusting to me. Honestly. The first thing that I always think when I see an ad to raise money for disabled veterans is, "Why is this a charity?" Like of all of the things that our country's taxes are responsible for, taking tremendous care of those who protect and fight for us should be at the top. There should be no need for people to raise funds for the men and women that we have sent off to fight and come home injured or harmed in any way. It makes me cry when I see the commercials of families who are readjusting to a life around their loved one who is altered for life. We did that. We Americans did that. We elected people who elected to go to war and elected not to fund the care of those men and women when they got home.

People join the military for many reasons. They want structure, education, or maybe an opportunity to defend the country. It doesn't matter why they do it. The fact is they sign up. They meet with a recruiter and sign documents to devote their lives, for the next several years or for its remainder, to protecting my country. I love her. I want her protected. I wish they were protecting her from here. And from ally countries. And from ships off of the coasts of countries we want to keep an eye on. I wish that was all that our military was needed for. Sadly, we have been in perpetual war for many years. And protecting my country is a scary undertaking. Signing up today means you have a good chance of going to war. It means you are going to see action. If you want to get an education after having served, you sign up knowing you may not come back. Or, if you do, you may have a serious injury, physical or otherwise. That is such a profound commitment and it is unacceptable that we can allow their care to not be an imperative upon their return.

That is where my country fails. We fail because we elect 'representatives' who are always very anxious to go to war. Any war, it seems. But every time they are offered an opportunity to take care of our military men and women when they get home, they reject it. How is it acceptable to come up with billions of dollars to pay for contracts to build an arsenal many times larger than any other country, but it is not a priority to come up with the monies needed to heal our soldiers once they get home?  It is beyond my comprehension. But people don't pay attention to the way they are voting when they get to DC.

The right is still stuck on telling their constituents that they are the ones who care about the military and our vets. And people continue to couple the party and the military in their minds. There is a big difference between supporting the military (which on the right means passing every bill to initiate war or fund endeavors to strengthen our arsenal) and caring for those in the military. Honestly, I am stunned that the Regressives would have a single voter since they determined the Iran deal was unacceptable before they even read it. They can only hear drumbeats. They only want war. That means lives. That means men and women are being sent to war. It is not just a declaration. It is a huge commitment. Of human beings. And, I dare say, after nearly 15 constant years in battle, they are probably pretty much spent by now. And the followers on the right are rallying behind that idea. Why? Why do you want to go to war again? How could anyone not want to first try diplomacy when the alternative means that Americans will certainly die? But these same 'representatives' have continually voted against Veterans bills every time they come up. It is patriotic to support our troops. It is not patriotic to support those in Congress who would really just like to be in a constant state of war. A differentiation seems to be lost in there somewhere.

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The idea of millions of homeless in America is bad enough, but to understand that many are veterans and it kind of makes it harder to accept. They fought for this country and were then offered such care upon return that they ended up on the streets. Maybe they came home with PTSD. Maybe they ended up with a drinking problem. Maybe they ended up with anger issues and they got kicked out of their house. These were all opportunities to care for our veterans that our VA missed. I, personally, have a sick conspiracy theory that those on the right are deliberately allowing the VA to go to shit so it can be privatized and more millionaires can become billionaires. But I am also aware that some of my conspiracies are a little looney and I can't always determine which are which. Anyway ...

Some of these vets have been chronically homeless and living with mental illness or addictions since Vietnam. Take a quiet moment with that.

Last May the First Lady launched a Mayors Challenge to 300 mayors across the country. They were told to have homes for the 50,000 homeless veterans in America by the end of 2015.  Last year Salt Lake City and Phoenix had found homes for every one of their homeless veterans. In January, New Orleans moved the last known homeless veteran into housing. I got chills typing that. It can be done. The fact that so many of these vets have been chronically homeless and dealing with mental illnesses and addictions since Vietnam is beyond tragic.

The VA is finally starting to do something about  the homelessness of so many veterans. They are beginning in the 25 cities with the largest populations of homeless veterans. Last year from March to August, they had already found housing for 10,000 veterans. The beauty of this program is that it doesn't just offer them a bed. They are given guidance and resources to help them acclimate back into society. That is such a profound transition. You cant just say "here's a bed - get a job." Whatever the issue was that made them homeless needs to be addressed, too. And they are doing that. If you know of someone who might be helped by this initiative, the information can be found here.

The right have all kinds of ideas of what it means to be a Liberal. I couldn't give a shit what they think about me. Whatever they want to think is fine. I don't need my liberalism defined by anyone else. The thing that I am nailed with every day, though, is this bullshit that I think soldiers are baby killers. You don't get to speak for me motherfucker. I am a Liberal. The beauty of being over here on the left is that I get to think for myself. I don't have to be force fed my talking points and become confused over their contradictions. Some people who are extreme on the left say shit about soldiers. I have no use for them and tell them that whenever I am given the opportunity. I love soldiers and veterans. I documented my sincere respect for soldiers in this blog post and don't think I need to defend myself beyond that. And fuck anyone who thinks they get to define my loyalties to them.

I am a little disgusted with myself because I am making a partisan issue about something that should, inherently, be universal. I apologize. I want everyone to be pissed off and contact their elected official, whatever their party affiliation, and demand their support every time you see that the Wounded Warrior Project support a bill. Blow up their phones or fax lines. Send emails. Pester them on Twitter or on their Facebook page to make the rest of their constituents aware. Whatever. Make sure that everyone knows that they are being given an opportunity to care for our veterans and make sure when they vote everyone knows how they voted. You can go here to see who voted for and against. If they were forced to be accountable by all of us they could not sneak around and do this shit.

I have only heard good things about the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America). But there are many other great groups out there working for the care of our veterans. Until we can find a way to compel Congress to give a shit and act accordingly, please go here to donate something in the name of a soldier you know or love (or one you don't even know).

Kisses All Around ...
The Mean Progressive


  1. As a disabled Vietnam era vet, it’s not the thanks I want from Americans. It’s their vote against the republican party for blocking the vote last March (2014) on a bill that would had helped disable vets, homeless vets, vet suicides, and VA hospitals. Veterans were willing to give their lives, arms, legs, and mental state to defend YOU and now it’s YOUR chance to help them from the injuries they suffered to protect YOU.

    It is the vote against republicans like Tom Colburn of Oklahoma that said veterans were not worth the cost; Mitch McConnell led Senate Republicans to blocked the bill; Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said the bill would spend too much; GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, “ It costs too much to fund the VA.” Richard Burr of North Carolina, top Republican on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee cynically stated, “We’re sort of fooling ourselves to believe that this drives the election issue list”; Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin budget wants to end VA healthcare benefits for disabled veterans and then a famous republican: "Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." -- Henry Kissinger.

    These are not welfare programs; these programs are only WHAT WAS PROMISED IF YOU FIGHT FOR AMERICA! As a veteran, I feel the republicans have lied to ALL vets and the reason? They say there is not tax dollars to pay to help vets but over 100 times in the last few years the republicans have voted to lower taxes on the filthy rich and corporations. These are the very cowards that never fight and die for America!

    1. I hope all veterans know who fights hardest for them. One candidate for President stands taller than all the others. One of the saddest pictures I have ever seen was of Bernie Sanders after his veterans bill was voted down by the Republicans. Bernie truly cares and I'm not sure if any of the others do!

    2. I understand you don't want thanks but I send them to you, most sincerely. I do feel that there should never be a question to funding veterans and soldiers bills. We should have an amendment that says its not even up for a vote. It just gets funded and a completely non-partisan group has to see to the direction the monies go so that no SOBs or their cronies get any benefits from them. Thank you.

  2. You aren't the one who turned veterans' benefits into a partisan issue. Don't apologize for pointing out who is blocking the care of those who served.

    1. Its true, I just feel like if there were one thing we should all be able to get behind and demand our 'leaders' do right it would be take care of the men and women who literally put their lives on the line to take care of us. But thank you :)

  3. I think all of us owe a debt to the "Mean Progressive" for all she does, What she writes hits home with me and I hope it does for you as well. I wish I could find the words to describe what she does to expose the hypocrisy that is so pervasive in our society. I can't but I'll be the first to say thank you Angie, and I hope I am joined in a chorus of praise for someone who truly cares and tries her best to make things right!!!!!

  4. I think all of us owe a debt to the "Mean Progressive" for all she does, What she writes hits home with me and I hope it does for you as well. I wish I could find the words to describe what she does to expose the hypocrisy that is so pervasive in our society. I can't but I'll be the first to say thank you Angie, and I hope I am joined in a chorus of praise for someone who truly cares and tries her best to make things right!!!!!

    1. Sonny! Thank you so much! It means the world to me that my attempts are reaching someone. If I can just get people to think about things and consider them a little more I feel like we might be able to wake people up before they vote (or choose not to). You are so wonderful!! :)