Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Batting 1500

For so many veterans – they survived the war to end up broken and homeless back on our own streets – hulkering shadows of the past who just won’t go away – no matter how many hail Mary’s or some favor called charity; a 'gift' rumored not from the people, but to those they prayed with - food doled out as some token of thier service?

The 1,500:

"For as long as the United States has sent its young men - and later its young women - off to war, it has watched as a segment of them come home and lose the battle with their own memories, their own scars, and wind up without homes.

  • The Civil War produced thousands of wandering veterans. Frequently addicted to morphine, they were known as "tramps," searching for jobs and, in many cases, literally still tending their wounds.
  • More than a decade after the end of World War I, the "Bonus Army" descended on Washington - demanding immediate payment on benefits that had been promised to them, but payable years later - and were routed by the U.S. military.

  • And, most publicly and perhaps most painfully, there was Vietnam: Tens of thousands of war-weary veterans, infamously rejected or forgotten by many of their own fellow citizens.

Now it is happening again, in small but growing numbers. For now, about 1,500 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been identified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. About 400 of them have taken part in VA programs designed to target homelessness.

The 1,500 are a small, young segment of an estimated 336,000 veterans in the United States who were homeless at some point in 2006"[1] - Erin McClam, AP National Writer

The Network

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We are America, world citizen

"As a soldier, I have a duty to obey the orders of the President of the United States as long as they are Constitutional. I can no more opt out of missions I disagree with than I can ignore laws I think are improper.
I do not consider it a violation of my individual rights to have gone to Iraq on orders because I raised my right hand and volunteered to join the army. Whether or not this mission was a good one, my participation in it was an affirmation of something I consider quite necessary to society.

So if nothing else, I gave my life for a pretty important principle; I can (if you'll pardon the pun) live with that".[2] - Major Andrew Olmsted (1970 - 2008)