Seriously supporting our troops

I am currently deep in the heart of Texas. I’m in Dallas, my hometown. I just ran out of the store to get something and I saw a sign in the store window, asking us to donate $.70 to get a Christmas card for servicemember overseas. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Send a Christmas card to someone who can’t be home for Christmas. Of course, there was the obligatory, “support your troops.” I then glanced across the street and noticed that on the lamppost there was a small flag in patriotic colors featuring a saluting soldier. Underneath the soldier was the slogan, “We Support the Troops.”

I have nothing against slogans or Christmas cards. As a matter of fact, I like Christmas Cards. I prefer real support, though, as opposed to this faux support. Real support means spending the money to get the troops the equipment they need. This means even supporting a tax increase if needed in order to buy the equipment needed to protect our troops. It means that we would buy war bonds if necessary to support our troops. In addition to making sure they have the necessary equipment, we need to increase the salaries of our troops. I’m not talking about the salaries of the generals and other top brass. I’m talking about the salaries of those who are being shot at and are doing the grunt work on a daily basis – the privates and the corporals and the sergeants. Finally, we must support our troops when they get home. They need adequate psychiatric care. They need adequate medical care. We need to upgrade our VA facilities. They need job training. The bottom line is we need to do more or we’re not truly supporting our troops.

From TP:

According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America Action Fund, Republicans in Congress have dramatically failed to support our troops after they come home. IAVA’s 2010 Veteran Report Card, based on the key veterans’ legislation that came to a vote during the 111th Congress, exposed a sharp partisan divide on the level of support for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tabulated yesterday. Of the 94 elected officials that earned an A or A+ rating from IAVA, 91 were Democrats. Of the 154 officials who received a D or F, 142 were Republicans:

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Maddow also noted that U.S. Senate candidates Sharron Angle (R-NV) and Ken Buck (R-CO) have called for the privatization of the Veterans Affairs hospital system, even though it provides the best quality of care in America, as our veterans deserve.

  • Jeff

    Very telling information. Is the full list posted somewhere?

    I’ve seen Sen McCain rant on his veteran support but what I’ve seen is classic political double speak. He is ranked below average.

  • Tlb5593

    Errington thank you for posting this important news.

    I’m horrified by the treatment our soldiers get when they return home from terrible missions–sometimes they need physical therapy to deal with incredible damage to their bodies, sometimes they need therapy to deal with the terrible things that war has done to their minds, often both are issues.
    I’m amazed by all the talk we hear about war, and about how little we do to take care of our own when they return wounded. Does all that patriotic vigor not include the reality of humans that come home hurt and needing help?
    It would be easy to use stronger statements and words here, like: protect those you send to protect your lifestyle, save those who are out there saving you from having to change a damn thing about your easy life. But that might piss some people off, because it’s true.

    In short, do you or don’t you support our TROOPS? Will you or won’t you support them getting the best care we can give them when they get home, medically, psychologically, with housing, with everything. Do you support our TROOPS? Even when our government sends them to do the craziest mission we have ever heard of? I know the current Administration is trying to protect our Troops, and I want that too.

    This simply comes down to choosing where we’ll spend our money. Will we take care of those who are willing to follow orders and sacrifice their lives for our way of life? Doesn’t it make you really think about your way of life? When you know your own will have to die to defend it?
    Either way, we must support those individuals who have sacrificed limbs and sanity to protect our way of being. We OWE them everything.

    In a smarter world we wouldn’t send people to die for crazy things. We have to always remember what we are sending our children to protect. Products or ideals…


  • margaret

    A sister military mom told me that her daughter can’t find a job in her Tennessee home town because she is in the national guard. They are afraid she will be deployed again. This is descrimination pure and simple. Like you say they will post these useless markers in their doorways but where is the actual support. She told me there is a bill being entered into congress for punishing this kind of discrimination. We shall see who actually votes for it. The troops that come back are suppose to be able to get their jobs back. But it doesn’t mean the same job. In right to work states they don’t have to give you a reason when they fire you. They will just have to pay unemployment. I am sorry I don’t like false flagpins and signs on doors. That is not true support.

  • Well said. Very well said.

    Errington C. Thompson, MD
    Sent from my iPad