Guilt and Shame, the New American Way

I love my country, the USA. It’s history isn’t puritanical, although some pilgrim might disagree. It has it’s rocky points in history, and moments, that I take great pride in. Not for the acts, but for the fact that we have a history that can teach us just about anything.Besides, pick one country, and they all have some kind of atrocity in their past.

The title isn’t about my feelings towards my country. I served 11 years in the military. Guilt and shame are the feeling once I tell you the reason, the unforgivable reason for a certain act.

Hypocrisy over our troops. Even those against wars support our troops.

Wow, so impressive having a yellow magnetic ribbon on your car. I sound ungrateful, don’t I? Well, let’s break a few things down.

Troops serve, and give health and some give their lives. Families lose time with each other, birthdays are missed, first words never heard. But, we pay our troops pretty well. Could be better, but overall not bad. Troops have a whole support structure to keep them fighting. And we are proud of their fight, service and love of country.

So why in the HELL do we take a shit on them when they separate, either retire, medically discharged or just get out honorably. You don’t like the language? Tough. I told you, guilt and shame.

Veterans are treated like scum in VA hospitals. Just yesterday I had to give a urine sample (because I can’t be trusted after YEARS on being mangled up and treating it) and guess what. I have to balance two cups, because they cant test from the same sample. I have to brace myself on a scummy tile wall (try peeing, holding a cup, holding your shirt out of the way and using a cane with bum legs) and avoiding stepping in the brown filthy pooling at the base of the toilet (I’m not tracking that on my shoes back in my car, home, etc)

I spent time in communist countries, and that’s what they had for toilets. But this was a VA hospital. But if you listen to the news, you hear about veterans being infected with HIV from dirty needles. Because a veteran didnt have enough health issues before, just pill on HIV. (I also gave blood, so who knows)

There may be plans of getting rid of the VA. Good. Fire them all. The good people will get jobs in real hospitals, and the murdering butchers, well, I don’t car.

But is this it? No. We have homeless veterans. 21st century and veterans still sleep under bridges. The county I live in was bragging about no homeless vets. Well, gee, it’s December. Veterans are smart, they went to Florida (The homeless shuffle, using police to give you rides outside their jurisdiction. I may write on that)

But we have charities and good organizations that help!

Indeed we do, but canned goods, blankets, or a cot in a shelter don’t change the fact that they are homeless. We do little to nothing to prevent a veteran from ending up on the street, and even less to lift them up and bring them back into civilization.

Sure, we have homes for heros, which is actually good. That does make an impact in one veteran’s life at a time. And that’s the way to go. (Bet you didnt see that coming). Let’s stop doling out help evenly. I’d rather a few get the help they EARNED to go back to normal life, even if some die on the street, that ALL dying on the street.

Food is good. But without an address, veterans can’t even claim benefits to get the help. And let’s say they do, in the form of a shelter. Then they have to wait years for anything at all. Have you tried getting a job with no legs, no wheelchair, no clothes, medications?

Others are in the same boat. Kids born without legs, regular folks hurt in accidents, but here’s the kicker. That is tragic, and they should be helped because one could be the next Von Braun, but veterans chose this. They chose to put themselves in the line of fire, from bullets, IEDs, radiation, and the list goes on.

This isn’t even about doing what’s right. It’s something in their contract. It is part of the enlistment contracts every service member signs. VA is in breach of contract, but good luck suing the government.

We don’t condone suicide. But like I said before, I feel this first hand, waking up and wishing I kicked in while sleeping. A couple of people keep me from ending life, and I struggle with the pain. Others don’t have people like that. They aren’t loved by anyone, so they do it.

They take their own lives. No, let’s not delude ourselves. They already gave the life out of their lives. Nothing left but pain.

They are taking their own pain

Signed, Somebody that knows pain and shame over how fellow brothers and sisters that served slowly die after the DD214


2 thoughts on “Guilt and Shame, the New American Way

  1. At least it is no longer a secret hidden shame. People, particularly in my area thanks to Senator Ron Johnson being put in charge to deal with fixing this, are very hot on the issue. The Tomah VA is a national disgrace making me hope the incoming admin makes it a priority to fix this. I remember what I read about how our veterans of the Civil War were treated, and that was horrifying. Even worse was how the public treated them. Sure they were war heros to many, but they also came home morphine addicts in an era that barely understood addiction. The pensions were in-perpetuity for the soldier… and their spouse thanks to the US Grant administration. So many teen and 20 something girls tried to get their hands on an old civil war veteran, medicate him into an early grave and live off his pension for the rest of THEIR lives. Talk about shameful!

    But the world is replete with horrible treatment of those who gave so much for their nations. For those who felt a duty and call beyond getting the G.I. Bill and chose paths of true honor and value. To them who were asked to pay the price worse than the ultimate price, living wounded, we need to be better. Much much better in giving them the common needs for their service gained wounds, both physical and mental. As someone who also has a permanent disability, I can sympathize, but I am still a pale shade of the horror stories I have heard from veterans.

    May we do better soon.


    1. I hope so too, I hope we will do better. Normally I don’t complain about this, and I am involved in donating to veterans, not just money, but time as well.
      I was going to take down my rants but then I thought, no. Even if things do get better, this would serve as a reminder never to let this happen. Too many suffer for the simple reason of wanting to do the right thing.
      I used to do more, but between my disability and being broke, I find it tough. If I do take off again, and be productive in society, I will make sure that I will help at least one veteran to have the same chance.


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