On Veterans Day Lets Do More than a Parade to Thank Our Troops

November 11 2012: Today is Veterans Day..It’s a day where we take time out and honor all those who’ve served in the military and basically thank them for their service and sacrifice… I think its important we thank those who’ve served our country, but our thanks should go beyond a handshake, a pat on the back and a parade.

How about we say thank you to our men and women in uniform by making sure they have healthcare and proper benefits that are not caught up in Congressional red tape or attached to some draconian pork belly provision by an overzealous lawmaker trying to score points and using the military as a shield or political football?

In other words, there should be no homeless Veterans, but there are plenty, I see them all time and all over. There should be no joblessness amongst our Veterans but today we have close to a million who have no job. There are some in the Senate who who will attend Veteran Day parades, but won’t sign a bill that’ll put a billion dollars into a Veterans job program..You can read about that HERE

There should be no substance abuse amongst our Veterans. Sadly its pervasive amongst those on and off the battlefield. There should be no mental health challenges amongst our Veterans but thanks to our collective refusal to own up to this happening and put in place proper resources to help those who are ailing, we now have that as a challenge. Veterans committing suicide have now surpassed those we lost in combat . You can read about here in the NY Times.

How about we thank our troops by removing them from having to make sacrifices due to unnecessary war and conflict? We should have our troops here at home or around the world skilled in true humanitarian missions of providing food, shelter and clothing during natural disasters, not doing ‘humanitarian’ efforts as defined by unwarranted regime change where soldiers are forced to serve 4 and 5 tours of duty with the only real beneficiaries being big multinational corporations connected to the military industrial complex that pushed for it.

There are those who have served our country who have come to recognize that their sacrifice and skills sets were being dishonored and misused by those in power. There are veterans who have come to recognize that they were in foreign lands because of lies. As a result they have  stood up and spoke out. These men and women have recognized that they weren’t fighting for freedom, but instead fighting to secure resources and score political points that would be only helpful to the global 1%. Those troops who recognized this misleading effort and stepped up and called foul, really deserve our thanks.

We thank those men and women who served, who kept it 100, even if it meant being discharged, ostracized or jailed..These men and women made the sacrifice to keep their humanity in the forefront and speak out when they saw injustice or monstrous behavior being done in our name. We should thank those who have been willing to blow the whistle on us breaking international law for committing horrendous acts like torturing prisoners, committing acts of rape or discounting the humanity of those they fought. We honor those who put down the gun and sword and picked up the dove and threw up a peace sign because they recognized that war is not always the answer..

written by Davey D





by Tina Bell Wright
ProfTinaWright-225In April 2007 I was asked to write a commentary for PLAYAHATA.COM..I had to choose a modern day villian or playahater…I chose the corporate interest fueling the Iraq war. Many understood this war was unnecessary, but few were paying the physical, emotional, and mental price…only the Iraqis and our youngest men and women that join the military to serve this country or access better opportunities really understood the cost. Today (Nov 5th 2009) Texas (Fort Hood Massacre) and anyone by their TV got a little glimpse.

It is ironic that veteran’s day is around the corner. The irony has never been lost on me that we say we honor and respect our troops but we allow them to make unlivable wages (where some families must depend on AFDC). They fight on battlefields beside private entities that are often compensated 5 times what our soldiers make (Blackwater). Corporations and capitalists defend a system where banks that rip off consumers can then rob the treasury for bailouts in order to keep their 600 to 1 percent salary rate when compared to an enlisted Marine who puts his/her life and mental health on the line daily. Our GIs can’t get decent health care (Walter Reed) but the Walton family (Walmart) can go anywhere in the world for the best health care their money can buy (Walmart being richer than 160+ countries) with the money they make from outsourcing American jobs to China and paying Chinese workers a couple dollars a day. The irony of it all…we accept this as inevitable. We believe what we are told to be true…we buy the true lies…

But the only inevitable thing is this system is unsustainable…and cracks in the dam (the numerous anecdotal stories that do not get reported of soldiers suffering from PTSD and crimes they commit) will give way to the dam breaking soon enough (today’s massacre).

I went back to the commentary I wrote over two years ago…that day I had a first hand encounter with one of the many anecdotal situations that play out everyday in the lives of our returning soldiers…The writing has been on the wall…and here it is:

my playahater choice is a little more personal because of one person that

crossed my path two weeks ago. I was on a Southwest flight to

Sacramento.Sitting beside me was a young brotha (24). He was a Marine and had

already done 3 tours of duty in Iraq. He was supposed to finishing his time in

June and was getting out, but he was not feeling too secure in that

since the military can now call back discharged soldiers to tour, despite the

fact that they have completed their contracts and done their time.

Slavery is alive and well in 2007.

Back to the plane and the young brotha. He was from a military family;

His father had served as well as his aunt and uncle. He had always wanted

to be a marine. He has two young children. His hope now is that the

military service legacy that defined his family will end with him. He does not

want his children to follow in his footsteps. Why? War is hell and he has

lived it. This brother was real jittery and obviously had seen more

than any human being should. When asked what his job was in the marines, he

answered: “you don’t wanna know what I do” (saying this repeatedly).

Then coming with:”I’m a killer.” He then wanted to share with me the

4000 pictures and 100s of videos he had taken in Iraq. He watched the

slideshow of bodies mangled, children decapitated and blood and guts lining the

streets without any reaction. He wanted to talk about it and said it

helped, so I just listened, trying not to get nauseous from the gore.

And for all that they must bear: being away from their families, killing

men, women and children, living with that nightmare and coming home to

subpar medical facilities and families that can’t afford to live without

food stamps, they get abandoned and random strangers sitting beside them on

a plane must serve as psychiatrist. This war is my Playahater, and the

ITT Corporation embodies what’s wrong with the poor fighting the war for

the rich’s interests. We all deserve better than this, but especially

brothers like this, and the Iraqis with which they now share the dance

of death.

Original Link: http://www.playahata.com/?p=2352

Many believe the TRUE LIES that corporate interests fuel through corporate media…even when our TRUE LIVES…reality…is all we need to know.

TRUE LIES by Taalam Acey


“We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.”
“Take no one’s word for anything, including mine – but trust your experience” – James Baldwin, The Fire next Time

one final note…

i went to see “This is it” again…and i think MJ really did say it best:

“The time has come. This is It. People are always saying.. ‘Oh they, they’ll take care of it.’ ‘The government will do it. They’ll’ …THEY WHO? It starts with US ..it’s US. Or else it’ll never be done.”
– Michael Jackson

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