RANGER AGAINST WAR: Veteran's Ongoing Battle <

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Veteran's Ongoing Battle

Veterans must continue their fight even after they return from battle, and against their own government, to wrest the benefits promised them. I wrote the following in response to a piece in the Tallahassee Democrat extolling the efforts of local servicemen on behalf of their fellows returning from their tours. I think it is shameful that their services are even required in this capacity.
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Bob Gaboris's piece, "Vets Discover New Ways to Serve" (4/9/06)features local veterans who donate time to help fellow veterans get the benefits to which they are entitled, "after they are denied benefits from the Veterans Administration."

While the efforts of these servicemen on behalf of their brothers-in-arms are worthy, this feel-good piece misses the point: that fraternal military organizations like the MOAA, DAV and VFW must have service officers and volunteers to represent veterans in their appeals to gain proper benefits shows how morally bankrupt and corrupt the government's approach to our veterans remains.

The fact that veterans must fight to get deserved benefits is a shame and a sham. Ironically, the groups that advocate for veterans often also voice support for the misguided foreign ventures that are creating more disabled veterans daily. If we want to enter elective wars, then let's give uncontentious, realistic benefits to disabled veterans and their families. If we don't want to give realistic benefits, let's not have elective wars.
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Excerpts from original article below:

Veterans Discover New Ways to Serve
By Bob Gabordi
EXECUTIVE EDITOR TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT

I wasn't really sure what I had to say to men and women like Maj. John Haynes, U.S. Marine Corps (retired).

Haynes now spends most of his time helping disabled veterans and their families after they are denied benefits from the Veterans Administration. He served America during WW II and now faces his own serious medical issues with the same kind of courage he showed a different kind of enemy 61 years ago in China...

Earlier in the evening, I was introduced to Col. Walter G. Frauenheim Jr., U/ S. Army (retired), who had fought in one of America's most desperate moments of WW II, the Battle of the Bulge, as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division...

Their collective sacrifices awe and overwhelm me. Because of the sacrifices they made to keep those freedoms. we need to keep fighting for the Bill of Rights. I urged them to stand up still for thr the First Amendment and our other freedoms, especially when government officials today so casually trample upon those rights.

The officers reminded me that there is a greater purpose to those freedoms they fought to protect. They asked me to use those freedoms to help them get their message out to the public and in their continued service to their country...

These organizations are...a strong voice for veterans on issues such as military benefits, medical care and so forth. They raise their collective voices to fight to make government keep its promises...

These folks never quit serving. Haynes, for example, joined the military in time to be a part of the legendary China Marines...Now he volunteers to work with veterans and their widows during their most trying moments helping them after they were turned down for benefits. He works through the system, cuts the red tape, and gets answers, up or down.

If such people need my assistance, it's the least I can do.

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