Supporting the Troops

I am not sure what this phrase means.  Politically, it has turned into meaning that someone is very pro-military in the respect of more and more military spending and more deployments and more putting Americans in harms way.  Some politicians will talk about how they support the troops and how they will use those troops in any number of countries around the world.  I cannot really talk about how and when the US military should be used in conflicts around the world.  I have my own opinions, but they are not based enough in fact for me to share those opinions because opinions with no backing, in my opinion is meaningless.

My question about the politicians that are quick to talk about how willing they are to send Americans in harm’s way is how willing they are to support the veterans that come back injured.  What are these politician’s voting records on funding medical care for those with severe, long term medical needs.   There is a disturbing trend of politicians being quick to vote for deployment and funding all sort of military projects, but when veteran gets home and needs care, the votes are not there to fund veteran benefits.  There are a lot of people who will cheer the rhetoric of sending our military men and women to war, but when they come home with physical and psychological issues from the war, are we going to take care of these people?  How many homeless veterans are there?  latest counts have it at about 50,000?  The face of homeless veterans is also changing.  They are younger and female.  The bulk are still those that are in their 50’s and 60’s and were in Vietnam.

Homelessness is awful regardless of whether or not people are veterans or not.  Homelessness effects men and women and young kids and it is a crime that such a rich nation has people living on the streets, but it is an extra slap to the face that so many that wore the uniform to defend this country are now living on the street with no where to go.  When a politician says they support the troops, my immediate thought is to see how they vote on vet benefits.  That’s the real tell, not whether or not they support military deployment or the so called industrial complex.  It’s the man or woman on the street with no where to go.  When people see a vet and say “thank you for your service” my though is what about those that served who are on the street.  As an individual, as with most things, it is about who you choose to vote for and what they choose to support in word and deed in government.

Individually, you can do your part through good organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project.  You do what you can and part of that is to make sure those that we vote to represent us truly support the men and women that choose to defend this country.


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