The Wounded Warrior Project Should Not Exist

Memorial Day is a day when millions of Americans pay lip service to people who gave their life in service to our country. It’s happening at a time when the government’s treatment of our veterans has never been worse.

Laying a wreath for the dead is not a substitute for respecting the living. And our veterans have been mistreated in ways that ought to shame a nation that claims to be a serious military power. The current state of neglect of our veterans is about as respectful as taking a piss on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Why are there celebrities making commercials for private charities that care for veterans? Why should any private charity exist to support wounded veterans? Our government accepted full responsibility for the health of our veterans when the veteran signed on the dotted line to join. There should be no issue with veterans getting the things they need.

Yet our TV broadcasts are teeming with entertainers taking to the airwaves to beg couch potatoes for money on Memorial Day weekend to help wounded American veterans.

Ours is supposed to be the most powerful military in the world. Our armed forces operate drones that can send a missile up a camel’s ass two thousand miles away but can’t afford a few shekels to build a wheelchair ramp for a crippled soldier? Am I the only person in TV land who thinks this is horrifying horse shit?

Health care for your soldiers is a basic, like ammunition for rifles, boots and helmets. You wouldn’t send a soldier or Marine into battle without ammunition, you don’t bring them home without the ability to provide health care.

What better way to tell our enemies that the U.S.A. is a paper tiger than to let them see that private charities have to help care for wounded U.S. service members?

And it’s gotten worse. The Bureau of Veterans Affairs was shown to keep secret waiting lists at some of its hospitals to cover up the terrible waiting times for medical care. So upper management knew how bad things were and tried to cover it up rather than fix it.

So while the efforts of the Wounded Warrior Project are noble, such charities shouldn’t exist because they shouldn’t have to. Veterans with serious injuries should have all of their health needs tended to. They shouldn’t have to raise money for wheelchairs or artificial limbs. Those benefits should be a given and not subject to debate.

We have an all-volunteer military and haven’t had a draft since the Vietnam War (although the “stop-loss” programs and activation of inactive reservists during the George W. Bush administration served as a kind of draft, with the lottery restricted to veterans who had already served). So it behooves the government to make good on its promises to veterans. Among the outraged public are potential new recruits. If the military is willing to break its promises to the aged and the infirm, why should a patriotic American want to join. (N.B. – Years ago a family member who was then enlisted in the armed forces described recruiters as “hired liars.”).

So while I hope everyone at least takes a moment to reflect on the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country, we should determine that there won’t have to be private charities tending to the needs of our veterans.

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