Thursday, July 28, 2011

Supporting The Troops

Andrew Bacevich has a rather brutal piece about “supporting the troops” at Tom Dispatch. Read it for yourself, but I’ll provide you with my version of it.

My nephew and I went to a stock car race up in Perris, CA and before the feature race that announcer says into the PA system, “If you have ever served in the armed forces, stand up now and remain standing.” I was a bit surprised at how few of us were standing as the announcer went into a little speech about how these are the men and women who have “defended our freedom and made it possible for us to be here tonight,” and said to give a big cheer and applause.

That’s how Perris, California “supports the troops.” It’s easy to clap your hands and cheer at an auto race, but that’s not supporting the troops.

Supporting the troops means making sure that they have a job when they come home. It means making sure that not one military veteran sleeps on the street tonight. It means making sure that they get the care that they need when they come back from battle; every form of care, and when they need it, not too late to help.

CBS News did a nice little puff piece on the closing of Walter Reed Hospital last night, one which featured testimonials of veterans praising the loving care they received there. They failed to mention the decades of neglect and shoddy treatment that institution delivered in decrepit and moldy buildings before a public furore forced reform.

Supporting the troops means applying that same energy to the issues of today; to jobs, and homelessness, and the prevention of wasted lives and shattered families.

Most of all supporting the troops means electing a civilian government which doesn’t send them on multiple tours of combat in endless wars of futility.

1 comment:

momlee said...


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