Veterans are America's modern martyrs
In countries that are (rightly or not) considered prosperous, the "me, myself, and I" principle has become a cultural standard, if not the sense of living. Social media inflate egos willing to gorge on exhibitionistic narcissism, and mainstream media promote an "outcome only" societal model where the most despicable lowlife can be "a winner" if he is "successful" enough — namely, very rich. Self- focused attention evolved into selfie culture, and the concept of sacrifice is neither respected nor properly understood.
As if that weren't bad enough, it has now become a norm in modern society that the most altruistic individuals get crucified both by the indifference of the dumbed down general public, and by the derelict maneuvers of worthless kleptocrats. One must be both intrigued and sickened by the actual correlation: the more our veterans adhere to "military service is an honor and not a sacrifice," the more brazenly all sorts of ingrates live by "no good deed goes unpunished."
The FBI would rather spend $25.2 million unsuccessfully looking for collusion than on looking into corruption and cronyism that ravage veterans' lives. The mainstream media will make headlines out of Hollywood's casting couch drama but finds no space or airtime for a minute of outrage over sexual assaults on homeless female veterans . The V.A., for its part, keeps ranting and raving about MST (military sexual trauma) but keeps mum about housing for female veterans attacked on the streets. Global warming calls for an immediate action because the big thaw wizards predict that glaciers might melt within 30 years; veterans who have been homeless for decades can wait, and if they have a meltdown, it must be PTSD. One good tour in Afghanistan and Iraq deserves another.
Among still "pending" bills you can find, e.g., S.B. 3812, "[a] bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care from the Department of Veterans Affairs to include veterans of World War II." No wonder that Vietnam-era, Thailand-based veterans are still snubbed by the V.A. You've been waiting "only" for four decades; the WW2 veterans were put on hold for 80 years.
The soldiers who put their lives at stake for our lives as free people stake their future as veterans on the values of our country. The indescribable pain caused by betrayal is an additional torture when you face homelessness, "service-connected" disability, and diseases. Yet those who lost their limbs, those who battle multiple Agent Orange–related cancers, those who experience the symptoms of burn-pit exposure would rather voluntarily suffer death than deny their values and violate their oath.
Dealing with corruption, harassment, and the V.A.'s antics, I "lost my religion" many times, but my true beliefs have always been strengthened by veterans. A WW2 hero who took part in the liberation of concentration camps used to underline that his revolt against the disgraceful treatment of our veterans prolonged his life. On his deathbed, he promised me: "On the other side, we will still fight together. We will kick the enemy's behind all the way to Hell."
President Trump, I don't know if you share our concept of paradise, but I hope you are hell-bent on the resurrection of American veterans.