Friday, November 23, 2007

Veteran's Day

This year Veteran's Day fell on a Sunday.
It was a good time to think about all those who have served this country and those who still are.
They find themselves, of course, in conflict now in Iraq and many of them are in harm's way.
Hats off to our veterans.
These are difficult times for our Vets. They serve in dangerous and unfriendly places often not knowing who the friendlies and the enemies are. Telling the difference is problematic.
And so they run patrols and find themselves at the mercy of blind fortune when struck by roadside bombs or coming home safe again. The trauma and stress of this kind of service takes its toll.
The Veteran's Administration tells us that upwards of 30% of the homeless in this country are Veterans and that on any given night 195,000 of them may be on the streets any given night.
We're in for a bunch more homeless if that is any indication when the current crop of men and women in uniform head back from home.
There are those who question the patriotism of people like me who raise questions about some recent wars...especially Viet Nam and now this one...the Second Gulf War.
Both were predicated on lies...yes I said lies.
In the case of Viet Nam it was shown many years later that LBJ trumped up the whole Gulf of Tonkin incident to get Congress to ratify his bellicose policy in South East Asia.
Now we have GWB giving us the line about weapons of mass destruction and Hussein's connection to terrorists to justify sending our country's finest young people into battle.
He did not tell us the truth.
Who would think that the President of the United States would deliberately lie about a matter such as this.
To be sure, Clinton's lie about Lewinsky was reprehensible and a ethical lapse of significance, but in that case, nobody had to was a personal matter for a married couple to resolve and a family to deal with. As difficult as that is, they did it.
But in the case of the Iraq war, we had a deliberate lie that has led to the death of more than 3000 young people and hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqi people.
And now we'll have thousands of our young people coming home with terrible wounds in body and spirit and many of them will be homeless.
Many of us have built homeless shelters. I did.
It was not an easy thing to do. People did not want homeless shelters in their neighborhoods.
Homeless people often have mental illnesses, some have alcohol and drug problems.
Many many of them are Veterans.
It is not easy to find a place for them to live.
It is even harder to find money to pay for shelters for them.
It is almost impossible to find the money to pay for the services they need to pay for their rehabilitation.
What kind of country is it that treat's its Veterans so?
And some call me unpatriotic for raising questions about this war.
Yes, we needed to go into Afghanistan and find BinLaden. We still haven't done that.
But it was hasty of us to go into Iraq.
We will pay for that blunder for years.
And so we come to Veteran's Day.
May God bless our young people.
May God protect them.
And may God bring us peace with justice in the Middle East.
So far our Government has been less than effective in moving us toward peace.