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Vets get the short end of the stick

It shouldn't have to be this way.

It should be a given that our veterans go to the head of the line when it comes to federal expenditures. After all, there'd be no Federal Government to expend anything if they didn't put their lives on the line, time after time.

Instead, we get the national shame of the Walter Reed scandal (uncovered by Washington Post investigative reporting --a field which is in great danger these days--but that's another story) and VA hospitals with staffs so poorly trained that they spread horrific diseases through shoddy hygiene to people who deserve much better.

My guess is that the reason the pols pay lip service to our men and women in uniform without following through with the goods is that the volunteer military is a relatively small constituency. Back when we had a draft, the inconvenience and sacrifice were spread to many more families throughout the congressional districts, and besides, many pols had served themselves, thanks to that same draft. They could relate.

Now, as the number of veterans in Congress dwindles, there is no immediacy.
It's easy to forget our national obligation, except at election time or Veteran's Day, when talk is cheap.


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VA care has had scandals as regularly as clockwork for as long as I have been alive, yet veterans groups always fight to the death to retain their separate but inferior system whenever any kind of proposal is made to merge it with medicare or medicaid. I can't understand why they are so attached to a system that fails them so consistently.

After all, there'd be no Federal Government to expend anything if they didn't put their lives on the line, time after time.

On the one hand, we might well be freer and happier without the Federal Government. On the other hand, I think this statement is a gross exaggeration of the importance of our past wars and skirmishes to our security.

World War I was a purely European conflict. Our involvement was in no way defensive. If we had not gotten involved (Thanks Wilson!) there probably would have been no Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, or World War II.

Our security was not threatened during World War II. Germany was unable to cross the English Chanel and invade England. There was no possibility of them ever crossing the Atlantic Ocean and invading us. I do not defend the Nazis. I merely point out the U.S. was never threatened in any way.

It is true that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. However, that was a desperate attempt to thwart our embargo on oil. Our embargo itself could be considered to be an act of war. Although Japan was interested in invading Korea and China, they could not and would not have attempted to invade us.

Certainly Korea and Vietnam were not defensive struggles. We were never in danger of being overrun. The dozens of smaller conflicts (Somalia, Panama, Lebanon, etc.) were also in no way defensive.

I do not denigrate the bravery of the veterans who fought our wars. I do, however, mourn the needless destruction of lives and property.

... VA hospitals with staffs so poorly trained ...

If your man Obama has his way, his single payer government health care system will put everyone into a VA-like system. At least current Vets have the option of seeing a private doctor. Soon we'll all have to fly to the Dominican Republic to get decent medical care.

Back when we had a draft ...

I really hope you are not hoping for the return of the draft. I assume we can agree slavery is a bad thing. Is not a draft essentially slavery? Conscription works only by forcing individuals to serve the state under the threat of violence. It is inherently evil. It has never been needed. The government is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around.


Cut the caffeine!

You're all over the place
with your response.



The underlying theme of my comments is that government, by its very nature, is evil. It does a poor job in all its endeavors. We would all be better off without the yoke of government around our necks.

Most of the wars we have fought have been unnecessary. Medical care would certainly be of higher quality and less expensive without government interference. Conscription is never a good idea.

Sorry if I seem to be having trouble staying on topic. I'll try to do better next time.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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