Saturday, January 19, 2008

Different War, Different Faces, Indifferent America

Below is a rather lengthy but thorough article on the perennial problem of homeless vets. I have a little insight on this having been one myself a number of years ago. Although the problem became highlighted with returning Vietnam vets, it actually has been around at least since World War 1 Only the names and faces change but never this countries inadequate response.
Why does Johnny come marching homeless?

By ERIN McCLAM, AP National Writer 9 minutes ago

LEEDS, Mass. - Peter Mohan traces the path from the Iraqi battlefield to this lifeless conference room, where he sits in a kilt and a Camp Kill Yourself T-shirt and calmly describes how he became a sad cliche: a homeless veteran.

The articles author Erin McClam honestly asks the question.
This is not a new story in America: A young veteran back from war whose struggle to rejoin society has failed, at least for the moment, fighting demons and left homeless.

But it is happening to a new generation. As the war in Afghanistan plods on in its seventh year, and the war in Iraq in its fifth, a new cadre of homeless veterans is taking shape.

And with it come the questions: How is it that a nation that became so familiar with the archetypal homeless, combat-addled Vietnam veteran is now watching as more homeless veterans turn up from new wars?

Being unencumbered by the modern media's vacuous self-imposed "false equivalence" mandate, I will give you the short answer Erin. The how and why is the conservative ideology we've suffered under for the past 30 years. It's the right-wing mantra of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and usually applies to everyone but them and theirs. We have hundreds of billions of borrowed money to make war on a country that didn't attack us. We have endless tax cuts for the wealthy again paid for with borrowed money. And we have Republican pronouncements all day every day about how they respect and love the troops. But if you look close enough, you will find GOP obstruction at every turn for helping vets, to the needed degree, once they're no longer fighting wingnut wars.

I read today, we are at the end of the Reagan era of conservative governance. If this turns out to be true and the country gives progressives the power to make changes in veterans care, and generally help for the less fortunate, then, Erin, I think and hope we will do better as a country.

The Rest of the Article

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments:

Post a Comment