Just a thought... across the country this weekend we will be divided in interests those who plan to spend their extended weekend in remembrance of a family member or friend in the military fallen before their time and those thankful to get an extra free day off the work grind.
I'm sure the latter will take a few seconds at least to think about the meaning and reason they have an extra day to drink, gorge and celebrate life.
Thousands of ceremonies will take place Monday across the country, since I've attended and reported on too many events to note I know many weightless speeches will be made. Local politicians who've hand chosen a local vet to honor and highlight along with the millions of other unnamed service men and women will be mentioned.
Bagpipes will pierce the air with its chilling sounds that bring us into the thought and feeling of war time days, the color guard will with great honor give their well rehearsed show of allegiance perhaps a military fly over but never once a mention of the ugly truth.
The irony of it is the ceremonies will mask the factual and proven failures of our federal government on this federally assigned day they choose to honor the very people they've continually neglected.
Governments will hold ceremonies with great symbolic gestures but where is the action behind it? Where was the symbolic pro Vet support when dozens were dying while waiting to be treated?
Fake wait lists, incompetent medical care, cold disingenuous service to Vets being wheeled in both physically and psychologically damaged turned away, denied help or told to wait.... a wait that went from weeks to months ending in the death of too many.
Veterans dying not on the battlefield but on American soil while waiting for their earned rights, earned benefits, earned medical coverage and support denied by the very government that sent them to battle. If you want a real look at where a MAJOR portion of our Vets really are as many celebrate them this weekend, their living under freeways, in parks, in make-shift camps crippled, in need of medication and wandering the streets, the streets where they live.
As a reporter I worked countless stories with Wounded Warriors thinking I could make a difference talking into a microphone each night, but no one was listening, know one who could help, could hear me. Our streets are filled with Vets who've been shut out, abandoned yet still ceremonies will mask that ugly truth. While we cheers to their services thousands will be far from the ceremonies unable to get around just hoping on that day some kind stranger will take notice and extend a helping hand.
Honor.... Where is it? Honor Vets by caring for them and giving them the medical service, the sheltering and benefits they've literally fought for.
I won't remember the fallen this day, I will be too busy too concerned about the living who are suffering alone. Thank you Washington for another reminder AKA - VA scandal that has been evident to me for years as a local reporter - your hypocrisy exists. I will not partake in your falsehood of hope that our Vets are cherished because they're not. Instead I will acknowledge, I will reflect on the brave souls on my own for them. Hoping future generations will have better days, better service given to each with the same respect and sacrifices they've given to us. Let hypocrisy die and stay buried so the real voices of Freedom, OUR VETS, can rest in peace.