Support Our Troops?
by Patricia Ernest
First Published in OpEdNews.Com
Remember back before the war, when all those in the cheering squad were yelling, "Let's go to war. Let's take over a country so we'll feel macho. Let's send our troops overseas and get bunches of them killed. Let's be damned good patriots." Let's make the American flag stand for war and not peace." and all that other bull they thought sounded soooooo American? Remember how that same group looked at the "no war" folks and yelled, "You guys are traitors and you aren't Americans and you don't support our troops?
Okay, with that memory refreshed, let's proceed. Let's begin with supporting our troops. We, who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, supported every single thing for our troops including keeping them safe and sound and at home with their families. We supported them being allowed to stay at home and watch their children be born. We supported them being able to watch their kids grow up. We supported them living their lives as healthy, happy, loving Americans and we supported them staying alive.
Yeah, we sure as hell supported our troops, but we believed we heard lies coming out of Washington. We believed our troops were willing and able but we didn't believe our president was being truthful. We didn't believe our troops should have to fight a war for the reasons we were given.
Well the "yeah war" and this administration won the debate. The US went to war based on lies but the great support for our troops didn't seem to be in the plan, apparently bringing our troops home wasn't in the plan either.
Here we are, months after the war is supposed to be, according to bush, kinda sorta over. Still between one-quarter to one-third of our troops in Iraq do not have the most up-to-date body armor. For many of our troops, their meals and water are still rationed. If they need another uniform they have to purchase it themselves. Why should they need another uniform? Well because they only get two uniforms to begin with, and many of our troops have been in Iraq a long long time. Clothes wear out, just like support I guess.
You probably didn't know about a little law that's been around awhile. Seems if a military person retires with a pension and if that same person has a military related disability, the government deducts a dollar from his pension for every dollar they have to spend on his medical care. There is a bill in the House of Representatives (HR 303) that would change all this, but Bush has threatened to veto it if it gets to his desk. Support our troops? Rumsfeld says that if the bill passes it would be too expensive for the government, five billion dollars. Aren't we about to send twenty billion dollars over to Iraq for some nation building makeovers? Support our troops?
Now we are hearing that the medical conditions at Fort Stewart in Georgia aren't all that good. In fact they are horrible according to Mark Benjamin, a UPI Investigations Editor. Quoting from his article, "Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait-sometimes for months--to see doctors." Support our troops?
Benjamin goes on to say, "The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying to push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day." Support our troops?
Again quoting Benjamin, "...approximately 600 sick and or injured members of the Army Reserves and National Guard are warehoused in rows of spare, steamy and dark cement barracks in a sandy field, waiting for doctors to treat their wounds or illnesses." Support our troops?
"Soldiers make their way by walking or using crutches through the sandy dirt to a communal bathroom, where they have propped office partitions between otherwise open toilets for privacy. A row of leaky sinks sits on an opposite wall. The latrine smells of urine and is full of bugs, because many windows have no screens. Showering is in a communal, cinderblock room. Soldiers say they have to buy their own toilet paper. "
Is this how our country supports our troops? Where are the pro-war people now? Why are they and why are we allowing this to happen to our troops? Where are the Republicans and where the hell are the Democrats? Why isn't the media covering these things? Why do we have to dig through the internet to discover what the hell is going on? Bush said that the news goes through a "filter". It sure as hell does and he seems to be the one who installed that filter.
If you support our troops then get on the telephone and call your Representatives and your Senators and anyone else who has an ear and a bit of clout. Write your newspaper, call your radio stations and your TV stations. Tell everyone you can find that we had better damned well start, not only supporting our troops, but we had better start treating them like human beings.
Our troops are people. These aren't the people who are cheering for war, these are the people who know what war really is. These are the people who know that war isn't a pastime, it's a duty they are willing to face. These are people who carry out war because they are ordered to. So many of the citizens of the U.S. wanted our troops to fight this damned war, but who in the hell is now willing to fight for our troops?
Step up! Do it right now! Support our troops! It's your turn!
If you had the time to call me a traitor, then you had better make the time to place a call and demand help for our troops!
Don't give me that BS about supporting our troops if you aren't serious.
Patricia Ernest lives in Florida and is the author of Pissed Off Patricia's Blog. She describes herself as a very sentimental and sensitive person who is forever willing to share my point of view whether or not it has been requested of me. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is copyright by Patricia Ernest, originally published by opednews.com (www.opednews.com). Permission is granted to forward this or to place it on a website as long as the article is included intact, including this statement.