Monday, December 16, 2013

Veterans' Benefit Cuts as Honor Left Behind

Ryan and Murray have pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat in crafting a budget which does little to rein in spending but at least sets the stage for the return of some trace of compromise to enable us to deal with what could be a 25 trillion dollar problem when Obama leaves office. Lost in the popping was the fact that to paraphrase a saying from the Vietnam War, "In order to save the military from sequester, we had to destroy the pension promises to veterans who served their commitment." The military prides itself that they leave no one behind. If Senator's Sessions amendment restoring the cuts by closing certain tax credits and loopholes is not adopted the and the budget is passed in the Senate, it will be a stain on this nation's honor and its promises to those who served and by that service earned their pension.
No Man or Woman or Honor Left Behind
We as a nation have not always been upfront with our vets
Some events have been so shameful that we would like to forget
Look only back to 1932 and the Bonus Army camped on the Capitol’s doorsteps
Swept away by the Army with tanks and troops like Cossacks on the steppes
In the depths of the Depression these vets only wanted to their certificate early redeem
Small amounts of cash to turn the Depression nightmare into a small chance to dream
More recent is the sorry state of a shutdown and the Memorials locked
Warriors now in their 80’s and 90’s in wheelchairs on a last mission only to be blocked
Add to such theater the unseen tragedy of veteran’s medicine looking more like Britain each day
Not enough doctors, not enough nurses, not enough beds for the wounds of war to allay
Now the latest straw almost lost in the budget “deal”
The sacrificial lamb that now known is starting to squeal
This was a promise made in exchange to put one’s life for country on the line
To enlist, to do the tours of duty, to re-up and above all elect to continue to serve and not resign
Pension payments by service fully earned not by draftees but by volunteers
Will now be cut for those who have made the military their career.
This is worse that the “period” promises made to not lose the ACA votes
 This involves the honor and bond of a nation which these cuts demote
If Ryan and Murray could truthfully to the vets say
“We have cut every dollar, every fraud, every waste—there is no other way”
More likely than not, almost to a woman and a man
They would tighten their belts, agree and pitch in a helping hand
 A billion to build a website that does not work despite the cost
Means that plea for sacrifice can ot be made,  has clearly been lost
Vets have no unions; they collect no dues to finance incumbent campaigns
But if the Feds succeed, no group will be able to Fed broken promises restrain
If these pension promises are broken get ready for the resumption of the draft
Any one volunteering to place life and limb in harm’s way in the future will be a bit  daft
© December 17, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

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