Taking care of our veterans is a cost of war. If we can spend
6 trillion dollars sending people to war, we can spend a few
Billion dollars more taking care of them when they come home.
–Senator Bernie Sanders
There’s been a multitude of complaints, investigations and media frenzy lately about the inadequate, or in some cases nonexistent, healthcare veterans are receiving from V.A. hospitals. All of which is justified and needed. But I fear the basic reason for the poor performance of VA hospitals is being hidden under a witch hunt for individuals caught within a failing system.
As a nation we love waving flags at the Veterans Day parades. We dress our children in their best and teach them to plant tiny flags on Memorial Day. We weep at those Youtube videos of soldiers returning to their families. All this makes for heart-rendering Facebook posts and gives us a nice warm feeling in our chests.
But we turn our backs, squeeze shut our eyes, and rant about a balanced budget when it comes time to truly honor the people we send to fight our wars.
The expense of war does not stop when warriors come home. When war ends, the physical and psychological cost is only just beginning for those who fought, and the monetary cost is only just beginning for us as a nation. To pretend this is not so is to dishonor our veterans. I don’t care how many yellow ribbons we tie on our car antennas or how many tears the politicians cry on Veterans Day, it takes money to honor our veterans.
Write or call your congressional representative and your senator today, tell them to cough up the funds needed to make the V.A. healthcare system truly honor those who fight our bloody wars.