So, Your Thinking Of Joining Up Huh?

by James Glaser
August 30, 2002

So you've got that patriotic urge and want to save the world from terrorists and all the "Evil Doers" the President has been pointing his finger at. Noble thought no doubt, but maybe just a little more thinking should be put in, before you sign on that dotted line.

I did that one time, I mean putting my name on that dotted line and that was over thirty years ago and I am still paying the price. I had that same patriotic urge, except it wasn't terrorists I wanted to stop, I wanted to stop Communist aggression from engulfing those democratic loving people in Vietnam. After the dastardly attack on our American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin what true American boy wouldn't run down and sign up?

Well there never was an attack on those ships and the President of the United States, my President, Lyndon Baines Johnson already knew that we were going to lose that war and said so on tapes, those tapes were made before I signed up, but just made public now. He just forgot to tell the rest of us we were going to lose and another 30.000+ young men gave their lives for Patriotism.

Think about this before signing that paper, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Khe Sahn Veterans, American Ex Prisoners of War, American Veterans of WW II, Korea and Vietnam (AMVETS), Blinded Veterans Association, Jewish Veterans of the USA, Military Order Of The Purple Heart, National Association of Black Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Swords to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization, and the list goes on and on.

Why all these groups? They aren't there for Vets to hang out with old buddies, but it is because of the United States Government, that all these Veterans felt patriotic for has gone back on promises made before signing on that line and for some real crimes against humanity, that this same government committed against these patriotic American troops.

Weird tests done on troops, having the troops up close to Atomic bomb explosions, to see what would happen to them, spraying biological and chemical weapons on American troops to see what would happen, Spraying millions of gallons of defoliants on the American troops in Vietnam and on the water supplies those troops were drinking, trying out new untested vaccines on troops to see if they would work, using weapons that have depleted uranium tips that leave a sickening powder where troops must live and fight, and this list goes on and on.

Cannon fodder, an old term used to describe masses of troops used to absorb the shells of the enemy so that the more mobile Calvary could get to the artillery, but also a term used today by Veterans when they describe how our United States Government treats those that were patriotic enough to offer their lives in the defense of the country.

These Veterans Organizations have one purpose and that is to look out for the rights of those veterans. It doesn't matter if you lost your legs, eyes, or maybe your mind in this countries defense, it still takes the work of all of these Vet groups and more to make sure that our country lives up to the promises made to those that signed on that dotted line.

When President Bush told the country about how much it would cost to send the troops to Afghanistan, there was no mention on how much money would have to be set aside for future costs that these veterans would need after the war and for some, for their whole life.

Veteran Hospitals go begging each and every year to get the funds needed to honor America's commitment to past and future veterans. That is where all of these Vet groups come in. Veterans vote and the threat of those votes keep hospitals open, but not all the way. Minneapolis Veterans Hospital along with many others, has whole wards closed, because of a lack of funding. Many Vets wait over a year to get an appointment. Every Military Recruiter has used that promise of medical care as one way to entice potential recruits.

Every year in Washington it gets harder for those that want war to spend money on those troops that they can no longer use. The money spent on Veterans could be used to fund that new weapon system that might just be made in their district. Every President and Secretary of Defense, wants to go down in history as winners and if they have to walk over the older vets to fund that victory, well that is just too bad.

Before you sign up for Military service take a while and talk to Veterans and see how they are treated, look at what the war you are signing up for is all about ( your going to have to live with your actions), read about what other veterans have been asked to do for their country, (look up "winter soldiers" on google). Look up and read about "atomic vets" and think about having trouble breathing for the next 40 years of your life. Read about "agent orange", and "Gulf War Syndrome" and see how America treated those troops.

Go into this with open eyes so that you won't have anything to bitch about thirty years down the road. Let me tell you that I would defend our borders in a heart beat , but life has told me that our military is used to make some rich and to hell with those that serve.

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