The Union Recorder


November 8, 2013

Ensuring veterans are in good hands with the public



 He said, “I would stand there for a while sometimes because there weren’t many cars coming by. But there would hardly be a car or two pass that didn’t stop and offer a ride. ‘Where are you going?’ they’d say. They’d take me as far as they could. Some would even go 10 or 20 miles out of their way to get me to the next road. Almost all of them offered me food or wanted to give me something. A few would take me to a restaurant and some even made me go home with them and eat. Two or three times I even spent the night at strangers’ houses and they got up the next morning, fed me again, and took me down the road to my next stop. Some wrote down my name and address and wrote to me all through the war. Actually, I traveled the distance there and back about as fast as I could have driven and got plenty of free food along the way. It was amazing how they treated me like I was something special, like I was royalty.”

 Yes, it was a different time during WWII and the country felt differently about those in service. But like my dad, I think of the thousands who have served as he did. Not everyone has a uniform full of medals, but they did a job that had to be done to support the country.

As we celebrate Veterans Day, we will see plenty of politicians getting their pictures made with veterans. However, the VA is underfunded and understaffed to the point that veterans usually have to wait six months for their benefits to start. Some 900,000 veterans and their families were cut from the food stamp rolls last week. With a defense budget of a trillion dollars, couldn’t we not build a few planes or ships and get them the benefits they deserve? The politicians who hug the veterans, then won’t vote to help them are like the drivers who waved at my dad, but wouldn’t give him a ride.

The point is two-fold. One, the people need to make sure that their elected officials treat the servicemen and veterans with the proper care, medical treatment and pay that they deserve. Secondly, the general public needs to realize that they have a role in helping the veterans, making them feel like they are something special … like they are royalty … and like they are in good hands with the public.


Darrell Black


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