By Anna Von Reitz
I wrote letters for wounded veterans during Vietnam. I was the shoulder to cry on and interpreter for a man who, though he grew up in my small hometown, spoke French after his medical discharge from the service. He said he couldn't bear to speak English, because it was a "dirty" language, and he didn't want to be a U.S. Citizen after what he had seen and been through, either. Some days, he would just sit on the bench in front of the Jackson County Courthouse and cry. People avoided him and gossiped about him. And of course, if he spoke to them they didn't understand French.
His wounds, which included facial disfigurement and a permanently gimpy leg, added to the off-putting nature of his appearance. More than once, I overheard people saying mean things like he was "not all there" or "some kind of foreigner". And if I heard this, no doubt, he did, too.
The only time he really smiled was when I brought my dog along and he got to play with her. Games of fetch. Treats. Keep away. Swimming. Walks with the dog.
People gossiped about me, too, wondering if there was something "more" to our relationship than sharing books in French and playing with a dog and babbling about the weather and current events. He was fond of fruit, so we went berry picking and in the fall, went to the orchards outside of town and collected windfalls. It was bittersweet all the way around.
I was probably twenty years younger than him and due to the circumstances of both our lives, there was no romance involved at all. Just a simple, odd friendship between a deeply wounded officer and a girl who could speak High School level French.
The years have rolled away and away. My Father was a veteran. My husband is a veteran. I am a 25-year "Honorary Member" and supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) organization.
On a regular basis I hear what I call "the dreary lauds" --- people getting all sentimental and writing drivel about our veterans and saying, "Thank you for your service.".
Here's the news flash, people.
Our veterans are suffering, losing their homes, losing their jobs, going without even basic medical and social services, being herded through substandard VA facilities, given dangerous drugs and "vaccines", self-medicating with booze and drugs. Many are depressed, defensive, unable to rest, scared, angry, on a roller-coaster of adrenalin reaction and counter-reaction.
Perhaps even worse, they are being deprived of the very freedoms they fought for, or thought they were fighting for, and denied the protections and guarantees of the Constitutions, as a result of treasonous illegal flim-flam from politicians and attorneys.
Not only are our veterans being cheated out of their most basic fundamental rights and guarantees, but just as bad, they are being denied exemptions from taxation and harassment that they have earned. They are being cheated out of money and stocks and bonds that they are owed. They are being forced to pay mortgages that they don't owe.
And during their service they are being used as cheap mercenaries for war-mongering foreign commercial corporations and the criminals who are running those corporations.
So, please don't tell our veterans "Thank you for your service." or get all teary-eyed about their sacrifices, and all the young people wasted and ruined and maimed and killed in the process.
Get off your duffs and get angry.
Put something behind your words, words, words.
Make it your business, as I have made it mine, to see to it that these men and women make it home to America, and are not left in limbo as "U.S. Citizens" for life. Make it your business to make sure that their Constitutional Guarantees and exemptions are honored. Make it your mission to make sure that they receive the money and services and care that they deserve.
Or just shut up with the fine sentiments and sanctimonious twice a year pandering. It makes me sick and I know it makes a lot of veterans sick, too.