Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hug A Veteran!!!

I'm proud to say it. I'm a veteran and I'm from a family of veterans. My father served during WWII, I served in Viet Nam, and my oldest son served during the Gulf War. Even though veterans were encouraged to do so, I didn't wear my ribbons and medals today. I think that I still feel some sadness from the way that service men and women were received during the Viet Nam War. I'm glad to see how America is standing behind its military during the war in Iraq. Again, we will find that some of these vets will be in need of mental health services.

According to the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), in 2002, more than 700, 000 veterans received mental health services from the VA. I know that there are many who need this medical attention that have not and probably will not get it. Our government, led by President Bush, has made great strides toward removing the stigma of mental illness. This, I believe, will compel Congress to make sure that adequate care is provided for our veterans. This is one area of the budget where there must not be any cutbacks, but increased funds should be made available to the Veterans Administration Hospitals to see that these men and women receive the medical attention that they have earned and deserve.

I would invite every citizen to visit a VA hospital. I have been to three. Most people would be shocked and perhaps shamed to see how broken many of these vets are. Broken. That's the word that frequently comes to my mind whenever I am at one of these facilities. These men and women are often broken in body and sometimes in mind, but they are never broken in spirit. They are proud to have served their country. Most of them, if they had it all to do over, would do it all over again.

I love my country. I love my military brethren. I love the freedom that they have purchased for all of us. God bless America!!

Friends, I hope that you will hold our veterans in high esteem. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Especially when they are broken.
["I'm so low I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]