It began as many holiday
celebrations do here in Nashville, with an open air concert on
lower Broadway, in front of the Hard Rock Café.
This one featured Billy Currington
(“God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy”), and was
followed by what was reported to be the second largest July the
4th fireworks display in the U.S.
We met a woman whose son had
recently returned from Afghanistan. When I mentioned how happy
she must be to have him back, her response sent chills down my
“I’ll never have him back. He wasn’t physically injured, but
he’s so emotionally and psychologically damaged that I don’t
know him. He can’t keep a job. He’s so angry that he can’t
function. I can’t even talk to him.”
She explained what a failure the V.A. had been, and how she hoped all the media
coverage of the recent V.A. scandal might bring much needed
When the obligatory Lee Greenwood
song "I’m Proud to Be an American” was played later in the
night, I noticed how everyone seemed to know the words. From
the Mitchell, South Dakota pharmacist to the Huntsville, Alabama
CPA standing beside us, it seemed like every one of the 284,000
people in attendance was singing along.
But when we got to this verse,
something struck me:
“I'm proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.”
I realized that metaphorically
speaking, forgetting the troops is largely what we've done to those who
made it home alive but in need of help.
When I Googled “V.A. scandal”, I found story after story of veterans who’ve
died waiting for medical care. Words like “Betrayal” and
“Abandonment” came up again and again.
It is unconscionable that we would
send these brave men and women to put their lives on the line in
service of our country, and not take care of them when they
It baffles me how many politicians
argue over whether certain interrogation techniques of
terrorists or methods of execution of convicted murderers are inhumane, but virtually ignore the inhumanity and injustice
of how we’ve failed our returning troops.
Paying lip service
by saying things like “I support our troops” or thanking them
for their service isn’t enough.
Regardless of whether you’re a
Democrat, Republican, or anything else, this should be one issue
we can all agree on.
If you are a proud American, I’m
urging you to write your Congressman and Senators, and demand
that they don’t let this fall to the back burner again.
here to go to the U.S.A.'s official website.
To Your Success,
P.S. For those who plan to send nastygrams about how
this newsletter isn’t appropriate for this issue, I implore
you to use the Unsubscribe link. I will not apologize for
standing up for veterans to whom we owe a debt of gratitude we
will never be able to repay. I AM proud to be an American, and
believe we can and must do better.
P.P.S. Canadians do
something called the Highway of Heroes to honor their fallen,
and I've always wished we did something similar in the U.S.
Click here to see.
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