Today is Memorial Day, when we honor the sacrifices of our veterans in all of our wars and military engagements, and there is not any way to fully repay these heroes who have kept us free, and preserved our democracy and way of life!
But in the midst of honoring them, the facts are clear: We talk up a great storm of praise for our military warriors, but do not treat them properly once they return home!
We have lost about 1,700 in Afghanistan, and about 4,400 in Iraq, who made the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind bereaved wives, children, parents, siblings, and friends, who will never be the same after the loss of their loved ones.
But we also have about 35,000 veterans of the recent engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, who have in many cases been severely injured, losing limbs and often part of their skulls, and have a tough time adjusting to their handicaps.
But also, we have many veterans who have emotional and mental problems caused by their combat experiences, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and have difficulty coping with every day civilian life as a result. We also have 156 veterans who have committed suicide in the past year, as well as 5 percent of all veterans being homeless, and an unemployment rate among veterans of 27 percent!
More needs to be done regarding education, health care, housing, and personal intervention by trained personnel who can help veterans in emotional trouble, and we cannot allow budget matters to interfere, as long as we continue to fund defense industries with projects often full of waste, fraud and abuse!
Human needs must be paramount in respect of the contributions that our veterans have given to this nation!