December 16, 2007 – I’ve read quite a few letters in the Erie Times-News of late regarding the war in Iraq and feelings of betrayal.
I feel betrayed when I see Vietnam veterans, who were drafted and shot to pieces, out on the streets of New York, homeless, with limbs missing, begging for money because the government won’t help them.
I feel betrayed when I see veterans having to sue the Department of Veterans Affairs and spend years in court fighting for benefits they’re entitled to, while they practically starve, because they’ve been injured or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and can’t work.
I feel betrayed when I see my government drag my country into war under the pretext of fighting some foreign bogeyman, so that a few powerful and connected individuals can reap obscene profits on the blood and bones of foreign citizens and American troops.
Lowest of all, I think, is a government that offers up to $30,000 in signing bonuses as an incentive to enlist people in the Army to go fight in Iraq, and risk life and limb.
Then, this same government demands its money back from those who get their arms and legs blown off, because they can’t finish their enlistments as a result of being maimed for life.
Where, I ask, does this country ever get the audacity to claim moral high ground in any instance, when it flouts the Geneva Conventions, condones and practices torture, and treats its veterans like this?