Posts Tagged ‘veteran abuse’

When I was a kid, some summers I was hired by a neighbor to house sit for them while they ventured out of town, state, or the country, on vacations, charitable missions, etc.

It didn’t matter to me the reason for their leaving; I made sure their place and property were safe and secure. They were neighbors, practically family, and worthy of my best attention and intentions.

I have a family of my own now, and a home. With the same intentions of looking out for my neighbors and community on a larger scale, I joined The Guard. To be sure, there were both civic pride and some perks involved.

Then came the call, the leave from my job, from my family, my home, my neighborhood,my community…eventually my entire country. I am not complaining about serving and the general duty I signed up for. We gotta stop them where they are, so they won’t come where my family lives and assert their less than ideal ideals on me and mine. I’m all for preserving liberties at home.

We live in a modest house, drive a modest car, and live a modest life back at home. I ain’t asking for anything extra. But the pay from my hard earned career ended the day I was called up, and that little stipend from Uncle Sam is, well, little.

I remember when the Apollo 13 astronauts were stranded in space, they were granted a grace period in which to file their income taxes. They were looked out for while in peril during their service to our country. I too am far from home, and in peril, in service for my country. And I’m not alone here in my situation. I’m surrounded by thousands that are willing to take a bullet to protect me. And they all left family back home too.

But back in the world, there’s trouble at my home. While I’m here doing whatever it takes to preserve life there for the masses, my wife has an empty pantry, an empty bank account, no insurance on a barely running car, and an empty feeling inside.

She doesn’t want to distract me here, to make me less attentive and cost me lost sleep, lost attention to the dangers around me. She’s gotten food stamps, bus passes, and calls from creditors over the basic necessities. Last week they shut off her power in the middle of a cold snap and she and the kids got to “camp out” in sleeping bags till she was able to use the neighbor’s phone to call and beg for help from the PUD.

I’m in the middle of a hostile desert serving my country, while some in my country show their appreciation and patriotism by seeing to it my family stands to starve and freeze in their own home.

Although our little fixer-upper house is yet to be fixed up like we planned, she’s being told that may be the least of our worries, as the numbers are becoming a little more than we can handle. She may have to move in with her folks so some banker can see to it that some opportunistic soul will pick up the note on our home (after that same banker takes it out from under us).

This, while I serve to protect that banker’s right to drive a car worth about as much as the home he’s taking away. So much for returning the favor and house sitting for this soldier’s family while he’s away.

I have no doubt the sons and daughters of bankers aren’t likely to be serving in this war, nor would their families ever be put out in the street so daddy could foreclose on their bungalow in the Hamptons. No other way to put it, my life back in the world is being looted while I protect strangers, a world away, from being looted by their neighbors and their own flimsy government.

While I struggle to preserve my life in a war zone, my life at home is being allowed to be taken away from me and mine…

And I hear an echo from 1969, Woodstock, another war, and another anthem of the time…Country Joe and the Fish…”and its 1, 2, 3…what are we fightin’ for? Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn. The next stop is ‘IraqistNam’…”

I’m not stranded half way to the moon, but I may as well be. At least those boys could see home from where they were perched. I feel as if I, and mine, have been left hung out to dry, and that my home might not be there when, and if, I do get back.

I know my neighbors at home are busy covering their own asses, but hey, we’re hanging ours out here in a big way… and promises are evaporating like a puddle of water in the desert wind. Far as I know, one of my ‘neighbors’ there may very well be the one taking away my home while I serve to protect his rights and his home.

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

MLL Summer 2008

Read Full Post »