Armed Forces deserve respect from citizens

Published 1:05 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

Armed Forces Day came and went Saturday, May 17 with very little fanfare. It was not my intention to ignore the day set aside to honor our presently serving young men and women. However, sometimes things get in the way of the best plans and intentions.

We should not pass up an opportunity to recognize and thank our men and women serving in today’s armed forces. It has been a long and exasperating 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is reasonable to expect troops are weary, and needless to say, the general public is weary of these endless wars with no positive outcome.

It is of no fault of our brave men and women doing the fighting, but the fault of politicians and bureaucrats who make up the rules of engagement and basically tell the military how to conduct the war. It appears we have a group of weak-kneed top brass who are looking out for their careers rather than the troops.

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I have long thought one of the qualifications for being president is to have had at least one tour of duty in our military. Differ if you will, but the commander in chief should be a veteran. He should also be held to the same rigorous background checks afforded others before being allowed access to matters of national security.

It is difficult to think about the way our veterans are being treated at government run VA health care clinics. Veterans are allowed to die waiting on care from these facilities just to make the numbers look good and enable bonuses to continue. Our men and women in uniform deserve our support and, most importantly, they deserve world-class health care upon returning, which they aren‘t getting.

VA health care is like all other government programs designed to take care of us; it fails miserably. It is a prelude to what Obamacare will be like for those forced to participate in yet another big government taxpayer-funded program.

I wonder, how many more scandals will it take with this administration before Americans say enough already? This should not be and according to reports, the president was briefed about it as far back as 2009. This is another very good reason to have a veteran in the White House.

It will be shocking if we continue to attract and retain enough young men and women to serve in our military with the things being imposed on them. Briefly, our military is being used as a social engineering tool. While religious expression and adherence is being suppressed, deviant behavior is being applauded.  This is unprecedented in our history and will affect morale, discipline and retention within the ranks in my opinion. The Secretary of Defense and the President are now favoring, or have no objections to, transgendered people serving openly in the services. They have already lifted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays and lesbians; one can only wonder what is next for our military.

George Washington had this to say in his farewell address, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion… Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”