Sunday, November 8, 2009

What do veterans want on Wednesday and every other day.....

Veterans like me will be able to choose six entrees at Applebees Nov. 11 as a tribute to our service. While I want to commend the restaurant along with the hundreds of others who provide discounts to active duty and retired military folks, the care and respect that our veterans deserve is not a one-day publicity event or even a discount on food or services.
In an interview published Friday in the Wall Street Journal, actor and peace activist Woody Harrelson said while he is against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, he totally supports the military who serve there. "It was a good experience for me because it's one thing to consider yourself pro-peace, like I consider myself, and quite another to understand what the soldiers are going through," Harrelson said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Michelle Kung.
I was glad to see someone like Harrelson that he supports our troops. In the Vietnam War, many of us remember those hippies who spat on troops as they arrived in San Francisco. Even years later, I ran into some of them while serving at Lowry AFB, Colo., as the chief of community affairs. During one educational summit, one teacher, who told me proudly that she protested against the war, asked me if I was a baby killer like the others.
"No, I am not," I replied. "I am just one of the many who protects your right to free speech."
On Wednesday, veterans are asking for the respect of those who didn't serve. One of the things that we would ask is to have a disability claims process that is fair and easy to understand. Another thing we would ask is that like other federal retirees that if we qualify for disability payments that we get them paid as additional income instead of having the portion of our disability provided to us as a tax free option.
Lastly, we ask that if you learn of our service that you continue to say thank you for our service in the military. And, we would ask that you take a moment of silent on Wednesday out of respect for those who were killed and disabled in the service of our country.

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