Hollow Gratitude
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Hollow Gratitude

Washington : DC : USA | May 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM PDT
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Changing of The Guard - Veterans Day Tribute 11-11-11

It is amazing how many people say they are grateful to Soldiers on Veterans and Memorial Day. Frankly, those utterances are consistent with Hollow Gratitude. It is great to give thanks to dead Soldiers but what about those still alive. Veterans and Memorial Days have become a time for celebration and “anything for a party” atmosphere instead of the solemn remembrance it should be. In addition, it is fine to tell the Veterans Thank you but do nothing to help them stay alive. The next time you see a veteran Male or Female in need of Food, Shelter, Clothing, Money, Transportation, or Medical assistance; ask yourself when was the last time you actively reached out and help when you see them as opposed to expressing Hollow Gratitude.

Some Americans guilty of uttering Hollow Gratitude is actually making a profit off needy Veterans. There are those who have incorporated themselves as part of the network of assistance to veterans and are ripping them off with exorbitant charges for Housing and Transportation. Those to whom I refer are literally making a living off the people they claim to be grateful to for their service. Pretending to be of service to needy veterans is a business. Veteran’s monetary benefits have become income for hypocrites, parasites, and low lives in our society.

To further exacerbate the abysmal condition; those who served in the National Guards will soon discover that even with an honorable discharge they are not entitled to benefits they assumed would be available at retirement age. Soldiers who wore the uniform with pride in the National Guards and were fortunate not to sacrifice their lives will discover that they are not in the class eligible for veterans benefits.

National Guard members especially those who volunteered their service during the cold war period will soon discover that their Honorable discharge certificate is worth less than the paper written on. Those who thought the word National meant something will soon conclude that it is a case of deception. Retired National Guard members who were fortunate not to be killed or injured will discover that they are veterans of the State they served in and not the Nation. Unless you were unfortunate to become disabled or shot at for two years, you are not entitled to benefits like Medical or Housing as administered by the Veterans Administration.

That position and explanation is disingenuous. I have yet to find one retired National Guard Veteran who was or is interested in enduring any condition of disability to receive Medical or Housing benefits as administered by the Veterans Administration. I still have yet to find a veteran who served in the National Guards who wanted to be a veteran of a State. All the veterans who served in the National Guards intended to be a veteran of the United States of America otherwise they would not have enlisted. Unless you were a Full Time active duty National Guards member Male or Female, you knew nothing about Title 5 or Title 10. I have yet to find a retired National Guard who can tell me the details of Title 5 or Title 10 and all say that if they knew it would have been a reason not to enlist.

If National Guard members are veterans of the State they served in does that mean they must reside in said state to receive benefits? How valuable are those benefits if they do not include Medical and Housing? You are more likely to get Medical and Housing from the Federal Government than a State especially with states being bankrupt. Clearly, soldiers by their very nature are not boring imbeciles and many retired National Guards members no longer reside in the State they served. In fact, some are no longer in country. The understanding that National Guard members now veterans had when they volunteered were that the National Guard was a branch of the Army. That understanding now appears to be at best fallacious. Title 5 or Title 10 will disenfranchise veterans who served in the National Guards particularly during the cold war period and if they were fortunate not be disabled, or Killed.

Most National Guard members who are now veterans enlisted at a young age and benefits like medical or Housing was not a need. Many were Professionals with a bright future and employee benefits until the economic debacle. Consistently I am disappointed by the lack of empathy by Regular Army veterans with respect to this apparent double standard benefits eligibility cacophony. Perhaps there is a silent envy that most National Guards members at the time of enlistment had the option to conduct a Military and Civilian Professional life simultaneously. Regular Army benefits from National Guards members. National Guards member are the ones with the Intelligence and Language skills that the military need. They are the ones with the college degrees, skills, and training.

Congress needs to be aware that the wrappers are off Title 5, 10, and veterans who were members of the National Guards are not amused by the revelation. College students and Graduates considering this service should discuss benefits at retirement with their recruiter before signing on the dotted line. I will continue to echo my displeasure.

In God we Trust. We are a Christian Nation. God will not mind if you are spiritually and financially rich at the same time.

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Virgopass is based in Englewood, Colorado, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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