I would love to take off my cap and shake hands, tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me secure. I would love to offer you a discount of my service. I would love to look you in the eye and tell you that for your dedication we are forever in debt and you will be taken care of. I would love to… The fact is that we take advantage of your courage in every way possible. We don’t guarantee anything when your service is up. I’ve met you and talked to you. It saddens me. The average starting salary for a first year armed forces employee is just under 30,000 dollars a year. That’s about $12.50 an hour. In California In N Out Burger employees start at $10.50 an hour. Your dedication is worth just a couple bucks over a fast food employee? We spend roughly $50,000 a year per person that is incarcerated in our state prison system. Oh yeah, we didn’t tell you that your base salary includes the value of housing, food, and tax advantages. What’s your hourly now?  Are you starting to see my point? This last year we have learned of the atrocities committed by our Veteran’s of Foreign Wars program. This shocked most people or at least they pretend to be shocked. I knew for years that the system is broken, all you have to do is sit in my mom’s bar and talk to a Vietnam vet or now a Vet of any conflict in the world. They will tell you how they are taken care of, or should I say medicated. A lot of my friends that I grew up with won’t go near my mom’s bar because of the scary people. Most of them are vets that have nowhere else to go; so along with our government I ask you, how do you treat these guys?

If you traveled to a foreign country on Veteran’s day and showed someone American television. Let’s say they know nothing of our culture. Would they assume that the Men and Women of our armed services are well taken care of? You bet your ass they would. They would see grand programing that pulls at the patriotic strings of citizens. They would assume that our country’s soldiers are the highest paid Americans with the greatest benefits and a retirement program befitting true heroes. The fact is the actor that plays those men and women are placed on a higher pedestal most of the time.

I could go on and on and you might start to assume that I don’t like my country. You would be wrong. I love living here. I am patriotic. I even love that we have these days to celebrate these brave Americans. Imagine if we didn’t. So, I don’t want anyone to stop shaking hands and giving thanks and praise. I don’t want parades to stop or special events halted. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t need a national holiday to recognize people that put country before their own well being. I’m just saying that our system continues to be wrong. Will it ever get fixed?

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