Of two minds

I’ve seen a lot of “who cares?” type of posts on the government “shutdown” from the gun blogosphere and, for the most part, I agree.

Actually, it’s very tempting for me to increase my level of concern from “who cares” to “this is a good thing” since the rate at which we’re destroying our children’s and grandchildren’s future has slowed slightly during this period.

It wouldn’t bother me a bit if food stamp recipients and welfare recipients across the USA all the sudden had their charity…er…”benefits” reduced for a while. Perhaps it would cut down on obesity rates among the “less fortunate”. Heck, some of them may even have to cut back to basic cable rather than the premier package and give up watching HBO on their 60″ plasma HDTVs.

The one thing that makes me a bit leery about it, however, is the impact on the VA and military retirees.

Full disclosure: this has an impact on me. I’m a 40% disabled, military retiree and receive both a retirement check from the DOD and a VA disability check every month.*

With that said, however, I’m still able to work…I simply had to find employment in a field that wasn’t affected by my disabilities. We also live within our means (a concept obviously foreign to our “betters” in Washington DC). If my retirement and VA disability checks stop coming (a real possibility if this “shutdown” drags out for more than a few weeks), we can still pay the bills, keep the lights on and food on the table. Some “discretionary” spending is going to have to be cut or eliminated, but by budgeting properly, We should be OK, if not entirely comfortable.

What I’m worried about, though, are the veterans who are disabled to the point where they can’t work at all. The ones who suffered combat injuries or trauma that makes them dependent on their disability pay to survive. What happens to them if the VA stops sending out checks?

The Democrats won’t even consider negotiating with the Republicans on the issues before them. They simply won’t talk. When the Republicans offered a bill to fund the VA this week, the Democrats dismissed it out of hand. They have demonstrated that they have no problem holding the welfare of our honored combat veterans hostage to use as leverage to achieve their political agenda.

If that doesn’t piss everyone in the country off, regardless of political affiliation, there’s a serious problem here (not that THAT particular observation is news to anyone).

Basically, the very people who’ve sacrificed their physical well being in defense of our nation are potentially being tossed under the bus to gain political leverage.

I would urge everyone to call, e-mail or write to your congresspersons and let them know in no uncertain terms that this government had BETTER fulfill its obligations to our disabled war heros or there will be serious repercussions at the ballot box.

I would also urge people to pay attention to what’s going on and, if the VA does stop making disability payments, to step up, find out if there are any veterans in their area who cannot work due to injuries suffered as a result of their service, and do what they can to help them out.

We cannot let those who have selflessly sacrificed so much be allowed to slip through the cracks.

*Before anyone goes gushing about my honored service or anything…my disabilities are simply the result of the wear and tear on the human body that 21 years in the demanding conditions of the military can do to a person. It’s fairly typical for retirees to be rated between 10 and 40 percent disabled due to nothing more than the long term damage that the military environment causes. I am not a “combat vet” per se, so I don’t deserve to be placed on the pedestal that those who’ve “seen the elephant” do.*


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