VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
VVAW Home
About VVAW
Contact Us
Membership
Commentary
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store
THE VETERAN
FAQ


Donate
THE VETERAN

Page 60

<< 59. Upside Down: The March on Washington April 24, 197161. Father Daniel Berrigan - Presente! >>

Don't Be Fooled Again

By Renee Chevalier

[Printer-Friendly Version]

Before 1964 I was upset with the way all Veterans were treated in VA hospitals that were and still are underfunded.

I was formed, or as I like to say programmed, by our teachers and the law. When we were in Public School we were required to say the pledge of allegiance and it was against the laws of our land to refuse to have the pledge of allegiance said at the start of any school day.

The lessons in school as well as the movies we saw growing up were all about freedom and what our fore fathers and mothers experienced during our past wars and our war for freedom from England. I remember at a young age before I went into the military, my mind being formed by romantic novels of men and women who went to war and suffered through the perils of war. Suffering but overcoming the hardships of war.

We all seem to feel that romantic urge that pushes us toward the idea of the romance of war—it certainly is not. There is no romance in being blown out of your bed into a wall in the middle of the night. Nor is there any romance in having to sit up all night long straining your eyes and ears for sounds or sights that might indicate a push to over run the first line of defense by the enemy.

Where is the romance in hearing a room full of ill and mostly injured men and women groaning or screaming out in pain? Where is the romance when wives or husbands see that partner in bed unable to turn over because they are paralyzed from the neck down or from the waist down? Where is the romance in listening to Veterans complaining that they will be in the hospital for the rest of their lives because of the injuries they received in this or that action?

Romance should not be any part of consideration for going into the military, or supporting your country.

Induction physicals were not done by doctors. They were done by a sergeant who would have inductees walk away from him to a line on the floor and back. If they were able to walk then the next part of the physical was to look at their hands and see if they had a trigger finger on the hand that would be used to fire the weapon. The biggest thing at the time was did they have teeth on the right side so they could tear a paper cartridge end to put the powder and bullet into the weapon to load the weapon.

Most of the stories we heard and read in our history books lead us to believe that our government played fair. But when we find out they did nothing fairly it outrages us and makes us want to protest our government and tar and feather the representatives who gave their own children a way out of war and the military. They got favors from the draft board, had money to pay a doctor to lie about a son's medical condition or send a child of theirs to a school for a deferment. They also got their sons into the reserves or the Coast Guard. So they didn't have to go to war. A good example of the aforementioned is G. W. Bush getting into the Texas Air Guard (National Guard).

Seeing the numbers of people who were able to avoid going into the military I became disillusioned with our government and the people running the country from the President down to the people in a job working for the government. And that goes back to my tender age of 20 while first in the military and reading about our government and the crooks and thieves who run it. Disillusion with the government is very serious, especially by people who joined the military to enforce the government and its rule. They dream of serving their country only to find out the officials, even the president of our country, are crooks and thieves.

George W. Bush came into office and cut billions out of the VA budget, so veterans who were promised lifetime medical care from the VA Hospitals only to find out the budget cuts put through by the Republican President cut funds to care for them. To make things worse, he reinstated a few million to the budget that he cut just before his election was to come up so he could get Veterans to vote for him. This happens all the time with Senators and Congressmen, as well as many elected officials who run for town, city, state and even state governor.

What can we do about it short of a revolution? Nothing, because they write the rules and even vote themselves raises and refuse to be part of the herd and use the same health care we all are forced to use, or the same laws we are forced to follow, or even the same prison system we are forced to be a part of. Why is that? Because we allow the liars to lie and the thieves to steal from us without consequence.

What must we do?

We must insist on a blind justice. We also must insist in government by the people, not by the corporations or the rich. We must elect hard working people who have served their government and people before they become an elected official. By serving the people and governement we must insist that those servants of the government are vetted and their claims are proven. And that they are not posers like Clinton, Trump, Bush, and Obama, just to name a few.

Our system of government is broken. The people who are running the country are not the people elected to do the job. They are huge corporations or extremely rich people. Those front men, like the carpetbaggers who invaded the south after the civil war, are just window dressing to make you feel like you are being treated fairly.

We could revolt and tear down the government and rebuild it. But would that work? People are gullible and believe others, the wrong others.

So what happens when we have a military that is leaning towards a Christian Army of God not the people? With ministers and priests and others in the Religious community forcing the military into an "in God We Trust" scenario not in our government. Why?

Because fat old men who wear dresses have a voice in our government. Those fat old men condemn women and want the people of the world to look at women as the problem.

Women need the same rights as men. They have to have the choice or the freedom to choose as we are reported to have, and men have had all their lives.



Renée Chevalier is a Vietnam Veteran 1968-1969 with Combat related Disability from service. Served in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Long binh, Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.


<< 59. Upside Down: The March on Washington April 24, 197161. Father Daniel Berrigan - Presente! >>



(Do you have comments or suggestions for this web site? Please let us know.)