This addresses the veterans of the past and the present: You are serving an ungrateful Washington.
All their hoopla is backed by a hidden agenda, masked by budget cuts and now, adding insult to injury, the government shutdown - denying death benefits to those that paid the ultimate price fighting a thankless, corrupt war.
The thanks we get are anti-Washington politicians screaming budget cuts to the military, military retirements, military benefits, VA hospitals and now death benefits and access to the war memorials.
Washington is not a grateful government and is proving it.
It's too bad millions of veterans have sacrificed so much to continue to be insulted and sacrificed. For what?
1. Countries who don't want us there;
2. Countries who turn and run in the other direction instead of fighting;
3. Countries who use the weapons and money to kill our men and women with our country's knowledge and continued support;
4. Washington allowing corrupt overinflated government contractor bidding time after time. They know it goes on, and it's truly amazing they haven't found a way to stop it decade after decade.
The waste of taxpayers' money goes on and on, unchallenged. Why?
Is it because Washington says so? Is it because it is the status quo? Is it because the taxpayers aren't fed up with the waste of their hard-earned taxed money?
Why haven't we held Washington accountable sooner?
Why haven't those millions, billions, trillions of dollars been used to make our country a better place to live, instead of filling corrupt foreign bank accounts or funding terrorist trucking companies or watching our weapons being used by their armies against us?
The civilian community does not know what the men and women of the military go through on any given day, especially in combat, the families that are left behind, and what it does to the combatant and to the family without them.
Your military is there for you, through thick and thin. Their patriotism is backed by an oath, not a fleeting feeling, stars and stripes, or the draft or oil.
They obey orders, even if, years later, they find out their country would abandon them like the vets and families of past wars have found out and like the veterans of the present will find out.
The patriotism is fleeting. It comes in an election year, goes in a budget cut, or, as you see now, in a government shutdown.
When will you, the taxpayer, the voter, the veteran, those in harm's way, vote and say, "Enough is enough."
Ask your vets of yesterday, your vets of today and yes, sorry to say, the vets of tomorrow.
The facts speak for themselves: Washington feels red tape, budget cuts, government shutdowns, timed hoopla, election promises, media distractions, will deter the taxpayer, even the veterans, from speaking out.
I say no and you should, too. I won't vote for a wasteful Washington.
Thomas M. Peck