The Confusion Tribune - Million Veteran March A Complete Bust
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Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 9:09 AM
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Subj: The Confusion Tribune - Million Veteran March A Complete Bust" 6-12-05
Date: 6/13/2005 5:27:19 PM Eastern Standard Time From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent from the Internet (Details)
On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 11:42:29 -0500, MSGT Floyd Sears USAF ret wrote:
I am saddened by this development. I had hoped that this march would have attracted more attention. However, I give credit to those that tried because to have tried and failed is far better than not trying at all. Many thanks to SMSGT James Nolan (ret) for this report. I would like to go on record and say that if the military retiree community attempts another march, such as this, then we should make it easier for the older folks to participate by spreading the march out all across the USA. Small groups of 3 or 4 could post themselves in front of their REPs local offices with bold placards indicating support for a delegation in Washington, DC. The local groups should be able to get some news coverage from their local news media which may in-turn might attract the attention of the national news media after the fact. Of course this is an over simplification of an initiative that would require much detailed planning. At this point it's something to think about. PS: The following message was edited to remove the >> marks, enlarge the font, and remove the extra space between paragraphs in order to make it easier to read. The content was not changed.
Following last weeks's abortive and pitifully-attended so-called "Million Veteran March on Washington", in which, perhaps, one percent OR LESS of the hoped-for turnout actually showed-up - I retreated to my long-time friend and fellow veteran Paul S. Fukushima, Command Sergeant Major, US Army, Retired, in Aberdeen, Maryland. Paul is originally from Hawaii and served on active duty for more than 30 years in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We have been fast friends for many years and I was very privileged to serve with him in a Joint Service capacity in Korea back in the 1980's after his retirement from active duty and when we were both working in post-retirement civilian positions for US Forces Korea.
After visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall - [our twelth visit to this deeply-moving shrine to our Vietnam War dead] - we proceeded to Capitol Hill where we were able to present a formal list of our many grievances to the staff of the House Armed Services Committee. Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-CA, was not available to personally meet with us - as he was "in various committee consultations" and could not rearrange his schedule to suit our needs. Okay. We will have to accept this excuse.
We were, however, able to obtain a "commitment" - whatever that means in today's Washington - that our views would be presented to Chairman Hunter "for his personal attention" and:
"WILL BE GIVEN EVERY CONSIDERATION SHOULD THESE MATTERS COME BEFORE THE CONGRESS FOR A VOTE"......
......in other words....."Forget About It!!!!!!"
Before leaving TheHill we were able to meet individually with two Republican members of the House of Representatives who have shown considerable "backbone" and may be counted in Our Corner as being true to their word when it comes to legislation that impacts military veterans and career military retirees:
Represenatives John J. Duncan, Jr. of Tennessee and Walter Jones of North Carolina.
Both of these men stand firm with their military constituents and do more than just "talk the talk. They are in the forefront of those in Congress who are willing to "walk the walk". I recommend that every person who reads these words contact them and express their frustration with the snail's pace that has marked the Congress under the leadership of the Republican Party - which had run on a platform of "Promises Made Will Be Promises Kept" and "Help Is On The Way". While things have improved, considerably, for the members of the Armed Forces now on active duty in terms of pay, allowances and benefits - there has been a steady sniping away at all those factors for those of us who served our nation IN THE PAST.
Under this administration- as in previous ones - our pay and benefits have not kept pace with that of the civilian economy or even that of those who are serving today. In point-of-fact, we are slipping farther and farther behind and there is, seemingly, no one on Capitol Hill willing to acknowledge this is the case.
Meanwhile, "USA Today" - among others - headlines "$40,000 Enlistment Bonus For New Enlistees"!
We are willing to meet with and work with and do anything we possibly can to help improve the terrible situation we military veterans and career military retirees now find ourselves living on a daily basis. There is no reason, whatsoever, that we wish to exclude from this discussion any members of the Democratic Party who may happen to share our views and who, sincerely, wish to help us overcome these conditions. It should be noted, however, that we chose to approach these three members of the House, not on the basis of Political Party but on the avowed record of these individuals who have consistently declared their desire to make amends for the outrageous wrongs perpetrated upon our military - especially the career force.
Thus far their words have echoed nothing but Empty Promises. - no matter how well-intended.
To date, we have had many brave words from BOTH major political parties. We have seen precious little in the way of corresponding ACTION to make us whole again. It is not enough to just stand up before a crowd and wave the flag, slap vinyl "yellow ribbon" bumber stickers on our cars and scream at the top of our lungs about how much we "Support Our Troops". We are betrayed 'by-the-numbers' by these False Patriots who, even though many of them may actually think they are "sincere", continue to betray us with their ACTIONS in complete contradiction to their WORDS.
I look forward to working with anyone in any capacity who is able to help us achieve our goals of a just and equitable outcome for those of us who served our nation for a full career in the belief that the promises of our nation would be fulfilled - and, as we have seen, have proven to be utter, barefaced lies.
In Solidarity With Our Brothers and Sisters-in-Arms. Everywhere.
Senior Master Sergeant James Nolan Campbell, United States Air Force, Retired