Tuesday, August 12, 2008

to see in all directions at the same time

I know I talk about this a lot, but seriously, as a veteran in this country, you just can't win.

I've mentioned before how I'm not eligible for the GI Bill because I had the lack of foresight to get hurt too soon into my enlistment, and I'm not eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation's help with education expenses because I'm too injured to be a productive member of society worth investing in, and now, today, I learned that I am also not eligible for a waiver for residency requirements in the state I grew up in. I was away for too long after I enlisted, and they only take pity on veterans of the Korean War, not any conflict more recent.

Korean War vets are all what, 70 years old or so now? Totally the people who habitually enroll at a community college.

And now the news is full of how smart McCain is to say that the US needs to threaten and/or attack Russia because the president of Georgia is a moron and started a war. OK, maybe that's not the best analysis of the situation (ObWi has much better). But still. The longer I identify as a veteran, the more I think that this disconnect between the realities of military experience and the ideals that run our foreign policy is the sickness that will bring down the American empire. That anyone who refuses to admit our military's limitations isn't laughed off the national stage- that this is instead seen as proof that he is a foreign policy heavyweight- astounds me.

Sometimes I wonder if it might not be better for our country to experience disaster and defeat. Not that I want tragedy, not the human cost of it. But we have been so successful in recent history (Iraq notwithstanding) that too large a number of our political philosophers no longer have any basis in reality, and that is incredibly dangerous, not only for us, but for the rest of the world.

And this urge to pretend that our military is always strong and gleaming and made up of invincible cartoon commandos, really sucks for veterans. I am so so sick of this constant battle for benefits.


foxaz said...

Your comments are right on. It amazes me that this country will send its military all over the world without a second thought, and then when they are injured or need assistance will stonewall until they die.
It also bothers me that our country barely values education, leaving it to its own devices (states problem) while throwing money in every other direction.
Until the US recognizes the importance of education over such things as bailing out the airlines, or underwriting crooked CEOs who create financial crises, our problems will continue to mount. Don't even get me started on health care.
Anyway, good blog! You're a talented and thoughful writer- (and not a bad knitter, either!)

Tayi said...

Oh man, don't get me talking about bailouts for supposedly capitalist companies. I start to sound like a raving socialist!

Thanks for your compliments. :)