Photograph by the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Dear Mr. President,
I am not a part of the military community. The last members of my family to serve were my grandfathers and great uncles in WWII. I have a lovely photo of Uncle Robert standing with his crew next to his Boeing B-17. My paternal grandfather didn’t let childhood polio stop him from serving in the European Theatre. He marched alongside his Army mates with a size 8 boot on one foot, and a size 11 on the other. My own father missed the Vietnam draft, then fathered five daughters, each of whom grew never directly knowing the horrors of a major war.
I think Memorial Day represents many things to different people. It is a time to remember the sacrifices made to keep not just America, but the rest of the world as well, safe from tyranny. I am so thankful that my forebears are not here to witness your decimation of our Constitutionally-given rights.
Let’s take a quick gander at what you’ve done for our veterans and military families.
- Federal Hiring Freeze – “You’re amazing people, great people,” you said to the Retired American Warriors PAC. Did you know that veterans make up almost one third of the federal workforce? Not only are retiring military personnel unable to secure federal jobs, those who have managed to hold onto their positions have taken pay cuts. Many active-duty service members have had to leave the service early. How will they provide for themselves? Their families?
- You attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Gold Star parents.
- You ridiculed former prisoner of war, John McCain. Didn’t you defer your service five times? Isn’t that cowardice?
- You basked in the applause for Carryn Owen’s grief, then ducked responsibility for the botched mission. Your indignities know no bounds.
- And Veterans Affairs? You promised to fix that. You won by a two-to-one margin promising an overhaul of the VA. You lied. How is leaving 1,000 open positions at the VA unfilled helping our service members’ transition to civilian life? How does it help them survive PTSD? Who will talk them down off the ledge if no one is at the VA to pick up the suicide hotline?
Many people feel that instead of making our country great again, you’ve caused it to hit rock bottom. And they are excited because they can read the writing on the wall.
A person can dream. And write letters. And vote.