Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

I am proud to come from a big military family. I have so much respect for the military because these are men and women who go out there to answer a call within themselves to serve. They risk the ultimate sacrifice. Their families risk the ultimate sacrifice. These men and women are something greater than the rest of us mere mortals. I cannot properly express the admiration I have for them. Everyone should have this same respect for our military.

I could go on to discuss how mistreated this group is, this group that we owe so much to. They get crappy pay, sometimes terrible housing. And that’s while they are active. Afterwards, they struggle to get adequate medical care and often end up homeless. They become forgotten. They may be disabled, physically or mentally or both. They went over to protect our country and the people within it and they don’t get a damn thing in return. It’s awful and disgusting and a story for another day.

People who willing want to serve in the military and meet the mental and physical capacity to should be able to have that opportunity. Isn’t this the type of freedom we’ve been fighting for? People in the LGBT community who want to protect and serve their country should be able to. I don’t understand why they shouldn’t be able to. Especially with military recruitment in a consistent downward spiral, beggars can’t really be choosers. Even a revered General Mattis said of this topic “Can’t they hold a gun?” Is it really more complicated than that?

So when you say that transgender people can’t serve if they want to go under gender reassignment surgery, why not? How much money is actually paid for this type of medical care in the grand scheme of the military budget? Spoiler alert: According to what I read, a lot less than 1%. Not even 0.50%. The budget concerns isn’t the issue. If it were, maybe you should spend that $5.7 billion you want for a wall and put it towards the military so that they have adequate care while they are serving, and after.

Let whoever is capable and willing to serve and protect do that. You could be missing out on a soldier that could go on to do great things, then look back and credit the military for shaping their life for success. That type of story sells itself and recruitment would be right on track. Instead, people prefer to squabble about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or letting Transgender people in the military because of their own personal bias. I don’t throw around accusations like “homophobic” or “racist”, but policies like this are discriminatory. Next, women won’t be allowed to serve because their medical care costs too much and men can’t control themselves not to sexually harass or assault them.

I stand by my military. I stand by any person who wants to serve a cause bigger than the rest of us. I know I don’t have it in me to do what they want to do, so I admire them greatly for it. I don’t care about if they are LGBT or not. They deserve admiration for doing what so many of us are unwilling to, not become the topic of court cases still trying to fight for their rights.

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The Praises and the Woes

Monday was Memorial Day, the day that was meant to celebrate the troops for everything they do for us. Some have sacrificed their lives, and I felt that doing a blog post on that day would be a disservice, mostly because no words can truly be said for these men and women who are selflessly protecting America and their ideals even when it seems America doesn’t do enough to thank them. Remember every time you complain about “what a poop-hole America has become” because they allow you that freedom by fighting for us. Complain less, and thank more people. And don’t forget about the families that sit around worrying about their loved ones who are defending America, they will always remember their fallen more than we will and that’s absolutely horrible.

I didn’t intend for this post to be entirely dedicated to Memorial Day, especially considering it was 2 days ago. The nature of the beast while writing though, at least for me, is to go with what I feel like writing about. As I read that last sentence of that last paragraph, I felt compelled to continue anyways. We don’t have a death toll up that tells us how many people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq like we have the debt toll clock. Why would that be more important to us? There are people dying for us, and we should be reminded daily of it because they deserve not to be forgotten. The sad truth is I was right with the statement about how easily we forget. My friend’s brother died in Iraq, and while I know about it, it only pops in my head a few times a year when I sit and think about people who have fought for our country. My friend probably thinks about it more than once or twice a day. That makes me feel horrible to admit, but it doesn’t take away the truth of that statement.

They deserve better. I don’t know how many times I can say that, but it needs to be repeated often. Our troops lose pieces of themselves, physically and mentally, because they wanted to be a part of a bigger plan in life. They lose limbs, families, their lives, and in a lot of cases, their minds. And we support them once a year with an hour-long parade of high school bands that sound terrible and hideous floats and ditzy blonde local beauty pageant winners.  That doesn’t seem like a fair trade-off to me. I’ve had family serve our country, and thankfully returned safely. There are a lot of people who aren’t as lucky. They deserve better.

My son always salutes a person he sees in uniform. He said it shows them respect and that we are thankful to them. That’s what they need. They need us to show gratitude when we can, not because of a holiday people get off of work. They don’t get the day off to have BBQ with their families or to get insanely drunk with friends. Maybe more people need to be like my son and show them respect whenever they see them or help the ones that are home that need our help since they dedicated so much to help us. Remember that next time you complain about paying taxes or how terrible things are going with the government. We have troops that are fighting for our right to complain and to be free. /endsoapboxrant