Memorials Are All Well And Good, But...

I was reading the Talking Points Memo from O'Reilly's show last night. Yes, I know. I'm a glutton for punishment. It's entitled "Honoring Wounded American Veterans". If you can stomach it, read it. It basically deals with O'Reilly trying to drum up support to "fund a memorial in Washington honoring those Americans who have sacrificed their health in defense of this country." The price tag is $40 million.

Now, I can understand how a memorial can be of value. I think something like the Vietnam Memorial has helped many families and veterans with the grieving process. However, in this case we're talking about disabled veterans - people who are still alive and suffering because they don't have all their limbs or they're emotionally traumatized or they're blind. While I would never assume to know the minds of these veterans (maybe they really want a memorial), I question whether this is truly the best way to honor them, especially given what we've learned about what life is like for them after they return.

I think it makes more sense to make sure all the wounded get the care and attention they need (and then a little more) before we build fancy memorials that many of them will, quite frankly, be too poor, as a result of their conditions, to ever visit anyway.


bubbles said...

Grrrr! Fluff and bullshit to give someone center stage. We don't have the luxury of creating fluff right now. There are people that need resources and help.

It would be interesting to have a private talk with the people trying to run the Veteran's hospitals and rehab centers. I wonder what they would do with the millions? It takes lots and lots of money to provide the rehab services these guys need, and unless they have strong advocates to fight for private services, they often go without. Existing VA hospitals are ill equiped to handle what has happened. Christ, the US wasn't even prepared to provide the materials and equipment the guys needed when they first went over there - how much planning do we think went into vamping up the VA facilities?

O'Rieley should ask a young wife with young children if she would rather have her brain injured husband get rehabilitative therapy to enable him to speak again or stoke her hair, or if she would prefer a memorial. She doesn't need a memorial - she has a memorial right in front of her every day.

Sorry - obviously this stikes a nerve with me!

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Agree. The money is best used funneled into other services for Vets with disabilities than a memorial. While on one hand a memorial might raise awareness of their issues, I doubt it.

What would end up happening is that the memorial would be built, then all services would be cut off, and when disabled vets and their families complained, the government response would be: "What, we gave you a memorial. Quit complaining."

Tha bastards.

lulu said...

I was going to say something about cronically underfunded VA hosptials, but I see that I have been beaten to the punch. One of my best friends is a surgeon at the local VA, and the stories he tells are appalling.

gennifer6 said...

they are so misguided...they don't even know. God forgive them for they know not what they do.

Some Guy said...

Anon.- Great comment! Thanks.

Cherry- I thought about the whole "creating awareness" angle. If we need a monument in order to motivate us to donate, what does that say about us? I think awareness could be created in other ways, mainly through the media exposing the shit treatment we currently provide. Hopefully they continue to do so, although I've read that Walter Reed patients have been told to keep their mouths shut. Ultimately, I think the truth will get out (I hope).

Lulu- Ask your friend to tell some of those appalling stories to the media. They'd probably like to hear about it.

Genn6- I want to think that people like O'Reilly do care (believe it or not). I just think their efforts are misplaced.

Randy- He uses that "clear-thinking Americans" line constantly, like you'd have to be an idiot to disagree with him. Why people respect him is beyond me.

Phil said...

My Dad is a Vet with two purple hearts but he never had to deal with crippling injuries. He has just recebtly started applying for medical aid, as well as other benefits he is entitled too. After he returns from a visit to the doctor or a trip to fill out paperwork he is always amazed at the ineffecient way things are done.

We go round and round on these subjects. He, of course, believes more funds are needed, but there also needs to be a demand for efficiency. So much of the money is wasted, misused and flat out stolen.

Coaster Punchman said...

Just when I thought I'd heard every possible iota of stupidity from O'Reilly and his cronies, it continues to get worse.