Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference in the world. The marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan
For all the criticism and self-criticism unleashed upon our country and our military, there is one thing that is undeniably true: the world is a better place because of the United States, and wherever our soldiers have landed people have been liberated. The places they stopped fighting mark the places that freedom has ended. (Just ask North and South Korea.) (ok,so that is two things, and I can imagine people disagreeing with at least assertion #2.)
Thanks go to the fighting men and women who have purchased with their lives the freedom of basically all on this planet who are free.
And now, some uplifting poetry:
Disabled, by Wilfed Owen
He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.
About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
— In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.
There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.
Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?
Current Veteran's Benefits for the 100% Disabled Soldier:
unmarried, no kids: $ 2,673/mo or $32,076/yr
married, no kids, two parents: $3,063 or $36,756/yr
unmarried, with one child: $2,774 or $33,288/yr
married, with one child: $3,172 ($75-$240 extra per multiple child depending upon age) or $38,064/yr
Doesn't seem like much to me, considering what they gave and considering the entitlements enjoyed by others in this country.
Happy Armistice Day!