There is a long history in the United States of America of politicians sending our young men and women off to war and then ignoring their plight upon return.
One of the most disgraceful in our nation’s history was in 1932 when over 20,000 impoverished World War I veterans marched on Washington D.C. to collect a “bonus” promised to them in 1924, thus they were called the Bonus Army. The repugnant politicians, particularly President Hoover, called on the active military to evict them.
General Douglas MacArthur and Major George S. Patton have black marks on their records in my book by using tear gas, tanks, and cavalry to drive them out. Homeless, hungry, and penniless these men were driven away by their comrades-in-arms and the very politicians that in World War I sent over 4 million citizens to war with over 300,000 casualties.
My blood boils and my heart cries out writing this as should yours reading. How could they possibly do this one might think…
A few years before the Bonus Army incident in 1888, John P. Jones and Arcadia B. de Baker granted by deed 387 acres in West Los Angeles to “the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces in order to form a more perfect National Home, establish justice, ensure tranquility, provide for the necessary shelter and healthcare, promote the general well-being of our fellow Veterans, and secure the blessings of respect for ourselves and our posterity…” Fast forward to today and we find out that nothing really changes.
The largest concentration of homeless veterans is in Los Angeles with over 8000 of the estimated 107,000 across the USA. It has taken the ACLU to file suit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on June 8, 2011, to try to force them to use the land for the veterans and house them.
What do you mean use the land for the veterans? In the intervening 120 years, developers and politicians conspired to use the land other than as intended. Oh yes dear readers, an Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot, facilities for UCLA, and more have taken that land. Not veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Let’s add some more salt to that wide open wound. The VA has made no firm commitment and has put forth the same plan they did in 2007. Needless to say the ACLU and I both are not pleased. Nor should you be satisfied.
If you ever supported going to war and even if you never have but care about our veterans, the next time you go to a town hall meeting or encounter a politician I want you to look that person in the eye and ask them what specifically they have done, beyond simple words, to care for our veterans. When they don’t give a satisfactory answer, which they won’t, let them know they can never receive a vote from you until they put into ACTION a remedy for this national disgrace.