Publisher’s Commentary by Wallace J. Allen
Most of our Armed Services personnel are probably used to hearing the “Thank you for your service” part of this headline, especially during the days just before Veterans Day. As we consider the poor condition of the country’s infrastructure, our streets, bridges, highways and dams, we can be sure that every natural disaster has the potential to turn tragic. We also know that the structure of family and community is constantly challenged and evolving under the influence of low and no wage, corruption and if not lawlessness. We can certainly agree that we have biased law enforcement.
All of the above are reasons to add the “We still need you” phrase of this article’s headline when we encounter a veteran. Their training and love for America has been proven by their initial service. They have put their lives on the line for an ideal… freedom and fairness is what they fight for. Many come home from the fight, wounded either physically or emotionally, which translates to, ’unfinished business’. They need to be included and valued for the rest of their lives. Their knowledge and proven commitment make them very valuable assets as emergency responders, youth counselors, and public safety coordinators.
Combat veterans should not be allowed to become police officers, because the gun on their hip is the military problem solver. Our police need to depend on the gun as a last resort. Our combat veterans should never have to worry about healthcare, income, housing or educational opportunity for the rest of their lives. Yes, I think they become ‘entitled’ to these things as a result of risking their lives for our country, and you and me!
Requesting that they serve as responder volunteers, community organizers, and public safety coordinators as the continuum of their service is reasonable and a great public benefit! However, if they choose not to make themselves available for additional service, they should still receive their entitlement!
There are many veterans providing public service in the form discussed… They are doing their job! There are still many veterans who are jobless, homeless and or alone… Veterans who are waiting for medical care, or a friend to step up! That true statement suggests that we, the ones that the veterans risked their lives for, are not doing our job.