In general, how much lip service do you hear for our veterans? You know the patriotism reserved for holidays--Veteran's, Flag Day, 4th of July, or Memorial Day. Politicians are the worst offenders, including those in Congress who control spending, including that for the military in the form of gear they'll need when they are overseas or services when they come home.
Only a few have served. Those who haven't include President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. It baffles my mind how the people who are or aspire to be commander-in-chief don't have experience serving in the military. And no, community service in the southside of Chicago or Mon Dieu La France! aren't the same.
I mean, I'm the blogger-in-chief of The Wise Latina Club, but no one is going to lose his or her life over my decision to bold a word.
I'm provoking thought here because veterans have it hard all around--and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been brutal. While you and I go about our biz stateside--scheduling my brow waxing and getting in my arm weight workout while I watch SITC re-runs on a Friday night--servicemen and women have served not one, not two, but sometimes three or more tours of duty which have been lengthened. Their families have shouldered a large brunt.
Wars are going on, but it seems only for a very select few.
Then they come home and often times the "war's not over"--to get the care they need. For women, the transition can be even harder because the system isn't always ready to deal with the needs of nearly 2 million female vets. Guess what? This issue isn't going away as more women are enlisting.
I had to opportunity to view the documentary SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home and discuss female vets' unique challenges with film producer New York University Professor Marcia Rock and veterans Alicia Thompson and BriGette McCoy, founder of the group Women Veterans Social Justice.
“The Challenges Female Vets Face When Coming Home” aired on August 20, 2012 on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin with me as guest host while Michel was away.
Click here or below to listen.Your message (to our females veterans, politicians) here: