a photo of honoring veterans
credit: Flickr/Fort Rucker

November: what’s happening in November? Two things probably stick out in most people’s minds: Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Well, there is a third. Last, but not least, Nov. 10 is the United States Marine Corps’ birthday, born in the year 1775. Annually, the Marine Corps Marathon is run. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the United States Army personnel in the capturing of the top two spots, both male and female. Females are misunderstood, misrepresented and underestimated across the board in their potential, ability, capability and contributions.

Please pardon my digression but perception or reality moving right along…

Veterans- who are they? A collective group of all branches of the military put together, risking life and limbs as they willingly sacrifice for the security and freedom you the people are now afforded. You who walk by and see one of us in need and say “get a job” are totally oblivious to that particular job that actually enables you to acquire yours… or even worse, you who just totally ignore that veteran as though he or she does not exist. Ignoring is ignorant. Who is it that actually requested help first?

November 10, 1775: The United States has since developed one of the most effective, intensely trained forces of the veteran group considered to be the President’s Own. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles land, air, and sea, so all–not some, but all–may be free, safe and secure. Why? Because our assistance was requested, just as some of us are now forced to request assistance- the difference being we ignored no one and had no excuses. We answered the call and left jobs and families for you. True, some may abuse, but most don’t. Everyone requesting assistance is not lacking in intelligence, education, or a desire to escalate to a higher level.

November is most noted for its Thanksgiving debate, into which I will not venture, deferring instead to the depth of what you, the historians or truly informed, might say in reference to this holiday. For now, let’s just be simplistic and call it a day of giving thanks. And surely, a wide spectrum of things, people or reasons deserving of our thanks. Giving thanks is a display of one’s appreciation of someone, something or some action. I guess the latest holiday celebration of Columbus Day could be considered a display of appreciation for one’s discovering of a particular land. (Far be it from me to comprehend how it is remotely possible to “discover” a place presently occupied. Nonetheless, that’s another story.)

But tell me, where is the display of appreciation of thanks for Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Veterans? When, after having sacrificed all, we find ourselves grossly in need of comparable health care and employment? Why are small veteran businesses not afforded the same privileges and benefits as regular businesses? Why have most veterans’ benefits been cut since 1975 and not restored? Who of you are even aware veterans in most major cities and here, here in the nation’s capital, find ourselves in the majority of the homeless population?

Yes, there are some programs for employment, but are they truly to help or for statistical purposes? Or, quite frankly, just to deceive you the public into believing they care and are really doing something with money contributed by you and other sources? What about the government of Virginia or the media, who perpetuate such misleading and deceptively gross misinformation in order to not properly utilize money afforded to them per fiscal year? Why do they continuously underestimate you the people’s level of intelligence by intentionally misleading you into believing the incomplete and inaccurate information they feed? How long must or will we enable inequality to continue and do nothing about it?

Though most are aware of it, these categorizations, stereotypes, racial and economic profiling have all got to stop. You can be up today and down tomorrow. Statistics say the average working person is only a paycheck away from homelessness. What happens if and when you fall into one of these categories you’ve placed others into and you are treated badly and looked down upon or responded to in the inappropriate way that many do? After sacrificing for this country, do veterans deserve what we now receive and don’t deceive? Imagine that…