Defense Budget, Congress
Photo credit: Ted Rall for WhoWhatWhy
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Nunna Urbiz

I’m a Vietnam Vet (Cam Ranh Bay & Danang.) I would say this cartoon makes me want to kill myself but I don’t want the VA to send a SWAT team to prevent another suicide. We, as a nation, have learned nothing about useless wars. We, as a species, are doomed. Only the cockroaches will survive. I weep for the innocent fauna and flora that will pay for our stupidity.

Old Flintlock

As a veteran I completely get the point of this about how our defense budget has exploded beyond any sense of logic, national interest or actual need. However, as a vet I am also tired of the constant image of veterans as homeless, fragile victims in desperate of government aid. Most homeless “vets” turn out to be frauds, either outright liars about serving, people who were tossed out of basic training after a few weeks and spend the rest of their lives calling themselves vets or drug addicts discharged with bad papers. Any vet with a good discharge who actually has no place to sleep can contact the VA and will be helped. The catch is, no drugs or alcohol.

The vast majority of vets utilise education benefits, which even include being paid to attend college at Yellow Ribbon schools and/or their military experience to be productive citizens. And most vets will tell you they were proud to have served and it was the best thing they did for themselves. Veterans’ assistance should focus on the combat wounded and disabled, both physically and mentally and worry less about the ex-truck mechanic or clerk typist who never left COONUS who developed a drug or alcohol habit after discharge.

Comments Editor

Thankyou for your comment, but ‘Most homeless “vets” turn out to be frauds‘ – Most ?

Joni

Thank you for this information. I always wondered where the VA was in this, thank you

David Dreesen

I agree. I am a 70’s era Navy vet and made a career from what I did in the Navy. I was hired right out of the service doing the same thing I did in the service. I did so for the next 40 years in different capacities. The fact that I understood the different levels of structural management taught to me by my military experience enabled me to succeed.

Monty Cole

Old Flintlock really got me thinking. First I think we would agree on a lot of things. Second, I think he’s reading a lot into the cartoon that isn’t there. I don’t see Ted describing homeless vets as fragile victims. I went looking for reliable statistics and–with the caveat that this site makes clear they don’t really exist–found this site: https://policyadvice.net/insurance/insights/homeless-veterans-statistics/ Among other things it purports that approx. 11% of the homeless are vets. That’s 40,000 people with various problems, many of them quite serious. The cartoon puts the defense budget in sharp contrast to the damage it does to young soldiers who later end up on the street. This is painful to contemplate. My sister (non-vet) is homeless and mentally ill and drug addicted. I have no idea how to help her. No agency will help her for long. I don’t speak for any population of which I am a member, but if I made the mistake of trying I would quickly be asked to be quiet–our views are all so different. I doubt there are two vets who would view this cartoon the same exact way. But, I think we citizens can generally agree that our country is seriously broken and working together I hope we can fix it. Thanks, Old Flintlock, and thanks Ted. Great cartoon.

Tracy McLellan

High-larious.

John Patrick BELL

The US is running a close second to the Nazis in the number of innocent civilians it has killed i.e. N Korea, Veitnam, Iraq, Afghanistan ect ect
plus the sanctions which have caused starvation when will they ever learn? Or is it too late? the Doomsday needle is close to midnight if ever we needed sane leadership it is now.

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