Archive for May 29th, 2011

We’d Better Do More Than Just Thank A Vet

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Tomorrow, there will be many reminders for Americans to thank Veterans for our freedoms.  And that’s how it should be.  However, a few seconds after we remember them, we’re going to forget them – again.

One out of five Vets who returns from Iraq and Afghanistan will have PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  You can learn more about it by this Google link:

The worst result of PTSD?  Suicide. Every single day in America, 18 Vets kill themselves.  Certainly some would have killed themselves anyway but stats show significantly more young Americans kill themselves after serving in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Just as bad?  It’s almost universally agreed that the Veterans Administration delivers marginal health care at best – and lousy psychological help.  That’s disgusting.  These Vets went to serve our country and this is how we repay them?

America’s military budget is about $700-Billion dollars a year.  Much of it wasted in these current unwinnable wars.  Personally I would rather see us lose all of our intangible, lofty goals in these rat holes – than one more American who risked his life for our country.

May I Just Eat a Charcoal Briquette Instead?

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Yesterday I went to a barbeque which can truly be called “elegant”.  Real plates, cloth napkins, silverware, adult beverages, excellent food, and four refined adults politely discussing topics in a mannered way. I had never before seen a cookout like this – I didn’t even know they existed! My experiences have usually gone like this:

Typically, the Dad drags out the Webber grill, fills it with old charcoal (vintage: Memorial Day, 2010), dumps on too much lighter fluid (a definite lack of creativity naming this product), lights it, and then jumps back from the 2-foot flames.

“I’ll be ready for those steaks in about 10-minutes!” he shouts to his eye-rolling wife who is just thankful he didn’t set the house on fire. The kids groan when they see a backyard inferno like they haven’t seen since the California wildfires. Ahh, charred rawhide for dinner again this year.

“MOM! Can we go to McDonalds?”

”No!” she yells back. “We’re a family – and families cook and eat outdoors together on Memorial Day. It’s important to your Father.”

Louder groans. “Why?” one yells.

“God friggin’ knows…,” she thinks as she scoops salads onto paper plates from plastic containers.

“Go set the table! Use the paper plates and plastic silverware.” More groans. Even before the kids find the long lost picnic supplies, the wind picks up and a new species of aggressive fly is attracted to the smell of burning meat. Finally the family is seated. Paper plates are held down by mayonnaise salads and one hand – as the other tries to shoo away the unrelenting pests.

And despite the fact that everything on the grill is now uniformly burnt to a crispy black, Dad asks the punch line question, “How would you like your steak?”

Tomorrow’s post: “A Vietnam Vet Looks at Memorial Day” by Joe Belle-Isle