Veterans, Repeat After Me: I am an American, I have Rights
Veterans everywhere focus on the fact that we bore some form of burden. Society claims that for that we are owed a square deal. But we must focus on the fact that we are Americans, first.
The square deal would mean an honest shot at getting your benefits without being lied to for one second.
Meanwhile, our experience with VA seems to be more about the fact that we are veterans and for whatever that means we are then owed some form of gratitude we are not receiving in our integration with VA.
To convey this to a civilian, it would mean that as a customer, I am being told that I am there to serve the servant. So the service provider instead expects for the customer to serve them. This means that VA acts like veterans are there to serve them rather than the other way around, which would never work in private enterprise. Luckily their jobs are more secure than any one else’s.
How about this? Veterans should reframe the argument. “I am an American. I have rights.” It is true. As an American, I have certain rights that veterans in other countries do not have. In fact, I have things like Due Process rights.
This means I cannot be deprived of property without due process. Due process means things for Americans that it does not mean for other people. It means I need to be informed before I have my property rights taken. It means I need to have a reasonable chance to respond. This makes sense since, after all, I am an American.
So next time you attend a VA meeting, try to remember that you are an American FIRST and a veteran SECOND. You have unalienable rights. You have forefathers and foremothers who fought to ensure you grew up in a country that furthered individual rights including property rights.
Since your benefits are a form of property in some instances, it makes sense to push for your property in a fair and professional manner.
I am sure some of you may be saying, “rights? VA makes me think I exist to further their purpose rather than VA existing to serve my needs as a veteran.” Yes, many veterans wonder about that same question. At times, I do too.
I will say that today, after being dismissed by a VA employee about my rights, I did say, “I am an American. I have rights.” If you do not feel like you have rights, it is time to fight back. Further, you as a veteran have some obligation to push further… but only if you want to.
We all served and have fulfilled any obligation to country that civilians can only dream about. For that reason, I will say that if you care about our future, you need to remind VA that you are an American, and you have rights. Veteran be damned. We are all Americans, and we all have rights.
It is time we all stand up with other Americans and declare loudly, “I AM AN AMERICAN! I HAVE RIGHTS!”
George Washington would approve, but perhaps this makes our federal government nervous.
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, the VA don’t give a shit about you. Government workers are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the Chinese, and the North Koreans and the Taliban and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! I’m an American damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis and this floosey government of ours. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
“Network” modified by Bob D
Now Ben, you are fully aware veterans do not have a right to due process in VA. VCS sued the VA and almost won because of this very point.
I HAVE BEEN AN AMERICAN FOR 65 YEARS AND COUNTING, BUT EVERY TIME I TRY TO EXERCISE MY “RIGHTS” I HAVE TO ADJUST THE MEANING OF THE “CONSTITUTION” WITH “AMENDMENTS. I WAS DRAFTED TO SERVE BEFORE I COULD BE SERVE OR VOTE, BUT I COULD NOT LIVE IN CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODS(RED-LINING), HOLD DOWN CERTAIN JOBS, EAT AT CERTAIN RESTAURANTS ETC. I WAS BORN AN AMERICAN, TRUE, BUT I WILL FOREVER BE A “SOLDIER BECAUSE THE FIGHT IS ALLWAYS GOING TO BE THERE FOR ME/MINE.
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Or maybe it’s time to think in new terms. What if there was no VA, and instead all the money spent via the VA went to the troops in the form of pay and simple retirement benefits like a 401(k). I’d like to know, how many dollars go to the VA and its government employees, and their unions, and the party that supports their union, for every dollar of benefits that currently gets to vets via the VA. Seems to me that the VA is just another government jobs program.
Bingo! you are spot on, Ben and this is the stance from which I have approached the VA for decades, that contrary to their methods and policies, I AM an American, and I DO have rights. They don’t LIKE me,
good point, ben. the VA acts like we are there to be their slaves and to make sure they have a monthly paycheck and bonuses for screwing us over whenever they have a chance. americans do have rights, and the vast majority of americans in the end side with veterans, like they did when the ww2 memorial was blocked off during the recent gov shutdown. the time is soon coming that it will come down to major changes in the VA where the benefits, money and programs start going to actual veterans who earned it instead of the corrupt parasites that have turned the VA into a career for themselves. we as veterans, as americans, will win, and the VA will go the way of the dinosaur. we will just go to private doctors who get reimbursed for their services at a rate they will appreciate instead of wasting countless billions on VA clinics and hospitals that are poorly run. VA college benefits, disability programs, and all our benefits that we gave our all to earn will be automated and come in a timely manner, not blocked by corrupt predators disguised as VA employees. we will win, america will win in the bargain too.
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