Honoring our Veterans
On this Memorial Day, we remember the fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate price for this country. These brave men and women represent the best of America: our military, culture and human capital. Without these essential parts, a nation cannot and will not succeed. Today, the United States is becoming more unstable due to major changes in the culture, the already fractured financial system, and a neglected military with our veterans forgotten and lost in endless government bureaucracy. Conflicts rage abroad in the absence of American leadership.
In many ways, the United States feels like the Soviet Union during its collapse. People there did not realize what was happening to them and the economy as it happened. Newspapers and tv stations carefully screened the news in order to keep that vacuum and people inside of it ignorant. Today, American television ignores a government increasingly unconstrained by the Constitution. Recently, the Montgomery County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly attempted to pass Bill MC 25-16, which would amend the Maryland Constitution to give the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County Board of Education the authority to allow non-citizens and 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The bill was crafted per request of many in the all-Democrat delegation including a democratic candidate for the Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, Jamie Raskin.
Illegal immigration continues to surge as the Obama administration, sanctuary counties and cities simply ignore the immigration law. New illegal immigrant labor only adds more stress to the already strained American labor force with over 94 million people outside the labor force that can’t even get a part-time job. The Obama administration has been replacing current voters with illegal immigrants by promising to not enforce the law and luring them with benefits that Americans don’t even receive. Obama budgets $17, 613 for every new illegal minor. That’s more than American retirees that actually paid into the system or Veterans disability that served our country get. Moreover, illegal immigrants get $1,261 more in welfare than American families $5, 692 vs. $4, 431.
The shift in culture is so dramatic that on many campuses students need a “safe space” to be protected from ideas they don’t like. This is a stark contrast to those who volunteer to serve in the military at the same age. There is outrage in American society when someone wrote “Trump 2016” in chalk at the Emory University and students complained that they no longer felt safe at the campus. Emory’s spokeswoman stated that “It’s important to note that chalking’s by students are allowed as a form of expression on the Emory campus but must be limited to certain areas and must not deface campus property–––these chalkings did not follow guidelines–––that’s the issue regarding violation of policy, not the content.” In the meantime, in Los Angeles area vandals deface a Vietnam war memorial. “The Los Angeles Police Department said it is not investigating the case.”
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This culture in decline is evidenced by the current Congressman, John Delaney (D) from the second most gerrymandered state in the country. Rep. Delaney is the third richest man in the House of Representatives and made his fortune by avoiding taxes and making risky mortgages and loans to nursing homes and surgery centers. Instead of coming to the Memorial Day parade in Sharpsburg, Maryland to honor the fallen, he sent his election campaign to sell merchandise to Marylanders.
Rep. Delaney uses all of the plays from the local politician playbook, staging a few minutes’ photo ops and local television interviews. The current Congressman appeared at his own “Veteran’s One-Stop-Shop” event for just a few minutes and he did not bother to stay to hear the stories and concerns of the veterans and how the system can be improved to help them.
It is an open secret that the Veterans Affairs system is broken by bureaucracy and politicians’ incompetence. For veterans to apply for benefits it takes 125 days on average to process normal claims. Appeals take longer. Currently the Veterans Affairs Baltimore Regional Office serves appeal applications with priority dates from 2010 and 2011. A representative from the Veteran’s Affairs Baltimore Regional Office said in response to my question about why it takes so long that it’s not because of sufficient man power. He recommended Veterans that need to apply for VA’ disability claims DAV and VFW to go through a power of attorney. So, this way they can get the necessary help with all the paperwork.
If the Congressman stuck around his own event, he could have learned about the multiple, local non-profit and government organizations that can assist veterans. For people that are looking for a job, Pleasants Companies, LLC has positions available on the Pleasants Paving website pleasantspaving.com.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a program called SBA Veterans Advantage Loans are 7 (a) loans to qualified Veterans and their spouses that provide term or revolving credit.
For homeless veterans there are few options. One of them is the Maryland Center for Veterans Training and Education (MCVET) that is based in Baltimore City They accept veterans regardless of discharge status from any area. In the Frederick area, there is a non-profit organization “Building Veterans” that provides support and temporary housing for the Veterans. The Operation Second Chance program is a non-profit organization based in Germantown that supports wounded Veterans in need with lodging, diapers, groceries, gas, airline and Amtrak tickets, rent and mortgage payments.
In Western Maryland there is a U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Veterans Center across the Potomac river in Martinsburg, WV that can assist veterans on the same day. Frederick County Veterans History Project, part of the Library of Congress, documents stories of the veterans through interviews and collects historical documents.
There are also a few organizations that offer variety of services. One of them is Programs of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County. Its services include: counseling services; childcare choices; 24-hour call center that offers information and referral; support and crisis intervention; entry point for mobile service and walk-in services; survivors of suicide support group; and suicide prevention/intervention training. Operation Engage America. “offers support, awareness, education and resources for Veterans, First Responders and their families living with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury and for those in the community who want to support them and be a part of the solution.”