I don't understand veterans' charities

We are spending billions on the Iraq war, and have billions of dollars in defense equipment that goes unused. My husband is a combat vet, and as such, has seen the ravages of war first-hand. I believe that for the most part, the guys in Iraq (however misguided) have the best of intentions with regard to doing what they think they need to do to defend our country.

What I don’t understand is why we need to donate money to charities to support veterans’ health and welfare once they come home. We’ve got hundreds of planes that will never fly, billions of tax dollars, and I’m donating money to make sure blinded vets get career training? Why am I purchasing care packages of deodorant and Bic shavers to send to them? Why isn’t the government giving these guys 110% of the financial support required to regain a semblance of normalcy in their lives once they return home?

We all support the effort (begrudgingly or not) through taxes. There is a shitload of money out there. Why do they need donations of any sort? Do we owe veterans all the medical, vocational and psychological support they need once they return home? If so, why aren’t they getting it?


– Kalhoun (who donates to veterans’ groups even in peacetime)

Even though the Veterans’ Administration now says that 1 in 4 returning veterans are filing disability claims, VA hospitals are being closed, and the existing support net is badly understaffed. Congress and the president could have fixed the problem, but they did not.

There is indeed a shitload of money out there, but it isn’t going to help the troops, especially the ones crippled in the war. Folks in our capital have their priorities screwed up. I would elaborate, but I don’t feel like getting angry right now.

Indeed, the biggest problem is that someone sees a very huge number on the budget, and decides it should be smaller in order to save money. It’s short-term thinking at its finest.

It sounds like you understand veterans’ charities perfectly well. The government uses them up and spits them out. Private citizens who care do what they can to make up for the government’s callous shortcomings.

There are going to be a lot more maimed combat veterans around for the next half century. I hope we treat them right.

Undoubtedly some of the people reading this thread right now are begrudging veterans some of their benefits because they wish they got them, too, only without all the pesky side effects of being in the military.

I didn’t mean to sound like I didn’t get it. I just didn’t want to put this in the pit. I was hoping for more discussion than ranting (though a sound pitting is deserved). When I saw Andy Rooney’s piece on the aircraft graveyard some months ago, all I could do is shake my head. Those planes won’t ever fly. They sit there; a complete waste of money from the get-go. I wonder if the question of veterans’ benefits will ever be directly addressed by the White House.