America was built by soldiers. Soldiers fought to for independence, they fought amongst themselves to bring order to the nation, and they fight now to defend the country against communists. After every battle, soldiers come home and become veterans. Veterans protected our country and kept it standing, yet soldiers are coming home only to become homeless or unappreciated; this shows there’s a need for change. Both current and younger generations must be taught to treat veterans with the respect and care they deserve.
Soldiers are coming home from the battle only to face another. A year ago, an experiment was performed with the homeless. Experimenters found a homeless man sitting on the streets asking for money and had their younger brother pose as a homeless teen sitting by the man. As the experiment continues, the teen is given money and the actual homeless man is ignored. In one shocking exchange, a police officer gives the boy money, but struck the homeless man when he asked for money. The worst was when the homeless man told a passerby that he was a veteran, and the passerby ended up throwing food in the homeless man’s face. This experiment shows just how cruel people can be to a man who fought to protect our country. What is concerning is if people wanting to join the military see this experiment, they may change their minds.
For those veterans are more fortunate, there’s the constant struggle with the VA. The VA is an organization that is meant to help veterans with healthcare and also give benefits. According to a local veteran, who when in the military had to jump out of airplanes causing back problems now, he went to the VA to have his back examined. The VA acknowledged that there were problems with his back, but said that it wasn’t from jumping out of airplanes. They told him it was because of all the hiking and heavy lifting he did for work, which was not true since the veteran had experienced these problems beforehand. Instead of giving this veteran the help he deserved, the VA slammed the door in his face with their excuses. An event like this is, along with others; starts to make other veterans question the reliability of the VA that established, according to their website, so “soldiers would be supported by the colony”. It seems that the truth behind the matter dwindles as the years pass and the VA becomes less and less of a help to veterans.
While the VA is showing no interest in caring for veterans, there are still many more problems being faced. According to an article by Gregg Zoroya and Alan Gomez, a wounded veteran was at a store when someone approached them asking about the burns on his body. The vet explained that they were from an explosion from when he served in Iraq; then was asked “Was it worth it?” The ungratefulness in the question is very obvious, thankfully the angered veteran responded kindly, saying “Freedom is not free” but this still doesn’t excuse the disrespect. If someone thinks it is ok to ask a veteran, who fought to protect them and their country, something like this then not only are they showing disrespect for the veteran, but also their country as well.
A way to fix this problem is actually easier than one would think. All it takes is a little courage. If kids today just had the courage to show that they’re thankful, veterans could live easier. Whether it be a simple thank you to someone’s grandparents or giving money to a homeless veteran on the streets. If kids could just gain enough courage to show they do appreciate the soldiers who volunteered to protect America, then one thank you from each of them can go a long way.
Without veterans our country wouldn’t exist. They sacrificed themselves to protect America from threats and here America is spitting in their faces for all their hard work. The treatment of veterans needs to change. And all America needs to do is gain the courage to walk up to those veterans and say thank you.