Another waste of my tax dollars (and yours)


  Army stuff 
  Originally uploaded by broken thoughts.

I got an interesting package of "official U.S. Army documents" in the mail today.   It seems my Nation wants to thank its Soldiers [and no, I did not know that either of those were proper nouns.   "Nation" scares the crap out of me!].

All of this stuff, including a 2nd sticker, was inside a very heavy large envelope and well-packaged with a piece of cardboard the size of the certificate.   The pin is, of course, of metal and is on a multi-fold piece of cardstock with a piece of cushy stuff inside to protect it.

All of this was sent first class according to the envelope.   On one hand, I do appreciate this, but on the other, I think it is a complete waste of my (and your) tax dollars.   I have no idea how many ex-soldiers got this or even if it was restricted to retirees (still tens of thousands), but it must have cost a fortune!

Honestly, I’ll be the judge of how much my nation appreciates my service!   It’ll be reflected on various occasions, such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day among others.   It’ll be reflected in how Congress votes on matters related to the military and war.   It’ll be reflected in how the citizenry responds to those votes.

Considering the cost of this stuff and the expense of postage is probably very close to the annual "cost-of-living" increase in my retirement pay, well, personally I think the money could’ve been put to better use.   You know, simple things like funding the Veterans Administration hospitals.

Maybe no one is paying attention to this unimportant little blog, or maybe they are and they’re trying to sway my opinion of their current bounty hunting tactics for recruitment.

Considering that you, my friends, and I, paid for this stuff I guess I won’t just trash it, but don’t count on seeing any of this stuff on my wall, my car, my backpack or myself. 

And, honestly, the next time "you" want to thank a veteran for their service just walk up to them and say so, or drop a comment in their blog.   Better yet, go volunteer some time at a VA Hospital.   Donate some books to the hospital library or start one.   Or just perhaps vote some of the criminals we call our "leaders" out of office so we have a few thousand less war veterans to care for in the 1st place.

12 thoughts on “Another waste of my tax dollars (and yours)

  1. Ha I know it wasn’t but I don’t remember to thank you, and I won’t see you for at least a week, so the intarweb was easier. :)

    Because I am a lazy American! :)

    My parents would be so proud.

  2. I have got to ask my uncle (recently retired from the air force) if that branch also sent out this package. While I’m sad that in this day and age we still need a military, I also consider myself lucky to have live in a place where people provide this service willingly. It really does mean a lot.

  3. I know you weren’t fishing for thanks — but it’s a point well made, and worth noting. And the thanks are sincere; I agree with ranger on this one, in that we’re all lucky that, though our military is (sadly) still necessary, and often directed in support of policies I don’t believe in, people willingly serve on behalf of us all. And that matters.

    Little pins, on the other hand…

  4. You have my thanks as well.

    I have always thought the way the U.S. treats its veterans leaves a lot to be desired (and that’s the polite way to say it). Maybe I have some old fashioned moral/ethical sense, but I always thought if someone had the bravery to risk life and limb for their country, their country should put up and take care of its own, especially the ones who may or not be able to care for themselves after the service time. And the country should put up gladly and without stinging. I would like to think that it does not take someone who has served to understand this. I personally have not been in the military, but various members of my family at various times have served. I make the comment because in arguments one always hears the dichotomy of “you don’t understand because you were not there” versus “who says I had to be there (or maybe they did something else constructive: teacher, police officer, so on?).” At any rate, it does look like an expensive set of “stuff.”

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  5. Thanks all! Most of us do offer our service on behalf of our fellow citizens. Well, I did anyway.

    There certainly are other reasons to serve, especially in today’s environment, but I would argue that few do it for long without considering it to be for the benefit of our citizens.

    Angel, I am quite familiar with those arguments, but you won’t find me making them. That is the beauty of our current system–not all are required to serve!

  6. Wait, the whole point of this little packet was what exactly? To thank you? Oh my god.

    Quite frankly, thanks are needed, but I’d rather have my money spent giving good field armor to the soldiers who are in Iraq using scrap metal as armor, don’t ya think? First there are $500 screwdrivers, now mass mailings of thanks? Blech.

    (And, yeah, Thanks Mark!)

  7. I just got back into town and found that the Army wanted to thank me with a 40K bonus for enlisting. I’m trying to figure out what demographic they think I’m in that would make this make sense to them.

    Thanks Mark and all the others who serve. As for me, I’m going to continue serving my country in the spirit of “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”

  8. Hey Richard! I hope you had a great time in Austin. Yes, they raised the upper age limit a while back for reasons anyone can guess. But I think you need to serve exactly where you say. We need historians, archivists, and museum folks to help us remember. This is a great country, but also one that has made (and still does) some massive mistakes. We need to remember *and* learn from these mistakes.

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