This Veterans' Day, we could remember a lot of things. We could remember that Donald Trump sat out a ceremony honoring the military this past weekend due to some light rain in France, just like he sat out the wars themselves... 5 times.
We could remember that there are 18.5 million veterans in the United States, half of whom are over 65.
30 percent have at least one disability.
Only 3 percent have health care coverage.
31 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD.
How is it that in a nation that spends $900 billion on the military, an amount that makes up nearly 70 percent of our national budget, we are we not doing more to help our veterans?
Our trigger-happy relationship with war needs to be accompanied by responsible accommodations for our veterans to help support them medically and emotionally and to encourage a healthy transition back to civilian living.
While some companies work specifically to hire veterans, there needs to be more of a widespread push to provide them with a steady income and appropriate benefits, including physical and mental health care.
The people who fight in our wars, specifically those that choose to join the army not necessarily because they support the war but because they need a reliable way to support themselves and their families, are heroes and deserve to be treated as such, not just when they're in the line of duty, but also when they return.
There is no reason why these people should sleep on the streets at night and beg for pennies to feed themselves.
America, we need to do better.
Veterans' Day is not enough to honor the people who have served our country. We need systematic changes that will provide these heroes with the support and resources they earned for their service.
If you're pro-gun and pro-war, you also need to be pro-veteran. These things cannot possibly be mutually exclusive. War produces veterans and those veterans need support when they return.
Similarly, if you're pro-life, you need to support veterans and do what you can to improve their quality of life. Life is not simply the unborn. It's the poor, the veterans, the homeless, the LGBT+ community, the oppressed, and others who are marginalized. To pick and choose is not pro-life, it's pro-birth and is truly morally insufficient.
No matter who you are and what you believe in, whether you're anti-war or pro-choice, you should support veterans. This is a group of people that gave everything for a country that will barely lift a finger for them in return. Politics aside, they deserve our support and system-level changes that will improve their quality of life.