Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 30, 2012

Thanks for our warriors

By Ray Day
For the Kokomo Tribune

— There are times when, we, the people of the greatest country in the world, take things for granted. We need to take a close look at that and do a little soul-searching to see if we can change what is important in favor of what is not.

Just recently we had a holiday honoring our military that should have been for the whole year, and not just a small part of it. I have had several family members serve our country in times of war and also in times of stress in countries that always seem to need our help.

We look at the ones coming home and find that the jobs they had before are not open for them to fall back into. For those who chose a career with the armed forces, they have a better way of making it to retirement and then off to live a life of leisure as retired veterans. But is prosperity there for those who came home with wounds so bad that life isn’t easy for them anymore?

Men and women who serve us overseas have injuries not only to the body but also to the brain. The trauma they have waiting for them is very hard to get through. Lost hands and lost legs, blindness and grief sometimes wrack the bodies of men and women who chose to protect us. And once the wars are over, we let them live on the streets or in the trash, waiting for that someone who offers a hand to them and a promise that since they kept us free, we will take care of them.

But do we take it all the way or just get them on their feet and then forget about them?

Folks, those men and women should be able to ask and receive help whenever it is needed. We need to stick out our arms, pull them in for a hug and say thanks to them for keeping us safe. Our country is free because of our military and the fine young men and women who step forward and say, “Take me.”

At one time, there was a draft. Once you became 18, you were subject to being called into service as protector of our country. There were many who made the move north in order to avoid the draft, and that meant losing the love of the ones left here in the USA.

But for years there has been an abundance of men and women stepping up and serving us as warriors. They love our country enough that they would die for it.

A few times a year, our people in business offer discounts on meals and clothes to our veterans and service members, but shouldn’t that be every day? We live in a country that is proud of its heritage and those who protect it. Those warriors should never have to ask for anything. They should get a discount on everything they buy. They should be promised that because they were there for us.

No one should have to worry about having a roof over their head, nor should they ever be denied assistance when ill. Take a look around and see what is there for you and me because of our warriors’ commitment to serve the USA.

Each year we see the soldiers’ reunion here in Kokomo, and it makes me proud to see them. I salute each and every one of you who make this country safe. May God continue to bless each of you and may God bless the USA.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.