American soldiers have made great sacrifices for our country and have sometimes have been given the respect and gratitude they have earned. For example, WWII veterans were given parades and the famous GI bill that enabled so many to go to college. Sometimes America treats its soldiers poorly, as shown after WWI and Vietnam.
We are involved in yet another war and America has the chance to do the right thing…or the wrong thing. Although the war in Iraq is currently seen as a bad idea by most Americans, we support our fellow citizens in uniform. Sadly, those who brought us the war and talk so much about its necessity seem all to eager to treat the soldiers poorly. One famous example is the fiasco at Walter Reed. While billions are being dumped only God and George know where, wounded American soldiers were not getting very good care.
Now, there is a new problem. After WWII American veterans received money for college. This was not only the right thing to do, it was also a smart thing to do. An educated population provides the basis for a robust economy and this helped Amercia rise to being a superpower after the war. Now that we have another group of vets coming home, we should offer them the same support. They have fought and bled for America and we owe them. Bush is, of course, reluctant to support funding for this. His reasoning is that it is too expensive. He is quite willing to dump billions into the war and provide massive tax breaks for the rich, yet he is suddenly penny conscious when it comes to doing something for the men and women who are fighting his war. That is small minded, mean, and shows a profound lack of gratitude. Some practical minded people have given another reason to oppose this: excellent college benefits are a great way to recruit, but then people will leave after their tour of duty. In reply, that is a practical matter worth considering but I think it is outweighed by two factors. First, is the moral oblication we have to repay such service. A soldier who goes to Iraq puts his or her life on the line. Bush and his fellows are willing to pay contractors huge amounts of money for similar risks. Logically, we should do something for our soldiers. Second, as the GI bill of WWII showed, the payback in terms of taxes (educated people make more and pay more taxes…except, of course, those who get super rich) will outweigh the cost in the long run.
We should treat our soldiers well because they have earned this. If we do not reward service and show respect for those who provide it, how can we expect people to answer the call in the future? So, let us cut back on rewarding the super rich and reward those who have earned it through their efforts and their blood.
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