The Bush administration talks about how important it is to support our troops and then fails to act on its own advice.
First, there were the problems with the medical treatment of wounded soldiers, especially in regards to the horrible conditions at Walter Reed. After the story made the rounds in the media, some action was taken.
Second, there is the matter of the GI Bill. This bill is best known for its role in helping WWII veterans go to college. This bill played a significant role in creating a highly educated work force and this helped America become a super power after the war. Now, as another generation of American soldiers go off to war, the GI Bill is not what it used to be. Part of the problem is that college tuitions are getting rather expensive. Part of the problem is that nothing is being done to help deal with this problem. President Bush actually opposes improving the Bill. His reason is that it would cost too much. He apparently has no problem with dumping billions into Iraq, but draws the line when it comes to actually doing something positive for the Americans who are fighting and bleeding for America. Shame on you, Mr. President. Oddly enough, John McCain sides with Bush on this issue, thus making me question his integrity and judgment. Morally, we owe the soldiers a debt and helping them with their futures seems a reasonable way to repay them. Further, being purely practical about it, college educated people contribute more to the economy than those without such education. As such, it can be looked upon as a wise investment in America’s future. Of course, some people argue that if the GI bill is too good, people will not re-enlist. While this has a certain degree of practical merit, it does seem to be a morally dubious argument. In a sense, it seems to be arguing that we should rob the veterans of a hope for a better future so they will have no choice but to stay in and continue to fight Bush and Hillary’s war.
Third, there is the matter of the barracks. After a soldier’s father exposed the horrible conditions in certain barracks, steps were finally taken to fix the problem. Once again, this shows just how concerned this administration really is for our troops. Of course, they do worry about image-as soon as the media got on this, action was taken. It is a good thing that Americans like the soldier’s father still care about this country and have the initiative and the courage to take action. Without such people, such mistreatment of our soldiers would continue.
We have a collective moral debt to the people who serve our country. If someone is willing to risk his or her life in service to the nation, then that person should be treated with decency-at the very least. The military and civilian leadership needs to do a better job of ensuring that problems such as those described above are found and fixed. They should not wait until they are forced to take action by the bad publicity-they should take action because it is the right thing to do.