Veteran’s Day: Some Facts

November 11, 2007


  • At 11 minutes past the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the “War to End All Wars,” “The Great War,” World War I officially came to an end. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson called on the nation to observe Armistice Day and honor the soldiers who had served in World War I; in 1926, Congress declared it an official federal holiday.
  • The purpose of Veterans Day and Memorial Day are often confused. Memorial Day is for honoring military personnel who died in service to their country. Veterans Day is for thanking ALL men and women who have served honorably in the military during times of war and peace.
  • Over 48 million Americans have served in the military during war and peace since 1776.
  • There are currently about 25 million living veterans.
  • Of the 25 million living veterans, most (75 percent) served during a war or an official period of hostility.
  • About one in four homeless people are veterans.
  • 43% of homeless males over 25 are veterans.
  • In contrast to earlier American wars, where only men engaged in combat, many veterans returning from today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are women. The new study found that female veterans are more likely to be homeless than non-veteran females, and that overall, female veterans are more likely to be homeless than their male counterparts.

How Nobel of You, Mr. Gore

October 12, 2007

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Al Gore, the former Vice President, and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a statement, Gore said he was “deeply honored,” adding that “the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization he founded that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.

Most of us remember Gore as the stiff counter part to the charming Bill Clinton.  He ran against George Bush and won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college.  Many people think the election was stolen from him (because of some voter issues in Florida).  I think many of the votes he got were people voting for him just to vote along their party lines and/or because he was associated with Bill Clinton.  He didn’t really stand out for anything himself.  He had  a note worthy lack of passion about anything. 

After the election he decided to dedicate himself to a cause he championed his whole career, global warming.  All of a sudden he appeared alive, passionate, and like a true leader.  It begs the question where was this Al Gore during the 2000 election?  Maybe there would be no war, no dead soliders, no giant deficit, and no debate over whether innocent children deserve health care.  Maybe scientiests could do live saving research and unlock the potential of stem cells.  Maybe the world would be a better place.  The one thing we know would be different, our president would actually care about global warming.

As to him running for president.  I don’t think he will or that he should.  At this point that would make him a liar.  I also think running against Hillary Clinton would create a chasm in the party.  Can you say Vice President??? (Just an idea)


Tearing Immigrant Families Apart

October 3, 2007

Eduardo Gonzalez, a petty officer second class with the U.S. Navy, is about to be deployed overseas for a third time. What makes his story particularly saddening is the fact that while he is gone, his wife may face deportation. He doesn’t know what would happen to his young son if she is deported.

“I like being in uniform and serving my country, but if she goes back I’m going to have to give it all up and just get out and take care of my son and get a job,” he said. “Defending the country that’s trying to kick my family out is a thought that always runs through my mind.”

These cases are handled one by one by the immigration authorities not the government. It is a conflicted situation because the government is supposed to help military families but at the same time another part of the government is try to stem the illegal immigrant population.

“What’s happening right now is, because of the dysfunction and complexity of our immigration laws, we’ve got people fighting overseas who are facing the impossible situation of having family members facing deportation back home,” she said.

His wife came to the US when she was 5 under political asylum because of her status as a war refugee from Guatemala. Her mother applied for legalization with her on the application and was approved. The problem is that six weeks before the approval, she married Gonzalez. By marrying him, her mother could no longer apply for her (you have to be unmarried and under 21). As a result, her legal status still remains in danger.

While they don’t have the exact numbers this is not an uncommon experience.

U.S. Army Sgt. Emmanuel Woko, a member of the Army’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division who faces his third tour in Iraq, understands just how Gonzalez and his family feel. His wife and children could be sent back to Nigeria. “My heart is bleeding on the thought that my wife could be deported back to Nigeria while I am deployed in Iraq,” he said. “I am extremely distressed and distracted by the thought.”

Story


Hear what a “real” soldier has to say

September 29, 2007

I was reading the Huffington Post, and one of the best features is that there are so many guest bloggers. One guest is John Soltz, he is the chair of VoteVets.org and in an Iraq and Kosovo veteran. He is from Pittsburgh, and attended the University of Pittsburgh for grad school. He is considered one of the major voices on veteran and military issues. He has written a post in response to Rush Limbaugh’s disrespectful and uneducated statements. Limbaugh referred to the men and women of the armed forces that denounce the war in Iraq after they return from service the “phony soldiers”.

Jon Soltz’s Response to Rush Limbaugh

If you want to hear crazy Rush’s “phony soldiers” bit, here it is. limbaugh-20070926-soldiers.mp3

For some reason the video i had about it just won’t work. So this is old school mp3, but I think it should work.