Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Those who serve and protect this country are always placed in situations that could eventually lead to their own deaths. They do this to gain honor and respect from fellow Americans, and of course to guarantee their protection at all times. Now how should the people of the United States respond to this? Say “thank you,” right? But is saying that really enough compared to what these soldiers and veterans have done for this country?
When placed in a venn-diagram, comparing what they do to things that soldiers do for them shouldn’t be brought up in the first place. This can be because soldiers are not getting paid enough money, not receiving benefits, or possibly not enough job opportunities for them to be employed in. Our nation, is simply not doing enough for these veterans and soldiers that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of all Americans. Foremost, our nation is not doing enough because veterans are not getting paid enough money.
According to H.W. Brands, author of ¨What Do We Owe Our Vets,” Congress refuse to pay soldiers their “promised pay and pension benefits” due to the government being “deeply in debt.” This most definitely means that soldiers are not receiving what they were promised as a return for fighting for our country. Brands also states that a Union veteran’s pension is “tied to the degree of his disability” with the maximum payment initially starting at $8, which is about “a third of the average wage of an unskilled laborer.” These veterans may have a family that they need to feed and support, but this cannot be achieved if they’re only receiving such a small amount of money. This kind of money is only enough for one or two people to live off of, but definitely not an entire family. These lack of payments can lead to varying consequences in a short amount of time. Examples include the following: starvation, lack of funds to pay bills, etc.
The government should pay these soldiers higher pensions and benefits to continue living their life after service. Concurrently, during the Civil War, there were two sides that fought against each other: The Union versus the Confederates. Brands states that “confederates were not so lucky..” This is most definitely true because of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Meaning that they can’t receive any benefits from the government even though they are veterans who have served in war in the past. Regardless of what side they fought for, veterans should always be served with benefits since they were risking their lives for the future of the country. This means that even the losing side (Confederates) should at least receive a small amount of benefits rather than none because they’ve taken their own time to fight for their beliefs on how this country should function. These benefits can range from: the government taking care of injuries, to getting paid/receiving pensions for serving.
Although, some may argue that our nation is already doing enough for these veterans, James Joyner, the author of “Stop Feeling Sorry for American Veterans,” states that “…the last few generations of veterans were all volunteers.” and that “..we haven’t had a draft since 1973.” Even so, these volunteers are taking their time away from their families to at least try to help fight for our country. They’re not only taking their time away, but they’re also putting themselves at risk by possibly having to go through training to being a soldier.
On top of all this, some veterans that have served and fought for this country are not receiving enough funds for them to able to continue their living their lives. Also, those who disagree may believe that our country is already doing enough for them. There are a few reasons why one might think so. They could be the “9/11 Day,” or the Vietnam Wall. According to the “Vietnam Wall Photo Essay,” there are many people that are there to either visit the exhibit or mourn the deaths of loved ones during the Vietnam War. This may be true but when it comes to veterans who are still living today, we’re not doing as much for them as those that have passed.
Dead or alive, veterans must be treated equally, as they all had the courage to step out and fight for this country. Without these hard-working veterans, this country wouldn’t be the way it is right now. Whether they’re volunteers, confederates, or didn’t participate in war, these veterans should be receiving a sufficient amount of pensions & benefits in order for them to live their life after constantly having to witness such horrid events during the process of fighting for this country. The government simply needs to increase payments & such for these brave men and women to slowly but surely stop losing the people that worked to keep Americans safe on a daily basis. “We, the people..” should express our “thank-you’s” in a way that will make our remaining veterans as healthy and protected as possible.