James Raymond is an honorably discharged veteran that was ordered to Iraq despite disabilities he suffered from his service in Afghanistan. The Leftwing Blogosphere and Leftwing e-mailers went ballistic on this. My cousin immediately sent me an e-mail stating that this kind of suffering and unfair tyrannical military actions are a direct result of Christianity, because if there was no Christianity, there would be no Islam (idiotic, I know but that is what she says). Ballbuster sent me an e-mail saying that if a**holes like me would go fight in this war that “rightwing fanatics,” like me, favor so much, the injured would not have to step back into the “Hell that Bush created.” Tom the Neurotic Liberal Blogger said, “And the f***ers that cheered this on.. and the f***ers that think they deserve an opinion.. and the f***ers that didn’t suit up and risk getting blown to pieces.. can f**k off. The vast majority of the “right wing Loon-o-sphere” sure can type a mean game.. eh?” Wow, now that one is pure idiocy mixed with out-of-control anger . . . perhaps he needs to be lying on a couch explaining himself to a shrink.
Stating that people have no business supporting a war effort without joining the military is like arguing that people don’t have a right to be against illegal immigration if they never served as a Border Patrol Agent, or that I have no business supporting a politician if I’ve never been in politics. That argument by the left is pure lunacy, and proof that rather than argue the issue, they would rather go into a finger pointing, name calling fit.
As for the article about James Raymond, there may be an error in the article. The article states that the “Department of Veteran’s Affairs determined that he was 10 percent disabled, enabling him to receive $120 a month for the rest of his life.” In the world of military medical separation, the original percentage is determined by the military branch that the service member was discharged from, and then the service member can request a re-evaluation with VA once they are discharged in the hopes of raising the percentage. For example, when I was medically separated, the U.S. Navy originally determined I was a 20% disability, but after a re-evaluation, Veteran’s Affairs determined that I was a 30% disability. This leads us into the “receiving a check for the rest of his life” thing. If Mr. Raymond is only at a 10 percent disability, then the military would have provided him with a severance package, rather than a monthly award because any disability at less than 30% does not warrant a monthly amount of money. If this rule has changed, I am not aware of it, but as far as I know, that is still the rules regarding military separation. It is possible that he was discharged with a 0% disability rating from the military, and was only able to get the Veteran’s Administration to raise it to 10%, but even then, it would not result in him receiving a monthly check. So, with an error like this in the article, I wonder how many other untruths there are in it.
As the article in the Buffalo News explains, in addition to a service member’s active duty commitment, there is a four year inactive reserve commitment in effect after a service member separates. Any disability that is less than 30% normally does not exempt a veteran from being later deployed during this period of Inactive Reserve. I learned quite a lot about this when I looked into re-entering the military service after the act of war against the United States on 9/11/2001, but because of my percentage, I am undeployable, therefore, unfit to serve.
One of the reasons James Raymond does not want to re-deploy, aside from having to drop his current life into a holding pattern, according to the article in the Buffalo News, is because he is not sure his knee will hold up. If that is the case, when he undergoes the medical evaluation (which will be mandatory) before deployment, and if the military medical staff determines his knee is unstable enough, then they will cancel his redeployment.
I understand the injuries that Raymond have incurred. I am deaf in my left ear, as is Mr. Raymond, and I have tinnitus (constant ringing in that ear) that is sometimes so loud I can’t hear what people are saying in my other, still functioning, ear. And, like James Raymond, I have a damaged knee, one that the doctor’s seriously wondered whether I would ever be able to use again. I was in a wheel chair, and graduated to a cane (twice), until I was finally able to walk fairly well, as I do now, with occasional bouts of pain that cause a visible limp. In addition to that, I incurred various other injuries during my time as a sailor, enough, apparently, to make me undeployable.
I believe I was “low-balled” on my disability rating, but never fought for an even higher percentage for a number of reasons, one being that I figure those monies would be better spent on a veteran with more severe injuries than myself. I have also had two doctors recommend that I go on permanent government disability, but I have refused that as well, figuring as long as I can stand, I can work. Perhaps James Raymond was low-balled as well. Perhaps his injuries demand more than a ten percent rating. But when I consider my disabilities, and then consider what I read about James Raymond’s, I wonder. I am ready to return to service (or course it would be amidst objections by my wife) if ever they were willing to take me. But he, with less disability than myself, is crying foul.
When James Raymond, like all other people who enter the U.S. Military, took that oath to defend this nation, he signed a contract. The contract included the inactive reserve period that he is now a part of. It is his obligation to fulfill the contract he signed. Or does the liberal left not place importance on contracts anymore?
Perhaps this is just more evidence of our Society of Dependency. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are those cases where there are people that find it very difficult to fully participate in the rights that the Creator has endowed them. I recognize that there are some Americans that find themselves in such situations due to no fault of their own. These cases are rare, however, and should not dictate the direction of our society. The current societal trend is to create dependency through a welfare state that perpetuates poverty. There are no rewards for getting people off of federal programs and no rewards for getting people back into the community with full-time jobs and independent lives. As a result of this welfare society that has been created, originally by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s unconstitutional “New Deal” which actually failed seven years after it had been originally put into place, and only succeeded because of the industry created by World War II, not because of his “socialized” government programs, our poorest neighborhoods are more violent and drug-infested, and the remainder of society has begun to believe that somehow the government owes them something. This “What can I get out of government” attitude is most apparent in stories we come across about people who take the “dependency” approach to life.
To illustrate this, I wish to discuss to situations. The first is about the disability pension abuse by the California Highway Patrol which reports that nearly 10 percent of the CHP budget goes to workplace injury complaints. Among the top ranking members of the CHP, more than 80 percent file for disability pensions, and the evidence is showing that most of these are fraudulent, and they are often simply being used as mere entitlement while the recipients pursue other careers.
In contrast to that “What can I get out of government” approach to life, there is the story of a paratrooper named George Perez, who, after losing his leg in Iraq, re-enlisted and in order to be able to serve again he undertook a tireless regimen to rebuild his body so that he could rejoin his regiment in Afghanistan. He was quoted as saying, “I’m not ready to get out yet. I’m not going to let this little injury stop me. . .”
In the end, the article in the Buffalo News is not about poor James Raymond who must place his life on hold, and go out on the battlefield with a bum ear and a less-than-100% knee. This article in the Buffalo News was not written with Mr. Raymond’s horrible plight in mind. The article was written with an anti-military fervor attached to it. It was designed to encourage pity for the poor soldier because of the horrendous mistreatment by the “big, bad” military. It uses comments like “…drop my life,” that it had been originally explained to him “. . . unless World War III breaks out, your name is never going to be called,” “He was expecting a normal life,” “He can’t understand how the government can send him checks for being disabled one day and then ask him to fight in a war the next,” he “hasn’t been able to quit smoking, a habit he picked up in the military,” and that he is being “forced to join a unit with which he has no history.”
The techniques worked, apparently, for my cousin, Ballbuster, and Tom all fell for the B.S. lock, drop, and barrel.
Oh, and my responses to those attempts at gaining pity by the Buffalo News article, and James Raymond? – – – Drop your life? Welcome to the world of honoring contracts with the military. You knew full well what the possibilities were when you signed up. Never going to be called up? Never say never, especially in a time of war. Expect a normal life? Are you saying the military is forcing you not to have a normal life? You signed the contract, so the decision to possibly have your normal life disrupted was originally yours. Receiving checks one day, fighting in a war the next? Hmmmm, goes back to that contract thing, first of all, and my question to you is, if you received no disability rating from the military when you were discharged (which I find unlikely, but possible), and then the VA later increased your percentage to 10 percent, did you bother letting the military human resources know about the disability rating? Did you bother to be responsible enough to ensure the information was forwarded to them? As for the smoking cigarettes part, the way that was worded it makes it sound like the writer of the article blames the military for forcing the poor guy to start such a horrible habit. That was a free choice. I began smoking in the military myself. I smoked for 21 years before I quit. And guess what? I didn’t blame anyone for me starting the habit. It was me that placed that cigarette in my mouth, and it was me that lit the lighter and placed it to the cigarette. No blame game. Personal responsibility. As for being forced to join a unit he is unfamiliar with. . . please, cry me a river. Welcome to the military. The need to adjust to new and unknown situations is a normal occurance in the military. You didn’t figure that out during the time you spent on active duty?
But, hey, not all people are cut-out for the military, so I sincerely hope the military does reconsider sending him back out into the field, because when I was in the military, the last thing I wanted was for my life to be in the hands of a fellow service member that did not want to be there, and therefore was not putting 110% into their duties. Whiners and criers are not fit for military service. Go home, go to school (or whatever it is you are going to do), don’t poison the moral of a unit.
In closing, I do not wish to take away from James Raymond’s service. Fact is, he did enlist, and he did serve in Afghanistan. I thank him for is service, and I appreciate all of our fine service members for the sacrifice they are giving. We all have our way to serve in this effort. Now that I cannot serve anymore due to my own disabilities, I blog and host my radio show on Blog Talk Radio. Others that wish to contribute to this war effort work for, or donate to, resources that support our military and provide services to our military service members. We all have a way to be a part of this effort, and comments by the left that if you support the mission you have to do join the military is idiotic. . . but, that’s when you need to consider the source.