Regressive Watch Masthead Logo No More Bush: Kinder, Gentler, Compassionate Liberal Activism on Facebook
Publisher: James Threadgill
Editor: Barry Hannes
Theme: WWWeb Concepts
Graphics: Wayne James
Founded: 21 August 2012 Webutation
WWWeb Concepts ASP.NET Web Development

An Interview with Two Disabled American Veterans


Disabled Veterans

Disabled Veterans

As the daughter of a Disabled American Veteran and granddaughter of a Purple Heart recipient, I grew up around many Veteran Establishments and Organizations. My father, Leo, was injured in a civilian attack in Germany during the Marshall Plan reconstruction and has suffered the majority of his life from the wounds he received during service with the United States Air Force. He did receive vocational rehabilitation and as his disabilities would allow he was employed the majority of his working years. It should be no surprise that my dad has many friends that are veterans and disabled veterans. One of my dad’s closet friends, Frank, is a disabled veteran too. He served two tours in Vietnam, like many disabled veterans Frank lives day to day with a constant reminder of their service to their country. My father and Frank have lived very honest lives. They worked and raised children, but never have been considered anything over middle-class Americans.

 My father and I have not always seen eye to eye on politics, but in recent years I have noticed that he and his friends have not thrown their support to many GOP politicians. In fact, it has been fairly consistent that they do not support them at all. I wanted to sit down with my father and  his veteran friend and ask them many questions about their stance on current issues such as; the recent election, their treatment under current administration, house representatives, and the many public opinions circulating nationwide. I think these individuals have paid a dear price to their country and their voice should be heard as well.

 Tracy: “I want to first thank you both for your service and sacrifices to our country. Both of you received severe injuries during your time in the military and I wanted to ask you how you think the US citizens view you and your service?”

 Leo: “I feel the majority of citizens appreciate us and our service.”

Frank: “I agree”

 Tracy: “As disabled veterans, how do you feel that your medical care and pensions have been during the Obama Administration?”

 Leo: “Honestly, I think I have had better health care during the past four years. I use to have an old walker and the wheels barely could roll. I had that same walker for years. During the past four years, I have had two nice new walkers with service to them every few months. I also was provided with a wheel chair and a lift for my truck. Now I can at-least be able to enjoy more activities. I am not saying my prior care was bad, but it was extremely tough to get updates on medical equipment.”

 Frank: “I have always been treated nice by the Veterans Administration, but I have noticed a better quality of care and services. I was exposed to many harmful chemicals and have had many esophagus surgeries. I was always told how to watch my diet and foods to eat, but now I receive nutrition services.”

 Leo: “Yes, I had my jaw shattered in the service and teeth busted out. I am receiving better dental care and if needed, nutrition support is offered to me as well. That is new too.”

 Tracy: “When medical services are not available at the local outpatient clinic and you have to travel to a larger setting, do you get reimbursed for travel expenses or is there transportation available?”

Frank: “We have a nice bus we can ride. It’s free transportation. We now also are provided a meal at the clinic while we wait for all bus riders to see the doctors.”

Leo: “I get tired of the many bus trips, but they have made it much more comfortable and now see that we get fed. Nothing is perfect, but it is better.”

Tracy: “Have your pensions been cut? Do you feel like you have been financially supported during the past four years?”

Leo: “Nothing of mine has been cut. I pay a few dollars more for medications, but that is with every drug insurance policy.”

Frank: “Nothing has been cut and I do not feel like President Obama has done anything to hurt myself or current veterans.”

Tracy: “That leads me to the next question. Do either of you feel that there is a specific political party or group that actually fights for your rights and benefits? You two have heard stories in the media and certain groups claiming that one group or another is actually not helping you. I have even read on social media sites where many claim the current administration is actually going to decrease your health care coverage and pensions.”

Leo: “That is false and is just out there to make our President look as he does not care. That really makes me angry when I read that stuff.”

Frank: “If anyone is trying to cut us, it’s the majority of Republicans. I keep up with policies and who is voting what.”

Tracy: “Why would so much negativity about our president and certain members of the democratic party wanting to take away your benefits if there was not some truth to it?”

Frank: “Because the people spreading that stuff do not really care about us disabled veterans. They want to scare the public and make the veterans look as if we were under attack. Most citizens claim to respect and support us, no better way to get citizens mad than make up a bunch of lies as if veterans were under attack.”

Leo: “I wish people would see through that stuff. I do not have actual 20/20 eyesight, but even I see straight through those scams. A lot of veteran support groups try to get the facts out there, but those hot heads are great actors and people notice them, but never check on our actual stats that are posted. Vote vets, work hard at getting the facts, so veterans can make real decisions with facts.”

Tracy: “Do you two vote democrat or republican majority of the time?”

Frank: “Either, but lately it has not been a tough decision.”

Leo: “I use to vote majority Republican Party, but there is no way I would even think of it now. I hang my head in shame for what a majority of them represent. I won’t be associated with them.”

Tracy: “What are you ashamed of the Republican Party for?”

Leo: “That extreme conservative group of racist. That is all they are too, racist. It is a shame the American people actually buy into that stuff. I was listening on the radio one day and I became so angry. He made a claim that Republicans and many others would blame any election lost on the conservative movement. Well, we are blaming you but not because of an election. We, the majority are blaming you because you are spreading messages of hate and deceit. They are a pack of sissy babies. They are acting afraid because we have a President that is black. Plain and simple it boils down to that. Many minorities and different faiths laid down their life for this country. Those loud mouths do not speak for me. I am ashamed of them and they need to hang their heads in shame.”

 Frank: “Another thing, how dare any member of the GOP not step up and tell them to shut up! Those extreme groups are degrading minorities and assuming that all minorities are bums. They are cutting women down and calling them disgraceful names. Real men do not attack women and children. Nowadays single mothers have no choice. They did not set out for it to be this way, but they can either raise their children and get some help or work 18 hours a day and neglect their children. You need to point your fingers at the dads that took off too. They are out living it up then when the moms ask for help, they get another kick in the back, they are called bums and considered to just wanting handouts. Many disabled veterans have to get government support off and on during their lives too.”

Leo: “I do not want any child to go hungry in this country. I would rather have less to make sure children are fed and that small children receive proper care. What monsters attack this? We also need their parents supported and nourished too. A real man does NOT want women, children, and the disabled suffering. Those that say such things should be made stand in front of us disabled vets. We should be their judge and jury because we paid with bones and blood to have the best country for our citizens. How dare them say such things and how dare the large majority for not speaking out for them!”

 Tracy: “What is your response to the extreme people that claim the majority of the countries youth voted one way because they want free birth control?”

 Leo: “They voted for President Obama because they are smart and could see through the false messages. I am telling you, they want to be considered the religious party but then open their mouths with that filth. As I said, smart people see past it. I am proud we are producing smart youngsters.”

Tracy: “What are you’re feeling about those who said they wanted to move to Canada after President Obama won election or to Peter Morrison, Texas GOP member that called those who voted for President Obama “maggots?”

 Leo: “Our service is appreciated let me tell you. I have had many times where my candidate did not win, but I would not leave. The majority voted, get over it. Do the right thing; try to build this country stronger instead of cutting it down so your extreme group looks like the patriots. They look nothing like patriots, but many should be arrested for treason to this country.”

Frank: “All of these people thinking they need to protect themselves from so-call potential problems with government are IN FACT preparing to commit treason one day. These people are out right saying in some points they want our president killed. . . .TREASON!”

Leo: “Who is that jack ass Morrison to call me a maggot?”

Tracy: “I take it you both voted to re-elect President Obama?”

Both: “YES”

Tracy: Do you like any of the members of the GOP?

Frank: “Oh yes, I like McCain, Dole, and I liked Ron Paul too. I have respect for them, they are veterans.”

Leo: “Funny thing about Ron Paul, I don’t agree with everything, but he has a backbone. The day after the election I watched the news and a spokes lady for the Tea Party ran down Governor Romney after he did win a lot of votes. She then said they wanted a fighter like Ronald Reagan. I laughed, because they actually had one. . . . Ron Paul! He was the original movement former, but when he spoke to protect the true constitution the Tea Party deserted him.”

Frank: “If anything I would think Ron Paul would not cut people down for their religion because he knows constitutionally you have your right and freedom to religion.”

Leo: “I don’t care what you religion is or isn’t.That should not even be an issue. I thought we paid for that freedom already? Do they really support the constitution? Nope, just a bunch of hot air! I hate what that Tea Party bunch has done to this country.”

Frank: “I hate people actually support them.”

Tracy: “Do you really feel as if the Tea Party Movement has caused problems for veterans?”

Frank: “YES! They are stirring the pot good. Their selected few are voting down programs for veterans. One stalled on COLA, they voted no on the disability treaty, blocked Veterans Job Corp. program.”

Leo: “Just to say no to the President. They shaft US so they can try and make our president look to blame. I watched when senate voted against that treaty. That was a republican treaty. Senator Dole looked as he could cry, so did Sen. McCain. You know why? Those were basically at the core for veterans.”

Tracy: “Do you know who voted those bills and treaty down?”

Both: YES!

Frank: “Go read yourself. The Tea Party select.”

Leo: “Now Texas just sent a few more of them in,  my God!”

Tracy: How do you feel about our current military?”
Frank: “Thankful for them, praying for them always”

Leo: “I agree, I am very thankful for them, but would like them to remember what they stand for. I know they have freedom of speech, we all paid for that, but remember your Commander in Chief. It looks bad for our men and women in uniform to make negative statements. It always has and will look bad. We stand for honor and respect. I want that image to carry on.”

Tracy:” If you could send a message to the public what would it be?”

Frank: “We cannot speak for all veterans or disabled veterans. We are only two citizens, but we stay informed and we care about our country and everyone in it. Remember what we stand for. Please stop these hateful acts and messages. Stand against them. Pray for our leaders do not constantly cut them down.”

Leo: “So many of the extreme right quote Ronald Reagan all of the time. Even Ronald Reagan stated that our founding fathers were NOT fools. The constitution represents every man and woman in this country regardless, race, creed, and religion. You have the right to practice or not practice. Respect individual rights, they were put in the constitution for a reason.”

 I would like to thank these two and all veterans for your sacrifice and service. It does not matter your party, what matters is we are Americans. We have a constitution that represents us all. We have the right to be informed and we should use our rights to defend this country from groups that spread propaganda and hate. Please challenge yourself to hear real message.

Tracy Brownlee

Tracy Brownlee

Tracy is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She earned her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and her M. Ed. in Special Education. Tracy has over ten years of classroom experience from early childhood education to Secondary Mathematics.

Tracy currently is the president of an educational firm and resides with her two children in Lufkin, Texas.

WWWeb Concepts Web Development

“And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” Revelation 13:1-3.

And the beast called itself GOP and written upon its seven heads are: Avarice, Cowardice, Entitlement, Homophobia, Ignorance, Misogyny, and Racism. And the meek shall cry out in agony. And the beast shall be slain by the Lamb, in their name. And the beast's name shall be erased from the minds of men forever.