Five Articles and a Poem
Five articles only marginally related to each other, but which I think together make my point....
In 1811, records show Martin living on 56 acres. In 1818, he applied for a veteran’s pension, and reported owning no real estate.
“His memoir reflects some of his disappointment” in how he was treated, Mead said.
Martin served as Prospect’s town clerk for 28 years, a selectman for a time in that town, a representative to the Massachusetts General Court and a captain in the Maine militia.
“He says in the final lines of the memoir that the U.S. made soldiers fulfill their contracts but was negligent in fulfilling its promises to them,” Mead said. He writes, “They had all the power and we had none — such things ought not to be.”
“In a republic, people have to be watchful that power doesn’t become too concentrated,” Mead said was Martin’s conclusion.
The numbers, however, do not allow for continued inaction. Increasing health-care costs in DoD’s budget mean less money for bombs, bullets and training. Fielding a military but supplying it with obsolete equipment and minimal training is the definition of a hollow force. Sensible reforms, like the ones proposed in the administration’s FY2013 budget request, will not break faith with military retirees and their families. But Congress must acknowledge that Tricare is merely a policy, part of a larger military compensation package that seeks to recruit and retain the best men and women for military service. It was never intended to become an inalienable right.
Congress’s unwillingness to reform Tricare is emblematic of larger trend in an American society still haunted by Vietnam, still coming to grips with the emergence of a small, separate caste of soldiers who does the nation’s fighting. Overcompensating for the past and seeking to support the troops with more than a bumper sticker, today’s veterans are lionized and given deference not accorded other public servants. As Andrew Bacevich recently wrote, “reward has taken its place alongside remembrance.” Having asked so little of ourselves, we justify our inaction and assuage our consciences through such praise and reward.
I joined the Marine Corps for a lot of reasons. Cheap health care wasn’t one of them.
LIMA, Ohio - Rows of sand-colored armored vehicles ready for deployment are parked outside the nation's only tank manufacturing plant. It's where welders and machinists for more than three decades have built the Abrams tank, which former President George W. Bush once called "the most effective armored vehicle in the history of warfare."
But the Pentagon says it will soon have enough tanks and wants to halt production for several years as it wrestles with deep cuts in military spending over the next decade.
Some members of Congress are attempting to restore funding for the tanks and other military weapons in a defense spending bill working its way through Capitol Hill, a move the White House is threatening to veto. The White House says adding more money to the budget will trigger deeper cuts because of an agreement made during a failed congressional attempt last year to reduce the deficit.
Caught in the middle are hundreds of workers at the northern Ohio tank plant who are worried about losing high-paying manufacturing jobs at a time when those positions are scarce.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has spared no effort to care for our soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the number of affected individuals is too great—and their mental-health challenges in particular too demanding—to leave the VA on its own in this mission.
Instead, a major new private-public partnership is necessary. The federal government should be willing to reimburse private practitioners who take care of veterans or their families, expedite paperwork procedures to make this feasible, and involve the academic and other national networks that are already serving veterans.
A U.S. Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state one recent day, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon's controversial green fuels initiative.
In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the "Great Green Fleet," the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.
Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel's $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government's budget remains severely strained, the Pentagon is facing cuts and energy companies are finding big quantities of oil and gas in the United States.
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!