Coye Law Firm November 2017

November 2017

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Our Veterans Deserve More Than ‘Gratitude’ GRATITUDE? THEY HEAR THAT B.S. EVERY DAY

ll year long, you hardly hear a peep about our veterans from corporations. And yet, every November, so many

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companies jump on the “gratitude” train for our veterans. Restaurants give veterans free pancakes and retail stores announce “exciting” new discounts for veterans. My question is this: where’s this support when it doesn’t come with a PR campaign? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that we live in a great country. It’s a place that presents opportunities to people who have been here for generations and those who have just arrived. But I’d be lying if I said that we live in a perfectly fair and equitable nation, even if I truly believe it’s the greatest in the world. The burdens in our society aren’t equally shared. Some people have to make heavier sacrifices than others. “I can’t speak for all veterans, but I can tell you most of them don’t need free pancakes and discounts. They don’t need your gratitude. They hear that B.S. everyday.” When I was growing up in the ‘60s, there was a lot of unrest surrounding the Vietnam War. During that time — and it’s not all that different today — the most privileged members of our society weren’t asked to join the war effort the same way regular folks were. My mom grew up with 12 siblings, and her parents didn’t have much. In short order, three of her brothers were on their way overseas to fight for their country.

First was Uncle Bill, who was drafted into the Army. Then, Uncle Wayne was drafted into the Army Infantry, even with his two-year degree in hand. Uncle Dale must’ve seen the writing on the wall, because he didn’t wait to get drafted. He enlisted and joined his brothers in the Army. I guess you could say it’s become a family tradition, because both my son and I have served in the Armed Forces. I served in the Army Infantry and my son served in the Marine Corps (sometimes generating a bit of inter-service rivalry!) I can’t speak for all veterans, but I can tell you most of them don’t need free pancakes and discounts. They don’t need your gratitude. They hear that B.S. everyday. These are people that had to dig a hole to sleep in at times, but they are raised and trained to persevere. They are, in short, an inspiration. Our veterans are one of the most optimistic groups of people you will ever meet. They deserve more! Despite the burden they’ve shouldered for every member of our nation, I can’t help but get a little angry at the hoops they have to jump through when they get back to America. If a veteran ends

up in a motor vehicle accident, you can bet the insurance company will dig up an incident that happened years before. It wasn’t until last year that the VA got digital medical records. Can you believe that? We can literally take a picture and send it to China in a few seconds. It would take weeks for the VA to mail medical records via UPS. Wouldn’t you call that backwards? I know that nearly every single person that works in VA has the best of intentions. It’s not their fault. It’s the system that lets our veterans down. And because they are people with near- superhuman amounts of perseverance, veterans often put up with this for too long. It shouldn’t be this way. Think about it … how long did it take a young man to receive their draft letter for the Vietnam War vs. how long it takes a veteran to receive their benefits? You’ve taken on a duty that protects everyone in our nation, whether they know it or not. For that and for everything else you do, let me say, personally, thank you. But, more than that, you have my support when the system lets you down. –Wade Coye

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