So, I've had the week off due to Chinese New year. Many of my favorite shops have been closed so not a huge amount to do. It's been an interesting time, I spent most of it with Nabila. I only see her once every blue moon, about 4 times a year it works out as, so I miss her greatly especially since she doesn't have a good internet connection at her university and her phone keeps getting bared. We are perhaps one of the last few people in the world who still communicate with each other by letter on a regular basis :-P And, because so many people ask for photos, here is one for you:
I've also had a message from an old internet freind. We got talking about a year ago due to a mutual interest in the military, with him being a USAF veteran. The last I heard of him he was fighting the Veteran Association (VA) to try and claim his 'benefits' from them. Benefits is the wrong word, it is what he, as a Veteran, and one who was wounded in Afghanistan at that, should be entitled to in return for putting his life on the line to 'defend' his country, getting wounded and thus unable to get a job. Apparently the US government doesn't agree to this, cue years of fighting to try and get what he is entitled to. Then they announced that the small level of benefits that he does receive is going to be cut in half. So now he has to talk them to court and, as he says "progressing to the next level of game playing". So cue even more years of fighting. And of course, he is not alone and in fact, I think he is one of the 'lucky' ones. At least he isn't on the street, hasn't lost his mind and hasn't gone, taken his old service rifle, and shot up a load of people like many in the same position have.
This sort of behavior sickens me, a nation that has the worlds largest economy and wastes so much money on two pointless 'wars' can also afford to look after those who put their lives on the line to defend it. Whether they be soldiers, airmen, sailors, even the civil defense forces such as firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses, (all of whom deal with low pay, lack of benefits, crap funding and facilities) as Calvin Coolidge said "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." The US needs to pay attention to people like my freind, shape up, and look after those that looked after it. Because, right now as it stands, they are forgotten, wasted, and dumped in the street to fend for themselves. I get very angry hearing stories like his, and even more angry when I know that he is far from the only one. Another story that really got to me was the fact that, nearly 10 years after the event, those firemen, police officers, medics, city workers and so fourth who rushed to the scene of the tragedy that was 9/11 and were subsequently exposed to lethal amounts of carcinogenic dust (amongst other injuries, mental as well as physical), are still fighting to get *their* 'benefits'. Many of them haven't seen a single cent, are up to their necks in healthcare bills (the US being one of the few 'developed' countries that refuses to pay for it's citizens healthcare) and out of work. Again, sickening. Shape up America and listen to Mr Coolidge!