Thursday, April 20, 2006
# Posted 9:03 AM by Patrick Porter
Two Texan servicemen are raising money for disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Rush Vann, an Infantry Officer in the Army National Guard, and David Broyles, a Pararescueman in the Air Force, will be attempting to swim the 13 miles of the Gibraltar Strait from Spain to Morrocco.
Their website is here. Their Charity is the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, which is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that offers several programs to assist disabled veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including services like urgent financial assistance, housing, job placement, family support, and educational and service events.
These kinds of charities are important, in preventing us ever seeing the return of the nightmare world of homeless and begging veterans, depicted by German painter Otto Dix on Prague Street after World War I.
Best of luck, Rush and David! And safely come ashore. (5) opinions -- Add your opinion
Compared to the dead, the wounded from Iraq are ignored bythe media. No, not completly ignored, but I can find LOTS of media outlets that feature the names/faces of the dead every day/week but who don't run stories of the wounded nay where near that often.
Why the disparity? The dead have no voice. They can be used to in whatever way the reader of their names chooses. Memes are churned up and charted out by prosfessionals. The dead can easily be mapped on to them.
But the wounded are another story.
They speak with their voices - there are no pre-exisitng memes that they can conviently be dumped into. Every wounded soldier is his or her own meme.
This is ironic. Normally the medeia covers those who have the most compelling stories to tell. But for much of the media, using the names of the dead is much more compelling than allowing the the wounded to speak for themselves.
You can draw your own conclusions about why that may be.
It's astonishing that any significant part of the economic and professional resources needed to help wounded veterans of the Iraq war should be left to the uncertain provision of private charity. What could more clearly be the responsibility of the federal government? The mere existence of this organization is a signal that there's something wrong with the veterans' program, and I think I know what it is: the political impulse in Congress to spread veterans' funding thinly over a maximum number of constituents, rather tnan concentrating it where it belongs, on those clearly injured in war.
And by the way, this charitable organization may be formally nonpolitical but the design and wording of its website shouts "donate here and show you are part of the pro-war subculture."
I'll write to my Congressman instead, demanding that the nation look after its wounded veterans properly.
Regardless of the "wording of the website" for this charity and whether you define yourself by one subculture or another, the result is apolitical: 91% of all donations go directly to struggling disabled veterans and their families, well above the 75% for most charities...for any cause.
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