I love a parade

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I love a parade.  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day, Rose Bowl’s New Year’s Day, my local Veteran’s Day, and yes, that silly Dairy Princess parade in my home town.  Along with about 62 other high school band members we marched down Main Street celebrating the selection of the one young lady who had collected more money than any of her competitors for the privilege of sitting in a 1964 Chevy convertible provided by her daddy, who also happened to be the local Chevrolet dealer.  We, in our white bucks, carefully maneuvered through the residue of the horse-riding honor guard which led our little festivity.

Yeah, I love a parade.  Parades were fun and watching them on TV was a holiday tradition.  With the advent of instantaneous media on every household screen, the parades celebrated in China, North Korea, and Russia displayed a different reason to have a parade.  The military might of these nations was dismaying and ominous.  The goose-stepping troops reminded me of video I had seen of earlier parades in 1940s Germany.  They were not smiling and cheering.  I don’t think they were having a fun time like those of us sidestepping horse manure on the streets of Mytown, USA.

Thank God the military parade planned for Washington, D.C. has been delayed.  I can’t think of any valid reason to spend millions of tax-payer dollars on a display of military equipment and manpower.  We know who we are as a nation.  We know for what we stand, don’t we?  Opportunity for all, right?  Liberty for the oppressed, right?  Social justice, right?  Or have I become an old fuddy-duddy who lives in a Pollyanna world?

VoteVets.org is a non-profit founded by veterans for the purpose of electing veterans to Congress and informing the general population of ongoing issues with veterans.  Homelessness, war injuries, suicide are hot topics in the veterans’ community that are not being addressed by an Administration more concerned with displaying military might.  VoteVets.org has filed with the city of Washington, D.C. a letter of intent to host a 5K run on Veteran’s Day of 2019 around the National Mall with proceeds directed to homelessness among veterans.

My country is better than this national disgrace of veterans’ homelessness inflicting 40,000 of the men and women who sacrificed to serve.  I’m supporting a run around the National Mall for veterans rather than a parade to show the world we’re Billy Badass.

VoteVets.org

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VoteVets.org has submitted a letter of intent to the government of Washington, D.C. to host a 5K run around the National Mall on Veteran’s Day of 2019.  Whether it happens or not remains to be seen as things that happen in our nation’s capital are subject to daily change depending on the temperament of the Administration sitting in the White House.  Details are forthcoming, but the Hill reports the non-profit organization is organizing this event to counter the military parade still envisioned by President Trump for sometime in 2019 after abandoning plans for a Veteran’s Day, 2018, parade at a possible cost of $92 million.

It will be planned as a 5K event for each of the 5 deferments citizen Trump received during the Vietnam War era, four student deferments and one medical deferment for bone spurs.  The organizers intend to raise money for homeless vets citing that the needs for veteran services far exceed the need for military and personal aggrandizement of the current political regime.

VoteVets.org is a progressive political organization dedicated to ensuring veterans have the resources they need to complete their missions abroad, and are taken care of when they return home.  With a membership of 220,000 the group was co-founded in 2006 by Jon Soltz and Jeremy Broussard initially for United States Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with a goal of putting in Congress war veterans who are critical of the war in Iraq.  Its current focus is to educate the American public on war and military issues and hold politicians accountable.

Homeless vets numbered about 40,000 in January of 2016.   They are increasingly younger; however, the majority are in an older age group, 51 and over, having served in the Vietnam War era.  During the next 10 to 15 years the number of homeless vets over the age of 55 is expected to increase dramatically.