Midland Daily News, Thursday March 17, 2005
It is very popular to sport a "Support Our Troops" ribbon on our cars. Some cars even have more than one ribbon. While that's laudable, how about supporting our troops in more meaningful ways?
On a personal level
give a donation to a new Military Family Relief Fund merely by indicating so on
There is a military website created just for the purpose of supporting our troops. Go to http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/ Write letters to those in the military.
Urge the President to begin the withdrawal of
At the government level
The government needs to support our troops by giving them the best equipment and materiel so they can wage a war effectively. It's questionable whether our government did that. When it becomes clear that the war was ill-conceived and ill-advised, it's time to plan an exit strategy, so no more lives are needlessly wasted or damaged.
Another way to support our troops is to give them financial benefits that show that we as a country appreciate the sacrifices they are making. According to Rush Limbaugh, a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action gets a direct death benefit check for $6,000, half of which is taxable and $1,750 for burial costs. A surviving spouse gets $833 a month until remarriage and a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a halt. This is an insult to our valiant men and women and their survivors.
We must provide substantial
benefits to the families of those who die in combat or as a result of combat.
This means increasing the death payout from the paltry amounts now paid. I
support and applaud the President for recommending the death benefit be
increased to $100,000, retroactive to October 7, 2001. He also recommends the
amount of life insurance available to military personnel be increased from
$150,000 to $400,000 and that the
Those who are disabled should
receive lifetime benefits as well as their immediate families, especially those
who have been called up from the Reserves and the inactive. Make sure they have
adequate health care, including psychiatric care for post traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). 6,400 have already been treated for PTSD and some estimate as
many as 15% of those who served in
Supplement the income they receive in the military to a level they were making in civilian jobs, so their families don't suffer while their husbands or wives are away fighting a war.
Raise our troop strength so that
our military personnel don't have multiple deployments. It is very demoralizing
to tell them they have a one time tour of duty in
Don't send our troops off to an ill-conceived and ill-planned war. Don't continue fighting such a war without an exit strategy.
Raise taxes to pay for this war instead of reducing taxes and passing on exorbitant debt to our children and grandchildren. Include the war in the budget instead of trying to hide it. Don't use the social security taxes to pay for this war.
I have opposed the war long
before it started, but that doesn't mean I oppose our troops. I don't want a
repeat of the treatment soldiers received at the end of the Vietnam War. How
about supporting our troops with more than a ribbon on our car?