As you look out on the horizon and as the sun is getting low in the sky. Know that somewhere a single tear has fallen, a single rose was bought; with all of these emotions, we’re all connected in some way. Time is infinite and it goes on regardless of what life burdens you with, it’s up to you to use the time you have to make strides to be better. Although time is infinite, yours isn't on earth, so each second is precious and each second can mean the difference in your life and lives affected unbeknownst to you. Your troubles, whatever they may be are yours to bear, never compare your situation to the next, even if they seem to mirror one another, they aren't the same.
Today is Veterans Day and I am honored to have served my country, I’m proud of my service and what the military has done for me and my family. Looking deep into this day past the pageantry, the parades and the freebies and discounts. Even looking past the smiles, handshakes, tears, and celebrations or mourning of lives lived and lost, we must address certain things that trouble vets and their families. Two important issues that need more attention, and not just a simple legislative write off are poverty and the mind state of vets due to combat and other horrors faced upon arriving back home. The latter, when left untreated, is a hard road traveled, the feeling likened to sitting in a dark corner, alone with images of horrific things being played before you every single day of your life.
Poverty stretches the bounds of society, this disease spreads when problems are patched and not actually fixed. Patching an old bridge doesn't stop the whole structure from toppling when enough weight is upon it. When the weight of capitalism piles upon the middle class and the already poor it adds more strain and soon the whole system collapses leaving many lives destroyed. Instead of actually fixing it, we patch it with social assistance, tax breaks and other incentives that trick citizens into thinking they are better off, but it’s only a temporary patch. Veterans fight to protect the interest of those that will just ignore them when they no longer serve.
The problems can no longer be ignored as the bridge is starting to crumble and no one has a solution to a problem that has plagued us for decades. One this Veterans Day remember lives and lives lost but become an advocate for change. Until enough voices become actions we’ll continue to mask the problems faced on a daily and one day that bridge will come crashing down.
Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. 2013