Thursday, March 11, 2010

Veteran's Benefits aren't Welfare

Over at This Aint Hell, there is a discussion about the high cost of an education in the US, and specifically about how there is a large portion of the population that think that higher education should be cost-free.  The author reports that at one point he was told that his GI Bill benefits were just welfare.  I've heard that before. 

When I was attending college after I left the Army, several of my classmates expressed similar feelings.  These young people still received checks from mumsy and dadsy every month, drove cars paid for by their parents, and were regularly absent from class because they were spending mom and dad's money on beer instead of studying.  And they always whined when their Pell Grant money was a couple of days late.

I found a way to shut down the conversations when I blurted out that the money I got every month from my investment in the GI Bill was repayment for all of the crap that I had done while in the Army.  And if they wanted some, they were welcome to get a haircut, show some guts, and take the oath of enlistment.  Until then, they were nothing more than leaches on the butt of society.

I got a reputation as being "hard to approach".  Qel Surpris.

Once a month, money was put into my bank account by the government in repayment for the 9 years worth of bad hours, forced labor, cold food, crappy co-workers, and time away from everyone I loved.

Every month, I'd look at my statement, and think "This one pays for X", where X was something like:
  • those 3 days I spent laying in a snow bank watching a road
  • eating MRE's for 35 days straight because my captain thought a field kitchen was for wimps
  • the 63 days in a row that I went without a shower and eventually bathed myself by rubbing newly fallen snow on my bare skin to get some of the funk off
  • almost getting shot by a moron who turned his rifle sideways across the firing line and banged it on the ground to clear a failure, thereby shooting a 5.56mm bullet between my elbow and my nose while I was in the firing position next to him
Eventually, I graduated, and I feel that I'm paid in full for those 9 years.

The benefits that veterans get are paid for in blood, sweat, and heartache.  Anyone who feels differently ought to man up and enlist so that they can have an informed opinion.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at