The scandal du jour in Washington is the apparent book-cooking at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. This photo-op has brought out from under many rocks all the politicians who want to wave a flag and kiss a veteran (or wave a veteran and kiss the flag...).
Few things infuriate me more than the hypocritical use of veterans as a pawn by the self-serving, greedy, power-hungry politicians who, in truth, don't give a rat's a** for veterans (or hardly anyone else in their constituency). And, please, please, spare me the "Oh, the Democrats are not like that...." or "Oh, the Republicans are not like that...." If you believe that your lovely party is really the veterans' friend, then you are naive beyond recovery. (And I'll stick to "naive" rather than what I really think)
The truth is that veterans are the tissues which did not disappear after use, and we're stuck with them and have to tolerate them and pretend we really care. We waved a flag and sent them off to die in some third-world country to benefit some institution or another. Those who died, we waved the flag again, sang a song, and buried them. The problem is that not all of them died. Some of us have survived for going on 50 or 60 or 70 years.....and all those teary-eyed promises have come back to haunt the politicians. We're a great burden but dare not be labeled as such.
For all the costs involved in maintaining the image of a "veteran-loving" nation, the pols have to extract some benefit.....so they take vets out of mothballs and wave them around whenever there's a political point to be made. We're like a flag, a slightly fat and greying flag......And the pols really hope the moment passes quickly so we can be put back into storage--out of sight and out of mind.