I am an eight-year U.S. Marine Veteran and a Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what I have seen and experienced as a veteran since leaving the U.S. Marines.
In bootcamp at Parris Island we were often referred to as dirt, scumbags, and whatever else the Drill Instructor could think to call us. We had yet to earn the right to be called Marine; it is a title that is definitely earned and not given.
You graduate bootcamp and earned the title Marine, and then you go on to combat training and later school to learn your job. Once this is all completed, you go to the Fleet (your duty station) to perform your job. These are the brothers who will be beside you in combat, and you become close with them. Your unit or platoon becomes your new family.
You go off to fight for your country; you volunteered to do something that 99 percent of the rest of the country was not willing to do. You served your time in hell and earned the battle stripes. You may have come back with struggles, injuries, or just issues that no one else seems to understand. You are tired and did your time, so you get discharged.
Now is the real battle for veterans as no one seems to connect with you, so they push you aside. You have become an outcast. You have to fight with the Veteran affairs to get what you earned. The government and politicians say we support our veterans in one breath, but they do nothing to help us in their actions.
Veterans are waiting a year plus to get disability compensation from the V.A., and some of these guys cannot work. I waited a year to get an appointment at the V.A. Hospital only to be told the opposite of what I was told and being treated for on active duty. I went to the emergency room at the V.A. Hospital for burns on my hand to only be denied treatment and was treated by paramedics in an ambulance outside the Emergency Room at the V.A. Hospital.
I have senators and congressmen who do not want to hear my story. One thing is certain, and that is I will not be quiet. I suffer from PTSD and rarely leave my house. I do not want to be around people and driving is extremely hard for me now. I have headaches daily, which makes it hard for me to keep a job therefore I have to struggle.
At least as just a “scumbag” I did not have all the physical or mental issues. I did not have to fight through red tape or deal with liars and two faced people all the time. So again I ask, which is better a scumbag or a U.S. Veteran?