Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Making some noise--for the U.S. Military

Note: This is a little bit of a departure from my usual preparedness post. I still think it applies to emergency preparedness, however, because if there is anything we can do to help others to be in a better situation either health-wise or financially, the better off we will all be if/when a crisis arises. If military personnel, who, as I understand it, do not have the highest payscale around anyway, had to choose between health care and food or other necessities as a result of a cut in benefits, it would be harder for those who wished to do so to prepare for future emergencies. Those who can now take advantage of preventative health care options would no longer be able to do so, which could in turn lead to more problems and even emergencies health-wise and financially. The more people that are prepared for an emergency, the more we all benefit... That said, here's the post:

Not too long ago I was in attendance while a bagpipe ensemble, complete with drums, was performing. After the music had ended, one of my children said to one of the musicians something along the lines of, "Who thought up something that could make such a horrible noise?" Obviously, this child was not a huge fan of bagpipe music. If you had been there, it probably would have been equally obvious that this question made me uncomfortable.....but the musician's reply made a lasting impression on me.

Turns out, according to what he said, that the bagpipe is the only instrument that has been officially declared a weapon of war. If I recall correctly, he said that we owed part of our country to the playing of the bagpipes, because in one area, the French were scared off and left the region because the Scottish and Irish got so riled up when the bagpipes were played that it frightened the opposing army off. (My apologies if the exact details are off, but the point as it came across to me remains the same.) I think I asked if it was the actual music that caused such a reaction, and from what I understood, it was because it was such a call to the people that the bagpipe was such a dangerous weapon--the people united behind the bagpipe's call, and it had a tremendous effect.

I recently received an e-mail that I found deeply disturbing about a proposal to cut healthcare benefits and increase out-of-pocket health care costs for those who have served/are serving in the U.S. military. You can learn more about what is being proposed here. I do have blood ties to military personnel, back through multiple wars, as well as more recently, so it is likely that I would see the effects of such measures on people that I know personally. However, I don't think that I would feel any differently about such measures even if that weren't the case, because there is no question that as an American, I have felt the benefits of the work of those who have served our country. And I think that there is a way that we can stand up for our servicemen and servicewomen as they have stood up for us and the things that we believe in---by making a lot of "horrible noise" when their promised benefits are threatened. No, I'm not suggesting the bagpipes. I'm talking about more about e-mails, phone calls, and letters to those who represent us and our military personnel, asking them to reject any attempts to cut back on or cut out promised military health care benefits. They need our support now, and we need to make a lot of noise. A lot of noise on this subject would, I do not doubt, have a tremendous effect. Here is what I am planning to send:

It has come to my attention that the Congressional Budget office has made a recommendation to eliminate the program TriCare for Life. I am writing to ask you to reject any proposals and/or legislation that would result in higher out-of-pocket health care costs for U.S. military personnel. Those who have served our country, regardless of status--active, retired, veterans--deserve both our support and their promised health care benefits.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

I'm going to write to elected officials from Idaho and elsewhere. I realize that this blog may be read by those not affected by such legislation (who are probably not still reading... :) and by those who are against policies and actions and other military maneuvers that the U.S. has made. I'm not talking about policies or actions or military maneuvers. I am talking about people who answered the call to serve our country, and in many cases put their lives on the line for our freedoms. Freedom is not free, and it is not bipartisan. This is not a political post nor blog, but it is an American one. If you want to join me in thanking our military for standing up for us with their lives, I can think of no better way than standing up for them with our voices...

U. S. Senate

U. S. House of Representatives

Let's go make some noise---a lot of it.


Anonymous said...

Good post Marie.


Marie said...

Carl--Thanks, and thanks so much for taking the time to read it and comment--I really appreciate it!

Kymber said...

Wonderful post Marie - but I am starting to expect them from you and I hope that doesn't put too much pressure on you!

As a veteran of the Canadian Forces (served 10 years) - I applaud this post and am so glad that patriots like yourself are willing to stand up and defend the people who have defended all of us in North America!

This post makes my heart warm - I have served with many American Military Personnel on several American and Canadian bases. Thanks for getting the word out there Marie...and thanks for being a true patriot who will defend those that defended us!

Sorry if this got long-winded - but you set off a nerve with this post! American veterans should be honoured for the duties that they have performed!

Bravo to you for defending them!

Gregg said...

That bagpipe band apparently didn't have anyone who knew how to tune them. Nobody would say that about pipes tuned and played properly. It's not because they sound bad that they were a 'weapon of war' it's because the effect of the music on the souls of Scots made them fight ferociously.

Marie said...

Kymber--Thank YOU for serving--I have great respect for those who serve their country. Thanks also for your kind words. I truly hope that many Americans will contact their own officials, because the more that people get involved, the more likely that we'll have a positive outcome for everyone in the Armed Forces. Thanks again for your service, and as always, your comment is greatly appreciated!

Gregg--I guess that is possible--I thought that they sounded good myself, but I've always liked bagpipe music. I think with my child it was just a matter of personal preference, as well as proximity, because we were pretty close, and the bagpipes were pretty loud. You are exactly right on the reason the bagpipes were considered a weapon of war--it was how the music inspired the army that made the enemy run, so thanks for explaining it more clearly than I did if that did not come across clearly in my post. Thanks very much for your comment!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Thanks for the tip! I made my calls yesterday!

Marie said...

Gen--Thank you very much for taking time to make the calls--everyone makes more of a difference with their own elected officials, so it means a lot! I really appreciate it, and thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

You know what's sad? When the young mena nd women signed on the dotted line to serve and protect, they were promised the benefit as part of the deal.

They kept their part of the deal. They served, some died, some came back maimed and wounded, but they did the job as they promised.

Its sad to realize our government has no plans to keep its part of the deal. Breach of contract.

In a court of law, the government would be liable for penalties.

But when you own the courts...guess you do what you want.

Marie said...

Anonymous--I think that the benefits as promised should remain intact, and I'm hoping that by enough people contacting their representatives, they won't do what they (at least some of them) want, but what we want--leave the benefits alone. I just hope that enough people learn about it and write/call/e-mail that they will support our military personnel, whatever their status, as promised. I hope that, wherever you are, you and everyone else reading this will make a call to your Senators and Representatives, because, although I contact multiple Senators on issues that are important to me, I would think it reasonable that it is the voice of their constituents that matter most to those who have been elected. My hope is that there will be no "breach of contract" if enough of us speak up. Sorry to be long-winded in response, and thanks very much for your comment.

jambaloney said...

Great post Marie!

I think that anyone who joins up to defend their country should be able to count on a high level of health care...especially if it has been promised to them.

And good for you to stand up and "make some noise" – bravo!

Marie said...

Jambaloney--I couldn't agree more that those who have served their country should have all benefits promised. I have contacted many Senators so far--I hope that others are doing the same--the more "noise" the better! Thanks for your comment!