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.