Group Misuses Veterans on Memorial Day

MAY 30, 2011


California has now reached the place where satire is no longer possible. Irish priest Jonathan Swift’s 1959 satire, “A Modest Proposal,” suggested that the problem of overpopulation in Ireland be solved by feeding Irish babies to the rich. What would Swift write about if the British Parliament had already enacted a law permitting cannibalism?

This must be the dilemma faced by Rick Reyes of Bell Gardens, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran. Believe it or not, on Memorial Day he wrote that it is important to remember those who have died in foreign wars by proposing to “Save the San Gabriel Mountains.”  Read his guest editorial in the Pasadena Star News today.

Reyes is a member of Vet Voice Foundation, a non-profit foundation that, from its posts, takes left-wing positions on most issues, from green energy, to praising President Obama’s care of veterans, to ending the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Vanishing San Gabriels?

Pray tell, are the San Gabriel Mountains located north of the City of Pasadena about to vanish and thus need saving?  And from what do they need to be saved, especially when every few years wild fires destroy much of its vegetation? And why would you want to save the San Gabriels from wild fires when that provides so much employment to firefighters, some of whom have been found to start such fires to keep their political sinecures? The fire fighters might not like you “saving” the San Gabriels.

I give Reyes and his Vet Voice Foundation credit, however, for an ingenious way to hit up the wealthy gentry that live along the beautiful San Gabriel foothills to keep their non-profit veterans organization alive.  How many non-profit foundations do we have already protecting the San Gabriels, such as the Arroyo Seco Foundation?

Only in postmodern California could the Iraq-Afghan Wars be blended with saving open space in some mysterious way into a single cause. The postmodern mind wants everything merged into a Mystic Matrix. The linking of such feel-good causes as open space preservation and adopt-a-veteran is a blend of Blue Collar patriotism and Green activism. Let’s call it the “Greening of the Post-Iraq War Veteran’s Mind.”

Real Needs of Vets

Yes, we have many unemployed veterans that have returned from wars fought in the Middle East.  They need jobs, for sure. But nonprofits advocating open space preservation is right out of  “A Modest Proposal” — or maybe the website “The Onion.”

Let’s not forget our veterans who have returned from still ongoing wars.  They need jobs.  But on Memorial Day, let’s forget the proposal to “Save the San Gabriels” and postpone that for another day, such as Earth Day or Nonsense Day.

The memory of those lost fighting foreign wars is too painful to cheapen it by linking it with some ecological cause to preserve the views of the wealthy living along the foothills.  I would rather have been spat on returning from the unpopular Vietnam War than have my sacrifice remembered as part of “saving the mountains” day.

Semper Fi! (Always Faithful!) Or is it now Semper Fry? (Always Fearful)?

Wayne Lusvardi is a Viet Nam War vet — apparently the last modern war fought before “Postmodern” warfare.


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