Just give vets their due

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In reference to the guest column by Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver on May 13:

Flowing from the Robin Hood Foundation Veterans Summit in New York City aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, these words from Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver:

Sgt. Giunta: “In the Army, the only time you hear the word, ‘I’ is for someone to say I screwed up to take responsibility for their actions.”

Mayor Copenhaver: “In a society that all too often seems focused on pointing fingers and placing blame as opposed to joining hands with a focus on proactively solving major issues, Sal’s words hit home with me, and it was an honor to be there to hear him speak them.”

The question is: How do our veterans assimilate into a society that is so fragmented and disorganized as compared to a structured military environment? How do our vets merge into a squabbling community that never seems to function as a team? Where is the feeling of accomplishment in most civilian jobs as compared to the unity and teamwork that they suddenly step away from?

After facing a life of responsibility and life-and-death situations where everyone is on the same page, it is a bewildering experience to find that their civilian counterparts seem stuck on the “I” and “me” and never “us” or “we” teamwork train, and instead languish on trivial things like American Idol and, “What are we going to wear tonight” with “responsibility” being a foreign word.

Businesses should be aware that we have a pool of young men and women who are far and above their civilian counterparts in self-discipline, maturity, and not being satisfied with mediocrity. These young men and women are eager to take on responsibilities far beyond their civilian peers.

Supervisors and managers should realize that a treasure trove of talented young men and women is available with abilities far and above their civilian counterparts who have never experienced military life and training. Most veterans have highly trained skills that can blend into almost any occupation.

These men and women are potential leaders who can have a profound difference in the overall success and profitability of businesses. Pride, leadership, responsibility, achievement, teamwork, and never accepting failure or being satisfied with mediocrity has been instilled in their mind and body.

A possible solution to the question of assimilation could be that our veterans be given credit for values that are not likely instilled in their civilian peers and be considered for higher entry-level positions of responsibility than their civilian counterparts. Sadly, it seems our veterans are viewed as head cases by employers instead of recognizing their potential and almost fearing the maturity and level of competence of these young patriots.

It is this manner of thinking by employers that needs to be addressed.

I suspect many of our veterans become frustrated with occupations that are far below their level of experience and leadership. Leaving the service of our country to enter the civilian job market should not be a step down.

James D. Wiggins

Johnston, S.C.

(The writer is a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant.)

Comments (17) Add comment
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JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 07:15 am
4
0
The plight of the veteran after...

The plight of the veteran after the war is a timeless story. Throughout history this problem has occurred as when the troops marched back into Rome. Most recognize the veterans deserve more, but there is a segment of society, usually those who haven't served, who feel no special preference should be shown.

In addition, in a far darker way, there are organizations that complain about veterans' treatment and are supposed to be helping veterans, yet are doing nothing but paying themselves huge salaries. I encourage everyone to look at all charitable organizations carefully to see where the donations end up.

Welcome home, Lieutentant.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 09:08 am
5
0
John Brown said

In addition, in a far darker way, there are organizations that complain about veterans' treatment and are supposed to be helping veterans, yet are doing nothing but paying themselves huge salaries. I encourage everyone to look at all charitable organizations carefully to see where the donations end up.

Here is a site that you can access to find information about most charities- www.charitynavigator.org. I recently used it to find out about the Wounded warrior project. The information was disappointing. The founder draws about $200,000 a year. Another former official draws about the same amount. Needless to say I found another charity.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 10:56 am
2
0
Mr. Duvall, keep in mind, the

Mr. Duvall, keep in mind, the www.charitynavigator.org doesn't monitor local charities. Bill O'Reily is a big supporter of the national Wounded Warrior Project, but said he was disappointed that about 25% of their funding goes to salaries. He wants them to improve and get the donations into the hands of the veterans.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 11:34 am
3
0
John Brown

Read the whole report including comments. Only 63% of donations go to help veterans. I am not implying that it is a bad charity. It is just that I want a larger amount of my donation go to help the intended people. In this case it is veterans. There are other charities as you will see doing the same work that are doing a much better job. BTW, Bill O'Reily is a great commentator but I won't use him as a source for giving. He is right about his comment and if he wants them to do better he should withhold his donations until they do.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 11:37 am
4
0
Adendum

BTW, When a person founds a charity, as this man did, and then awards himself a $200,000 salary it puts a bad taste in my mouth.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 01:55 pm
2
0
Mr. Duvall, Me Too

I agree when anyone starts a charity and rewards themselves a large salary with almost nothing being given to the vets, it bothers me, too.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 02:38 pm
2
0
Wounded warrior project

To their credit they do file a very complete report. That is how I know what is going on with them. They are relying on ignorance and heavy TV advertising to overcome what they are doing. That is why everybody should investigate a charity before giving.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/23/12 - 05:23 pm
2
0
WWP isn't perfect, but its

WWP isn't perfect, but its still a pretty good organization. Realize, many on the payroll are Veteran mentors and counslers with disabilities themselves. These paid WWP veterans support, encourage and work with young severely disabled Veterans everyday on campuses across the country, in workshops, and transition homes. They also do a pretty good job taking disabled Veterans to a variety of adaptive sporting events and professional sports events without making it feel like we're being put on display. I've been to a few events in FL and GA with them, and can report that first hand.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 06:23 pm
2
0
DesertCat6

I, for one, have not said that they don't do a lot of good. My point is, that if you read the report that there are at least four charities that see to it that a much larger percentage of donations go to the veterans. I want my donation to be used For the intended recipients, not for paying the founder a $ 200,000 salary.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 05/23/12 - 07:22 pm
2
2
Nothing changes:

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 08:20 pm
1
0
Fisher House is Rated the Best

If you want to contribute and know your money is going to help vets and their families, contribute to the Fisher House. If you read the reports from the charity watch sites posted above they have the best record with only a small percentage of their money going to salaries with most of it going directly to fund the houses.

The whole idea is to get the money into the hands of the soldiers, families and facilities they use, not to pay executives big salaries.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 08:23 pm
2
0
DesertCat6 points out a

DesertCat6 points out a pertinent fact about the national Wounded Warriors Project. Although they are only rated 3 stars because of the large number of employess drawing salaries, many of these employees are wounded vets they are providing jobs for. Considering that fact, they still put a lot of funds into the hands of vets and the facilities taking care of them.

Jake
32872
Points
Jake 05/23/12 - 08:34 pm
3
1
Donations

One of the best things you can do that does not require a donation, and if you have the time and means to do it, is volunteer at your local VA center for whatever it is they will let you do.
Here in Redwood City I go to a local VA center every 2 weeks and all I do is play board games and cards with some vets and listen to a lot of amazing stories of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Great bunch of folks.

Jake
32872
Points
Jake 05/23/12 - 08:36 pm
0
0
@dstewartsr

Nice song or poem.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 05/23/12 - 09:05 pm
1
0
Wounded warrior project

Where can the fact that they hire wounded vets be confirmed. That is a nice fact if true.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/23/12 - 10:28 pm
1
0
I met several at the events I

I met several at the events I attended. They bring them to help and talk to the disabled vets attending as guests. The ones I met were Veterans - lower leg amp, right eye missing, left forearm prostethis, etc...

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 05/23/12 - 10:40 pm
0
0
One of Rudyard Kipling's

One of Rudyard Kipling's finest....

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