Salute to the U.S. Marine Corps

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Today, November 10: celebrates 248 years of professional bad assery — The U.S. Marine Corps birthday.

No need to thank me for my service. Call or write your U.S. Representative and Senators and tell them to raise the pay of currently serving members of the military to salaries that are competitive with civilian jobs. Put an end to forcing service members (and their families) to pay co-pays and fees for medical and dental care. When I was active duty I never paid for any dental or medical care — ever. Most people have no idea what people in the military deal with, either in combat zones or at home  in one of our many domestic bases and the foreign bases not in war zones, like in Germany, South Korea and Japan, including Okinawa

And stop screwing around with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and fill the 30k-plus un-filled medical jobs that hamper the delivery of medical services across America and stop cutting benefits of our newer vets who are only guaranteed five years of coverage if they have service-connected injuries — and for the past 2 decades (at least) requiring vets to cough up co-pays for meds and some other services.

This photo is taken in boot camp as we prepare to graduate (provided by Tim Forkes)

In his second inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln said of veterans “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the 16th president’s words, saying, “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”

I understand why they have changed the words: to include all vets, making it gender-neutral. The military is already diverse and has far more equality than the civilian world. That’s right —Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

USMC Base Camp Pendleton, CA (Tim Forkes)

November 10 is the Marine Corps birthday. November 11 is Veterans’ Day, the date that commemorates not only vets, but the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918.

Once again, don’t thank us for our service. Show your thanks by advocating for veterans and the men and women who are currently wearing the uniforms, and their families by calling or writing to your representatives and Senators in Washington, D.C.

I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me so any changes are unlikely to make a difference in my life, but it could be a life saver for the men and women who follow.

Semper Fi.

United States Marine Corps Flag (Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps)

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