Green Room

“Serving Those Who Serve” Shouldn’t Be Necessary

posted at 11:35 am on April 23, 2010 by

Ok, so I’m in a bad mood anyway. Maybe I’m taking this too personally. You tell me.

With the help of nearly 3,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, Budweiser announced a partnership with the USO (United Service Organizations) to honor the men and women of America’s Armed Forces through the “Proud to Serve Those Who Serve” program.

As part of the program, Budweiser and its wholesalers will donate $250,000 in May and June to the USO’s Operation Enduring Care program, which was created to meet the recovery needs of wounded service members and their families. The donation will help fund the development of two wounded warrior centers at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Va. The centers will integrate programs, community services and recreation space, alongside government provided non-medical services, creating a centralized location for innovative, state-of-the-art warrior care.

So. I pay taxes, you pay taxes. We work all week and our government takes their slice. They see fit to use that hard-earned money and give it to people who won’t work, to fund organizations that provide abortions that we can’t condone, and soon to furnish insurance for people who refuse to or can’t buy their own.

All of this is a given, I know.

But why, why does Walter Reed have to rely on charity from a beer company — and a foreign-owned beer company at that — to provide adequate care for our wounded veterans?! I’m not angry at Anheuser-Busch InBev; they’re the ones doing the right thing here. But they shouldn’t have to do the right thing.

I don’t believe in income tax, but since we’re stuck with it, shouldn’t this be the one thing that it always covers? How about if my tax money goes to this amazing “state-of-the-art warrior care” instead, and we let the beer companies spend their donations in other helpful ways. At a time when half the country is whining that “free” healthcare is their Constitutional right, it’s doubly shameful that our veterans have to rely on charity to get the best medical treatment possible.

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Good post, Tanya.

terryannonline on April 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM

It probably costs less in terms of time and people to get AB to donate money than it does to actually maintain the federal funding. If anything, I’d say Walter Reed should go for more public donations. It’d save it money in the end.

But this should be a model for every non-profit business… kill the government funding. Maybe then we’d be serious about cutting the budget.

jdfister on April 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM

There are some things involved in the course of recovery that are outside the military’s resources. But what I get from this post is that the USO needs to be disbanded and the charity they provide should instead be funded and mandated by the taxpayers. Yeah…no. The USO is a charitable organization. They are not the Military. Budweiser donates money to a private charity (The USO) and you flip out?

The military can’t teach you how to cope with life after having a leg blown off, or a traumatic brain injury.

The charity that these organizations provide goes above and beyond what the military provides.

If you are in a bad mood, might you be better served directing your insane rants at the people who deserve it? Like Democrats?

You could have saved yourself the time and energy and just wrote one sentence: “I don’t understand charity.”

I also recommend taking some Midol or waiting until next week before you write anything else.

uknowmorethanme on April 23, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Wow — totally spot on. Great post, Tanya.

Cassy Fiano on April 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Hey, Tanya, let me be clear that I don’t totally agree w/ “uknow”… I think the hospital should get more from charity while all charities get less from the gov, but that’s just the anti-taxer in me. Using that as an attack on you for wanting tax money to be properly spent isn’t part of my gig.

“Uknow”… um, who needs Midol?

jdfister on April 23, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Actually, I understand where you anger comes from, Tanya. And to the extent that I believe those who give of themselves to protect this country deserve more than they’re given, I agree with the sentiment. But this has been going on for a long time.

When my husband signed up for the AF in 1983, he was told he and his family would be guaranteed free medical care for life. When he came to retire, that had changed to “some” medical care as long as you’re willing to pay a yearly fee and then co-pay. Since we’d been paying certain co-pays while he was active duty, we weren’t surprised. But I bet a whole lot of folks who figure military retirees have free medical care would be surprised. And that care does not include vision, dental or mental health services.

And that’s for retirees. The guys who are wounded in Iraq, etc., and wind up discharged get nothing but disability. And sometimes that ain’t real great either.

So, I agree. There should be far more done for our returning wounded vets and their families. But I doubt it will happen and I am grateful for the USO and those like it who provide the care the government cannot or will not.

Mad Mad Monica on April 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Retired Military here …

Well this is about “baseline” medical services. No matter how high (or how good) the government provided health services are – there will always be ways to improve the baseline – and this is what they’re doing with A/B.

Think of it this way … as far as health care goes if you grade it from 1 to 10 … “1″ being what a wounded pirate in Somalia might receive and “10″ being what the Emir of the UAE’s soldier-son might receive if he got wounded …

I would put military health care up around a 7.5 to 8.

Which is totally fine – but, if you can improve that slightly using a public-private venture, why not?

HondaV65 on April 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM

This has been my grip against do-gooders like Hannity . They have been causing our military to be treated like charity cases and are taking focus away from the duty of the protected to provide for their protectors .

borntoraisehogs on April 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Indeed on all of it.

With the help of nearly 3,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, Budweiser announced a partnership with the USO (United Service Organizations) to honor the men and women of America’s Armed Forces through the “Proud to Serve Those Who Serve” program.

The secretive Obama government, er thuggery, should release the investigation into what happened with Hassan.

In addition, the title “Serving Those Who Serve” made me think initially about the politicians who ‘serve’. One of the reasons the tax money is scarce for our Soldiers and Veterans is because much of it is wasted on the political harlots in Wash. D.C., their lavish life-styles, and the programs for their sheep. This includes Steele and his RNC.

Throw them all out in Nov., and in the next two cycles, to recapture this country’s honor.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Same with Soldier’s Angels. God BLESS them, and thank God they’re there – but holy CRAP:

we have provided flights to soldiers on leave or in emergency situations, and to their families wanting to be with them upon return from overseas; we have provided Level III KEVLAR armored blankets to give personnel extra protection in their vehicles when it was needed

WHAT. Flights? Armor?? I thought this “should our troops get armor?” question was figured out 5 years ago! Our troops should have access to so much armor that their toliet paper is made outta kevlar! And I know when they first started, one of their big things in their care packages was cleaning kits for M4/M16 rifles. Just let that one sink in.

Like Fred Thompson said – Our government does a bunch of stuff it isn’t supposed to do, and the stuff it IS supposed to do, it doesn’t do well.

apollyonbob on April 23, 2010 at 1:53 PM

The answer is simple,
Bud is a private company, they can and will make sure the monies are spent properly.
The Gov doesn’t give a CRAP about where the money comes from.
They can always take MORE.
As for me , I guess I am buying bud for the next two months.
and Good for them and shame on the people on the public tit. they produce NOTHING and take everything.
I say jettison them.

ColdWarrior57 on April 23, 2010 at 1:55 PM

That is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. Thank you Budweiser and shame on the US Gov’t! That B$#%! from Acorn and that B$#!@! from the Illinois Teacher’s Union have just about pushed me over the edge this week. These ungrateful, selfish, lazy, worthless pieces of society continue to steal from those that work hard for their living and those that protect us but these disgusting bureaucrats in Washington continue to let them do it. It’s time to get our priorities straight in America.

rook105 on April 23, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Maybe I’m taking this too personally

Nahh, no worries. I’m AD and Anheuser Busch has a long tradition of going out of its way to extend gratitude and respect to the military. Free admission to Busch Gardens (i’ve never paid to enter their parks in VA or FL) is another way they say thank you. They really put their money where their mouths are and are extraordinarily generous. It’s not a matter of relying on their gratitude, but as a means of gratefully accepting it. They can take their money elsewhere, but they don’t, I respect them and thank them for it. Not all companies do it to the level that AB does it, and, that’s their prerogative and freedom to choose how they spend their money.

Either way, thanks to AB for the ongoing level of patriotism and respect that AB gives to the US Armed Forces.

ted c on April 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Iraq War vet here, and I couldn’t disagree more with the post. More government is never the solution, and that includes the VA.

I was at the VA in Minneapolis this morning where I spent 2 1/2 hours getting a blood draw and an EKG. A civilian hospital would have had me in and out in 30 minutes, max. The VA is a huge inefficient bureaucracy, and you can’t reasonably expect them to give our military everything they deserve.

Look at it this way. If Congress told the VA to build the two Wounded Warrior centers, it would take 5 years and cost about 10 million dollars. But the USO can get it done faster, cheaper, and raise awareness of the issue at the same time.

thuljunior on April 23, 2010 at 2:03 PM

This saddens me, too. Our tax dollars should be going to help our wounded warriors first.

Ward Cleaver on April 23, 2010 at 2:03 PM

thuljunior, I agree that the VA should be privatized, and instead overseen by an organization made up of vets. Provide better care at a lower cost, without all the bureaucracy.

Ward Cleaver on April 23, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Nah, we need to spend more money on those that don’t serve anyone but themselves like public employee unions.

echosyst on April 23, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This saddens me, too. Our tax dollars should be going to help our wounded warriors first.

Ward Cleaver on April 23, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Actually our tax dollars should be going to help our brave men and women AVOID becoming Wounded Warriors to BEGIN WITH!

See:
“We go to war with the Army we have, not the Army we want.”-Donald Rumsfeld

Having to supplement their issued equipment with off the shelf items

WHAT. Flights? Armor?? I thought this “should our troops get armor?” question was figured out 5 years ago! Our troops should have access to so much armor that their toliet paper is made outta kevlar! And I know when they first started, one of their big things in their care packages was cleaning kits for M4/M16 rifles. Just let that one sink in.

Also see the following link for more stupid bullcrap in the same vein http://www.captainsjournal.com/2010/04/22/depressing-report-from-afghanistan/

P.S. Although I respect Donald Rumsfeld’s general theories on the use of force during his time at DoD “small footprint/war doctrine” I also think that it is TOTAL & COMPLETE BULLCRAP. When you go to war-NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES- you give the men & women who are sent to fight & give their lives EVERYTHING!

More men (note the folks who said we’d need at LEAST 150,000 troops on the ground were unfortunately proven right at the end by the surge)–CHECK

More/Better Armor & Vehicles–CHECK

BASIC WEAPON CONDITIONING ITEMS & BODY ARMOR!!!–DAMN WELL BETTER BE!!

Rehab Hospitals/Facilities that AREN’T FULL OF RATS, ROACHES & FALLING APART–SEE ABOVE

SgtSVJones on April 23, 2010 at 2:52 PM

not to sound like i am belittling AB efforts, but things like this go a long way in good will/pr/community service. This is kind of like a sponsorship program, like race cars or something, except they are doing a really great thing.

When times are tough, companies look for out of the box ways to advertise their product and promote goodwill, and stay top of mind, and give back, and this sounds like an awesome way to do it.

Next time someone heads to Ralphs for some groceries and beer, they will think of Budweiser.

sarainitaly on April 23, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I read the title and came over to smite you with a righteous fury, but nope, you have a point.

Boxy_Brown on April 23, 2010 at 3:48 PM

This has been my grip against do-gooders like Hannity . They have been causing our military to be treated like charity cases and are taking focus away from the duty of the protected to provide for their protectors .

borntoraisehogs on April 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Why would you criticize what Hannity or anyone else is doing on behalf of the military? People do this out of the goodness of their heart. I believe Hannity provides money to cover the education of children who have lost a parent in the war. Do you think that is the government’s place or that they would even do it? Before you criticize others for helping, maybe you should concentrate on what you’ve done to help.

silvernana on April 23, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Tanya

Bill White – The National Intrepid Center of Excellence

Bill White on a New Hospital for Brain-Injury Survivors

Intrepid Museum and Fallen Heroes Fund President Bill White on the National Intrepid Center of Excellence.

They are cutting the ribbon the morning of June 24th in Bethesda, Md. Imus will be broadcasting live from the event. The President & First Lady and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are believed to be attending.

It took them 14 months to raise 60 Million Dollars for a state of the art hospital for traumatic brain injuries for our troops. I remember when Imus had Bill White and Bob Barker on Imus in the Morning, Bob Barker put them over the top with his donation.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4134871/bill-white-on-a-new-hospital-for-brain-injury-survivors/?playlist_id=87074

Dr Evil on April 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM

This has been my grip against do-gooders like Hannity . They have been causing our military to be treated like charity cases and are taking focus away from the duty of the protected to provide for their protectors .

borntoraisehogs on April 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

What? We don’t take care of fellow American Citizens because they serve in the Military? That didn’t make any sense. We don’t turn away illegal aliens in this country for medical care in our Hospitals. I guess you think we are spoiling our Service People by treating their wounds, they receive in service to protecting us? Right they should just walk it off.

Dr Evil on April 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM

FWIW, Anheuser-Busch is the real deal in their treatment of US service members and LEOs, Firefighters and EMTs. Last two times I went there on leave, it was free for the whole family and as far as I know, still is. There were prepared film tributes before shows there and the performers also gave shout-outs to the military. I really felt like we were treated like kings there. I’m with a commenter above, whatever else needs to come from the government to ease the suffering of the military and other public servants, I would never take lightly the genuine generosity shown by firms like this and celebrities like Denzel Washington, who is reported to have dropped a cool million on a visit to Ft. Hood I believe for either a Fisher House or care center.

hawkdriver on April 23, 2010 at 4:28 PM

SgtSVJones on April 23, 2010 at 2:52 PM

SECDEF Rumsfeld was merely pointing out that a war can’t wait for the equipment that’s being developed now in some mill in Springfielsd, MA. You go with what you have and just expect the logistics of R&D to catch up with the TTPs of the enemy. In the exact context of what was being refered to, it just doesn’t matter. The armor gets bigger heavier and the enemy just fills a bigger container of HME. They are literally blowing our MRAPs and Stykers completely off of the roads in Afghanistan now. There is no real defense except an active and aggresive campaign against the implacers like the 1-82ND executed in Iraq during The Surge.

For all of the new equipment we were getting, it just didn’t matter with the insanely restrictive ROE.

hawkdriver on April 23, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Good points on both sides of the debate. You’ve all given me plenty to think about. As a retired Army guy, I too think that a lot of what the VA does should be privatized, but there should be some baseline level of service provided by the government for our wounded warriors.

AB gets big time props from me for their part in helping the vets. Ditto for Hannity and everyone else over at the Freedom Alliance. Those kinds of partnerships make sense and should happen far more often. They tend to deliver a superior product and costs the taxpayers far less money.

Bonus: Everyone involved with “skin in the game” are far more committed, yielding less fraud, waste, and abuse.

Love the post, love the sentiment, and think that conversations started in this thread should be amplified far and wide and all over the country. Too many people aren’t tuned in (nor invested in the matters of our wounded vets) as it is now, and they should be.

itzWicks on April 23, 2010 at 4:47 PM

At a time when half the country is whining that “free” healthcare is their Constitutional right, it’s doubly shameful that our veterans have to rely on charity to get the best medical treatment possible.

Take heart, soon the rest of the nation will have to rely on charity to get the best medical treatment possible as well!

DSchoen on April 25, 2010 at 6:17 AM