Monday, March 5, 2012

A guest post

My daughter wrote the post below and I thought I'd share it. Great job, honey! When I first read about this event a few years ago it really opened my eyes. Reading War is a Racket by Major General Smedley Butler is another eye-opener (click this link to read it online).

I am going to talk about The Bonus Army, otherwise known as "Bonus Marchers". This incident started in early 1932, and ended in July of '32. I know that this is not a very happy tale, but I think that we would do well to look into the past and see how our government treated our Veterans and their families. After the initial atrocities, the Vets were sent down to the Florida Keys in 1935 to work on the "Overseas Highway Project" (click here) - just in time for a really bad hurricane- a lot of them died.
This is the first article that I read on the subject, 5 or so years ago. If you look at nothing else here, please read it! click here (I don't remember how I knew about the marchers in the first place.)
Click here to watch a 52second (silent) News Reel, of the marchers coming into Washington DC.
Click here to watch a short "talky" News Reel with an interview blip from an eye witness reporter.

This next one is a collection of photos set to Al Jolson's "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"
embedded video:

And this last video "The World War I Bonus Army And My Dad" was neat. Click here to watch.

"Bonus Marchers" and police battle in Washington, DC.
By an unknown Associated Press photographer, July 1932

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer

Please go "Google"/search or YouTube Bonus Marchers or Bonus Army. (did you know in 2009 there were 106,558 homeless veterans? click here for charts or here for an article Just imagine how many more there are today, as the US economy so much worse now. Sad- really sad.

Can you really blame these men for making their voices heard? Can you imagine the despair they felt? In 2010 alone, 950 solders/veterans tried to commit suicide per-month, and 18 a day actually are "successful".
I quote from an ArmyTimes article: "Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department. Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don’t succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months. The numbers, which come at a time when VA is strengthening its suicide prevention programs, show about 18 veteran suicides a day, about five by veterans who are receiving VA care...the VA’s suicide hotline has been receiving about 10,000 calls a month from current and former service members..." click here for the rest of the story....
Needless to say, this subject is very hard for me to think about, I feel weak and like I have a stifling 100# weight on my makes me so sad. I don't really know what to do about it, except to try and raise public awareness. I know that simply throwing money at a problem does not help much. And you can imagine that I don't think much of Douglas MacArthur,
George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower or President Hoover.
~Adrienne McKee (my blog can be found here)
PS: Thank you Mom for helping me research my data! Love you!


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