Veteran’s Hoovervilles v. Sanctuary Cities
In California, we have long been compassionate with the predicament surrounding illegal immigrants. We have always welcomed those that have bypassed the “system” for those looking to live the American dream, despite the fact that laws have been broken by entering the country without permission. On the surface, it appears that we go out of our way to facilitate the illegal immigrants and to make it more difficult for the people tasked with protecting our borders to uphold the law.
As those of us who actually care about the integrity of this nation and its laws criticize this behavior, we often ask “why can’t we help Americans first?” But this position, while noble, is vague. Who are these Americans? Don’t we have anything to offer but an appeal to faceless, nebulous countrymen who supposedly deserve our attention more than those who have bypassed the system?
Well, how about our military veterans? How about the people who volunteer to leave their friends and families so they can put their lives in danger to protect our rights and freedoms at home? Now, how about the people who have not only done that, but are now living homeless in deep poverty? Do they count?
Even one homeless veteran is too many, but the problem is much worse than that, and it’s especially bad in California. While across the country, we suffer the humanitarian disaster and national embarrassment of some 40,000 ex-military people living on the streets, the Golden States gets the dubious honor of claiming over a quarter of that all for itself: about 11,000 of the country’s best and finest military homeless are within our state borders.
On the whole, very little is done to help these heroes, though we do find ample opportunity to slap them collectively across the face for their service. As one single example, for the past twenty or so years, those of us who feel beholden to these patriots for their service to humankind have been pushing hard to build a cemetery at the once military base, El Toro in Irvine CA. To honor and lay to rest our fallen brothers and sisters – and it is the least we can possibly do. Nevertheless, state and local government has found no motivation to make this happen, promises elude the local government politicians only to be sidestepped by a developer filling the pockets of those politicians to keep building multi-million dollar homes on this holy ground.
Instead these politicians methodically scheme with the developers to advance other projects and build other things where the cemetery would (and should) have stood. Along with the famous “watchtower” that had been installed to watch over Americans toil to maintain El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. The watchtower was manned around the clock. No one was spared the hardship or the fear of the war. The runway at the El Toro base happened to be aligned with warehouses that supplied and housed food production, the warehouses would have been a prime target for enemy aircraft, but were even more so with the close proximity of the air base. So, the famous watch tower for enemy aircraft was installed it was manned around the clock by Irvine Company employees during six, four-hour shifts. It was mentioned recently during a forum that this watchtower should remain as a reminder and used as a hallowed place to “watch” over veterans as they sleep.
Let us ask ourselves: why would we ever do this? Alternatively, more to the point, what could possibly be more important than our dead patriot soldiers, who gave so much?
To refuse to give our fallen warriors the honor they so richly deserve is nothing less than an explicit insult to those veterans who survive, especially the ones who languish on the streets of California fighting a different war than the one they faced for us. Now they battle heat, cold, hunger, disease, and – to a heartbreaking degree – drug addiction to help them numb their pain.
It’s nothing new, unfortunately. This country can’t seem to get its act together when it comes to caring for veterans. After all, as far back as the 1920s, returning soldiers from WWI faced poverty and homelessness when they were denied their well-earned pensions in the midst of the Great Depression. They conglomerated and lived in collections of hovels called “Hoovervilles”, after Herbert Hoover, the president who wouldn’t pay them what they had earned in battle. Well, actually, they only lived in those slums for a short time. Hoover, eventually, in a veritable supernova of crushing irony, deployed the military to force them out.
Is it acceptable for us to treat our veterans like this, then or now? Is it moral? Is it right? But, perhaps we ought not even ask such questions. Perhaps we simply don’t have the luxury of caring for the people who nearly died for us. After all, there is a fresh wave of illegal immigrants crossing our border without permission, and we cannot have them being apprehended for breaking our laws.
On the other hand, our returning veterans are not ones to ask for assistance, they never have. Their voices remain quiet in their quest to readjust to pre-deployment life, while others roar for their assumption of privilege over our American heroes and Patriots. Whether our military Veterans troubles spring from pride, injury, PTSD or inability to seek moral and just means to transition from a warrior to a civilian, “Priorities”.
Author Bio: An experienced public servant and a self-made woman, Katherine Daigle combines informed administrative planning with a respect for the dignity and independent working spirit of the American citizen. Firmly believing that the surest path to success is freedom to the greatest extent possible from government interference because that is what led to her own success. She advocates low taxes and strict limits on the regulations and bureaucracy that impede people from performing at their best. She has served in numerous private and public positions during her distinguished career. The bold spirit that defines her ambitions and accomplishments is conveyed in her personal motto: Move America Forward. You can visit her via twitter: @katherindaigle or FaceBook: Daigle CaliforniaStateAssembly74District or Campaign site: katherinedaigle.com
Monte TaylorAugust 8, 2018 at 11:17 pm
Thank you Ms. Daigle for the supporting words for us, the Veterans of Orange County. Whom by the way, have now been most certainly stripped of ever having any chance at a Veterans Cemetery in Irvine. Just remember the catch phrase “Save the Veterans Cemetery” (and those who told you that), and you will see the result of those behind such a ruse. Just the opposite – VA Cemetery in IRVINE to NEVER BE. Wish I was rich, as would pay each and every resident in the City of Irvine $10,000 if I’m proven wrong! Because I know what will happen in the end now.
Author bio: Grandson of a WWI veteran, Son of a WWII and Korean Conflict Veteran, myself a Vietnam Veteran.
katherine daigleAugust 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm
Thank you Monte, I am aiming to change the dialogue. I am running for Mayor – its time to pay it forward, a promise I will keep!
Ernie BallAugust 9, 2018 at 8:29 am
Katherine. Since you are running for mayor, perhaps you can comment on Rise Above Movement training in Irvine?
See the 30min mark in this PBS docu.
katherine daigleAugust 10, 2018 at 8:34 pm
Ernie, based on the information you have provided it sounds a lot like an article I wrote in August of 2017 , shortly after our historical landmarks were being removed by these fringe groups, trying to erase the past. I would probably add this group to the three most active groups in the U.S..
Cities around the country that had braced for a wave of demonstrations in last years and recent months with parties on both sides of the debate over Confederate statues and monuments prepared for confrontations. These increasing threats come after one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in modern U.S. history: Black Lives Matter, the Democratic Socialists of America, the Industrial Workers of the World, the anti-racism group Showing Up for Racial Justice, the International Socialist Organization, and “Antifa” has been given a “militant” radical connotation and “RAM” Rise Above Movement, all of these groups seem to agree that America is a racist country and that the police are a threat to the public. You would think they all would become fast friends or are they doing this just for media attention?
“There’s always been tension over race and ethnicity and immigration, but it has spun out of control because of the political correctness, and that’s not a part of American history To forget our history is to forget ourselves, and the very core of who and what we are as Americans. We were shaped by everything that happened before today, positive and negative – good and evil. We should take responsibility and make amends for the wrong that we’ve done, but we should not seek to behave as if that wrong never occurred. It’s there in our past, its part of us. We must accept that it happened, not erase our own history.”
Irvine does not appear to have these fringe groups, unless they are still in the shadows. However, I am a great proponent to increase our police presence , the city is large and very diverse. We should stay actively involved and this group should be added in order to protect the residents in Irvine and Orange County. We all deserve to live peacefully and we owe our residents the one thing government is 100% responsible for and that is the safety and well being of every citizen and their quality of life.
Dee FoxAugust 9, 2018 at 9:07 am
Katherine – I support you 100%. I know you will do what is right for Irvine. You listen to the people and will move us forward in the right direction.
katherine daigleAugust 9, 2018 at 11:10 pm
Thank you Dee, I am very grateful for your support.
Ernie, I am not familiar with this PBS documentary, I certainly will watch itand get back with you in a few days. My daughter is leaving the country tomorrow morning for Medical School in Grenada – St George. I am having hard time letting go of my daughter , I love her more than life itself and I will miss her so much.
I will give you my thoughts after watching the PBS documentary over the weekend, thank you
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