Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Here's what California gave her Vietnam veterans for services rendered...
A stinkin' sign by the side of a highway next to a bridge they were already going to build.
Quite a few states showed their appreciation for services rendered by Vietnam veterans by granting them a cash bonus. It wasn't a big deal, typically $100 to $300. California never saw fit to give her Vietnam veterans such a bonus. There were more KIA's in Vietnam from California than any other state. By virtue of population, it's probably the same situation with the number of Vietnam veterans as a whole. I'm sure the California state legislature didn't miss this fact if they were even inclined to mull over the possibility of a bonus. I can get a mental picture of those esteemed statesmen (behind closed doors, of course). "Well, we have this bridge we have to replace anyway. Let's call it the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, then buy a $400 road sign, put it by the bridge, and that will cover it." Mind you, this was long before the current fiscal crisis in the state.
There is a California Vietnam Veterans Memorial that was built in 1984. It isn't very large and is located on a corner of the state capitol grounds in Sacramento. I hasten to point out that its cost of around 2.5 million dollars was put up by private donations, and not from any funds from the State of California.
I mention this not only out of bitterness, but as a prediction that the same will transpire for our current veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Some other states already have bonuses in place for these veterans; California does not and will probably repeat their pattern of parsimony and neglect toward veterans by ignoring it. They can always come up with money for free medical care for illegal aliens, but not for a veterans bonus.