An Afghanistan Veteran's Letter -- W...

An Afghanistan Veteran's Letter -- Why am I on food stamps?

Posted in the Terre Haute Forum

vigoo

Cambridge, MA

#1 Sep 23, 2013
This essay was written by Jason: 35 years old and a white male combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jason has been on food stamps since June. He thinks the reality of being on food stamps isn’t shameful, but the fact that people living in the richest country on Earth should go without food to conform to the ideologies of fiscal conservatism and self-reliance… is downright un-American.
His letter depicts an America where ”normal” is military service families using food stamps to survive while the soldiers who serve America are busy fighting overseas… Shouldn’t these people, giving so much for their country, have at least enough to buy food for themselves and their families?
This is the reality of the GOP War on the Poor.
>>>
My name is Jason. I turned 35 less than a week ago. My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I’ve never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan.
Oh, and I’m now on food stamps. Since June, as a matter of fact.
Why am I on food stamps?
The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving.
I mean, if that’s okay with you:
…Mr. or Mrs. Republican congressman.
…Mr. or Mrs. Conservative commentator.
…Mr. or Mrs.“welfare queen” letter-to-the-editor author.
…Mr. or Mrs.“fiscal conservative, reason-based” libertarian.
I do apologize for burdening you on the checkout line with real-life images of American-style poverty. I know you probably believe the only true starving people in the world have flies buzzing around their eyes while they wallow away, near-lifeless in gutters.
Hate to burst the bubble, but those people don’t live in this country.
I do. And millions like me. Millions of people in poverty who fall into three categories.
Let’s call them the “lucky” category, since conservatives seem to think people on welfare have hit some sort of jackpot:
Those living paycheck to paycheck? They’re a little lucky.
Those living unemployment check to unemployment check? They’re a little luckier.
Those living 2nd of the month to 2nd of the month?*ding* We’ve hit the jackpot!
The 2nd of the month being the time when funds gets electronically deposited onto the EBT card,[at least in NY] for those who’ve never been fortunate enough to hit that $175/month Powerball.
I fall into the latter two categories. But I’ve known people recently - soldiers in the Army – who were in the first and third. They were off fighting in Afghanistan while their wives were at home, buying food at the on-post commissary with food stamps.
And nobody bats an eye there, because it’s not uncommon in the military.
It’s not uncommon – nor is it shameful. It might be shameful how little service-members are paid, but that’s a separate issue.
The fact remains anyone at a certain income level can find it difficult from time to time to pay for everything. And when you’re poor you learn to make sacrifices. Food shouldn’t be one of them.
The whole concept is un-American. People living here, in the greatest country on Earth, with the most abundant resources, should be forced to go hungry because of the intellectual notion of fiscal conservatism and the ideological notion of self-reliance.
Are you f**king kidding me?
I didn’t risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America. I certainly didn’t risk it so *I* could come back and go hungry.
Anyone who genuinely supports cutting food stamps is not an intellectual or an ideologue – they’re a bully.
And nobody likes a bully. Except other bullies.
It’s time for regular Americans to stand up to these bullies. Not cower in the corner, ashamed of needing help. Because if there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that you never know when you’ll be the one in need.

“Licensed Fool”

Since: May 12

Not laughing with you...

#2 Sep 23, 2013
So if a person wants to keep their own property rather than having it taken away by the government and given to people who did not earn it that makes them a bully?

This is nothing but a blatant propaganda piece. A person can be in favor of cutting food stamps as a way stopping waste and fraud. There is nothing wrong with people having intellectual ideas and believing in self reliance and personal responsibility.

Cherry picking the best possible welfare candidate as a means to call anyone who criticizes the system a bully is un-American.
vigoo

Cambridge, MA

#3 Sep 23, 2013
so you're saying this veteran, and the thousands like him, are un-American too?

you need to have your head examined.

“Licensed Fool”

Since: May 12

Not laughing with you...

#4 Sep 23, 2013
vigoo wrote:
so you're saying this veteran, and the thousands like him, are un-American too?
you need to have your head examined.
Is this veteran saying that anyone who doesn't agree with him is un-American? You need to have YOUR head examined. In America we are allowed to have different opinions.
ISU predator drones WTF

United States

#5 Sep 23, 2013
The Comedian wrote:
So if a person wants to keep their own property rather than having it taken away by the government and given to people who did not earn it that makes them a bully?
This is nothing but a blatant propaganda piece. A person can be in favor of cutting food stamps as a way stopping waste and fraud. There is nothing wrong with people having intellectual ideas and believing in self reliance and personal responsibility.
Cherry picking the best possible welfare candidate as a means to call anyone who criticizes the system a bully is un-American.
The problem is that most of those people with property did not "earn" it though legal or ethical means. Not to say that there are no people scamming the system.(1/2% in 2012) but if the government really did want to cut waste then they would very clearly start with what expenditures they spend the most on: The Military, Illegal wars, law enforcement and administration and over surveillance of it's own citizens. Believe it or not, everyone being spied on is not automatically a terrorist or criminal just because of a rubber stamp by some unaccountable three letter agency. I am a republican and even I don't want food stamp cut yet until the economy gets more realistic.
This is a recipe that adds fuel to the class-warfare fire and in the end are ingredients for genocide by starvation for the working poor and their families. No offense but please remain conscious of at least the probability of it instead of labeling any proven statistics (that are everywhere if you search) propaganda.
vigoo

Cambridge, MA

#6 Sep 23, 2013
you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

“Licensed Fool”

Since: May 12

Not laughing with you...

#7 Sep 23, 2013
ISU predator drones WTF wrote:
<quoted text> The problem is that most of those people with property did not "earn" it though legal or ethical means. Not to say that there are no people scamming the system.(1/2% in 2012) but if the government really did want to cut waste then they would very clearly start with what expenditures they spend the most on: The Military, Illegal wars, law enforcement and administration and over surveillance of it's own citizens. Believe it or not, everyone being spied on is not automatically a terrorist or criminal just because of a rubber stamp by some unaccountable three letter agency. I am a republican and even I don't want food stamp cut yet until the economy gets more realistic.
This is a recipe that adds fuel to the class-warfare fire and in the end are ingredients for genocide by starvation for the working poor and their families. No offense but please remain conscious of at least the probability of it instead of labeling any proven statistics (that are everywhere if you search) propaganda.
There are no statistics in the original post. It is entirely one person's opinion. It IS propaganda in that it states a position and then concludes that anyone who disagrees with that position is a bully.
WOWZER

Bloomington, IN

#8 Sep 23, 2013
Don't blame libertarians or conservatives for wanting to end welfare fraud and the new culture of a "welfare lifestyle". Blame Democrats and progressive liberals who never learned that you can give a person a fish and he will eat for a day, teach them how to fish and they eat forever. Now days its more like give a man a fish, and he sells it to go buy some rims or iPhone.

Welfare is a temporary means of assistance, not a lifestyle. And while I agree our service members are that last people who should have to go on assistance, the amount of people treating it like an entitlement is crippling this country. I am former military and I am not a bully.
what

Terre Haute, IN

#9 Sep 23, 2013
why is a college grad unemployed or underemployed
the jobs are out their but you have to get off your but to find them
and no you are not entitled to a job you have to earn it

Since: Oct 12

Terre Haute, IN

#10 Sep 24, 2013
To hell with all of you. You actually expect me to provide for myself, get real bitches. You and the rest of the world owes me everything, I shouldn't be expected to take responsibility and earn my keep... That's unAmerican.
joe billy

Terre Haute, IN

#11 Sep 24, 2013
Pimpin in a Double Wide wrote:
To hell with all of you. You actually expect me to provide for myself, get real bitches. You and the rest of the world owes me everything, I shouldn't be expected to take responsibility and earn my keep... That's unAmerican.
you tell them good double wide pimp you da man
vigoo

Cambridge, MA

#12 Sep 24, 2013
point is -- people work multiple jobs, more than 40 hours a week, of whatever work they can find,*including military service*-- and it's still not enough for basic food or medicine. maybe that's not unamerican, but it is a failure of the 'American Dream'-- that is, work hard and you'll make it. which is certainly not what's happening here.

and when job providers collude to keep wages low, deny full time work because they don't want to provide benefits, maybe that's not unAmerican, but it certainly isn't ethical or socially responsible either.

food stamps per person this year provide $4.35 a day. that's hardly a walk in the park.

“Licensed Fool”

Since: May 12

Not laughing with you...

#13 Sep 24, 2013
The government does not produce anything. People produce wealth through their labor. When a person receives something from the government that they didn't work to earn that means that the government took it away from the person who worked for it.

That is not charity. That is initiation of force by one group against another under the disguise of providing charity. Giving something under threat of force is not giving, it is taking.

It is not compassion when one group engineers the system to take things away from people who earned them in order to give those things to people who did not work to earn them. It is merely another way to steal.
Founding Father

Marshall, IL

#14 Sep 24, 2013
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson
vigoo

Cambridge, MA

#15 Sep 24, 2013
considering how little congress is working these days... maybe we should take away their health benefits?

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