Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"...The 11th Day Of The 11th Month..."

As we take time today to honor all of our nation's Veterans, it's a good time to reflect on the nature of service, and what we as a country owe those who have honorably served. In my opinion, the most important thing to a Veteran is his or her dignity -- we must ensure that one thing is never taken away from anyone who served faithfully.

Boise had a Veterans Day Parade yesterday that featured a float from the local Submarine Veterans Base. Lots of pictures can be found here, including this one of their model of the USS Boise (SSN 764) going by the Capitol Building:

Good job, Submariners and Sea Cadets!

The local NBC affiliate ran a story on the Parade that included the required story on homeless Veterans. While it's important to realize that Veterans are overrepresented in the homeless population, it doesn't do anyone any good to completely mess up the statistic like the anchor did when she said, "With Veterans Day approaching, it's a time to remember and honor our military men and women, but for some it's a difficult time with recent news that 25 percent of veterans around the country are homeless." [Emphasis mine]

I'm sure it was just an unintentional mistake by some writer and editor who doesn't understand that such a "statistic" is completely ridiculous -- they've probably been brought up to believe that Veterans are all kind of crazy people, or they're just unable to understand the difference between "25% of the homeless are Veterans" and "25% of Veterans are homeless". I guess if you don't do well in the Logic portion of the SAT, you go into broadcast journalism.

Enough ranting. I hope everyone has a safe and meaningful Veterans Day. I know that fans of the Naval Academy football team are off to a good start on the weekend, even if the score of the game that made them bowl-eligible (74-62) looked more like it was associated with a basketball game.


Anonymous Duke of Earl said...

The big problem is that once these "statistics" get put out in the media, they become the truth. Any time I hear a statistic in the media, I get out my calculator and see what the number really means. It is usually so far off that if anyone thought about it, they would realize that it couldn't be true. When it is on the news, or Oprah, Dr. Phil, etc. they don't question it. Never believe any statistic with out checking it yourself.

11/11/2007 6:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That statistic is skewed by Vietnam vets in my opinion. Those guys came back pretty damaged. We are still seeing the consequences. I can't help but think that the Americans who spit on them when they came home are should be held just as accountable. It seems to me that same group of folks now are pointing fingers at the government instead of shouldering some of the blame, or more importantly, pitching in.

11/11/2007 7:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

By its very nature, determining the actual figures of homeless vets is daunting. Even the definition of "homeless" and "Vet" are often contentious. Do we include those that didn't get an honorable discharge? Are only those that reside in homeless shelters count towards to total number. Furthermore, the number of homeless Vietnam Vets did not peak statistically until 10 years after the end of the conflict. Often times, people with alcohol, drug, and mental problems go years until reaching bottom. It will be years before they can even come close to figuring out ow the homeless vet population changed because of the current conflicts. I've had a hell of a time adjusting from the enlisted life back to civilian and I had a lot of support from my family. One of the big problems is that a large portion of the enlisted population end up in the military because they lacked family support to begin with. It doesn't matter anyway really because articles about homeless vets only come out during Veteran's Day to serve as lip service. This country as a whole cares more about Brittney Spears than the sacrifice of the few.

11/11/2007 11:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...speaking of Britney Spears, if you ever wondered how she sounded live, here you go:


11/11/2007 11:45 PM

Blogger al.from.wv said...

Checking out the statistics from a common sense view is good solid advice.

Another thing to look at is how their veteran status is identified.

I work in DC. Maybe a year ago, maybe more, I was eating lunch in my vehicle (it's DC, I'm a hillbilly, don't ask) in a parking place on I St, off South Capitol. In a park there, a lot of homeless folks were hanging out, sleeping on the park benches. Some young person, with a clipboard, was going around asking each of them questions. When he got close enough, I could hear that he would ask "are you a veteran?" If the homeless person answered "yes," the young man would ask for what service, when, where did you serve, etc. I turned down the radio to listen. According to that poll, ALL the homeless in that park were veterans, except one, and he ran the young fellow down as he was leaving to tell him that he really was. The answers were all the same: "yes, I'm a vet;" "Army;" "in Viet Nam;" etc, etc. As the young guy walked away, one of them came up to my car to ask for money. I asked him, "do you think he bought it about all of you being vets?" "He__, how do I know, but it can't hurt, right?"

11/12/2007 6:52 AM

Blogger reddog said...

Homeless Vet is a good story to score a handout with, don't believe it for a second.

I'm one of the most hapless, irresponsible, deranged individuals to ever wear a Bluejacket and I've never had trouble finding a place to stay out of the cold and wet. I don't miss any meals either.

As far as substance abuse is concerned, if abstinence was a requirement for sailors, no ship would ever leave port.

11/12/2007 4:51 PM


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