One of the chief ways you can measure the character of a country is how it treats its veterans. While in service, soldiers of all branches are requested to give it all to defend and advance a country's interests. If a government demands everything but offers nothing to those same men and women on the backside, that country cannot last long.
A continuing and robust commitment to honoring these brave men and women is critical. Abraham Lincoln said the same in an 1863 letter, "Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause -- honor to him, only less than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle."
That is and should be our standard. We shouldn't waver from that at any point. That's why it's so disappointing to see the state of New York fail this standard so thoroughly.
Frank Tammaro is a 95-year-old veteran of the Korean War. He resides in New York in the Island Shores nursing home. Island Shores was sold, and one day, a notice was posted in the nursing home that everyone there had two months to find a new residence. They're kicking everyone out.
Why? New York has to find a place to store the thousands of migrants flooding the city and state. The city cut a deal with the nursing home that evicts everyone, and piles the migrants in that place. No warning was given, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.
Even worse, there are no answers for anyone involved. Tammaro said, "I thought my suitcases were going to be on the curb because I'm not that fast." He continued:
"If it wasn't for my daughter, they would've been on the curb. That was it. I said, 'No, no, no, no, you're not moving me,' and they said, 'Yes, yes, yes we are.' Everything was done behind closed doors – we didn't have a chance to actually make any attempt to stop them because there wasn't enough time."
I do not doubt that the migrants in question have a deep humanitarian need. Illegal aliens are pouring across the southern border in droves, setting new records, as President Biden rescinded past rules that prevented this problem.
Given the issue and the solution being presented, it's not hard to see the conclusion here. New York's Democratic leadership and the Biden administration are choosing illegal immigrants over this country's veterans. If that seems harsh - look at the story above again: a 95-year-old veteran of the Korean War faced outright homelessness. If not for family, that's what he would have received.
When critics of this administration point out the ripple impacts of failed border security, it's impossible to count. The focus is always right at the border, with fencing, security, and more. But the strain this is placing on the nation's resources is real, too. Especially when the Democratic Party refuses to take the issue seriously and do anything about it.
Whatever your answer to this problem, if the solution ends with veterans ending up homeless on the street, you've messed up. Start at square one and try again.
The great writer G. K. Chesterton once said, "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." When we mistreat veterans like this, it cuts against that notion of what we want and need them to fight for. If what they fight for is no longer worth it, the future is imperiled.
I get it. This is one man in one city. But that can't get lost on the principle at play. A city is choosing one group over another. It's not that there aren't reasons to help those caught in the humanitarian quagmire that is the Biden administration's immigration policy. That's no excuse to shortchange either Americans or its veterans.
Whenever I write a column on veterans or something related, I like to touch on ways you can honor America's bravest. The organization I donate to is Honor Flight. They have a mission of taking aging veterans to the memorials we build for them. Building monuments is excellent as a reminder to us all. Still, we should provide opportunities to those who fought a chance to see how we honor them.
Honor Flight is a fantastic group that does just that; their work is great. It's a way to honor veterans one-on-one and show them how much we love, care, and appreciate their sacrifices. Honor Flights accepts donations and volunteers.