“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” — Abraham Lincoln, motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Nemo resideo (old Latin phrase) that came into the creed of the US Army Rangers as, “I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.”
We take care of our veterans, because of the service that they have provided their nation. We take care of them even when they have committed crimes. We leave no veteran hero behind. For instance, the National Center for PTSD, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, writes about Veterans Treatment Court. What is VTC?
“Veterans Treatment Courts are based on the Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts begun in the 1990s. As in these models, the goal is to keep those with mental health issues out of the traditional justice system. Instead, the courts give them treatment and tools for coping with their problems. Each Veterans Treatment Court is part of a community’s justice system. Veterans Treatment Courts often partner with local VAs and Veterans’ organizations. Since the first Veterans Treatment Court in 2008, the number of courts has been growing fast. By August, 2010, there were 41 Veterans Treatment Courts in the United States.”
How do they work?
One example of how a Veterans Treatment Court works is the court in Tulsa, OK. When a person is arrested, police officers ask whether he or she is a Veteran. If so, the Veteran’s eligibility for Veterans Treatment Court and for VA benefits is assessed. Only Veterans charged with non-violent crimes who are in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment may go to treatment court.
So, we protect our veterans, even when they break the law, provided they break it non-violently. They have acquired their problems as a result of their service. A grateful nation cares for them. Well, unless they are DACA people. In that case, they are simply criminals who must be deported. Miguel Perez, Jr., pictured above, served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He was earning his citizenship the hard way. Most Americans no longer serve. They leave it up to a core of volunteers, some reservists and some full-time who protect our country. Most Americans do not serve their country in any perceptible way, and are simply happy to receive the benefits of living in this country without ever making any real commitment to it.
Miguel Perez, Jr. served. He came home with PTSD and was arrested for a drug-related crime. You can find his story at http://cnn.it/2GP6o84. He is 39 and was brought to this country over 30 years ago. He does not know how to live in Mexico. He does not speak fluent Spanish. He tried to correct his lack of citizenship the legal way, by serving the only country he really knows with his own life. You can earn your citizenship in this country by serving in the military. It has been part of the law for a long time. He was expecting that the country he loved would take care of him. After all, that is our promise, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle … .”
Had he been a citizen, he would have simply been taken to Veterans Treatment Court and sent for treatment rather than incarceration. He did not count on having Republicans in power. He thought that they would keep the promise that had been made. But, Republicans only see him as another criminal illegal who must be deported. They do not care that he served this country. They do not care about a promise made. They do not care about his PTSD and his drug addiction. He is just another illegal immigrant to them. And so, he has been detained and is facing deportation.
Explain to me how this can be justified by any ethical system? The only ethical system under which this could be justified is a Pharisaism which looks at every jot and tittle of the Law, one which tithes mint, dill, and cumin, “and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
And so, one of our heroes is being deported. One of us, who was willing to step forward to protect freedom, is being sent off. One who was brought here without a visa was willing to rectify the problem by following one of the legal methods to become a citizen. We are discarding him.
Shame on you, Republicans!