Kurt  Schlichter

This Veterans Day, let’s honor our warriors, not patronize them.

We veterans resent the left glomming on to us to justify the welfare state, responding to any observation regarding the millions of liberal-voting deadbeats feeding off of Uncle Sucker with the smug rejoinder “What about the veterans who need help? Why do you hate veterans?”

Like progressives ever cared about our warriors – the only reason they aren’t lined up to spit on our returning fighters is they know they’d get their teeth knocked in.

Let’s be clear – being a veteran is not a “Get out of work free” card that excuses you from the basic responsibility of supporting yourself and your family. If I pass a bum with a sign reading “Homeless Vet,” I don’t feel an overpowering surge of solidarity. I feel disgusted that another low-life is trying to milk sympathy off a proud status that millions of us earned with our blood and sweat and years of our lives.

Are there vets who need help? Of course, but those aren’t the ones you see playing the vet card to avoid work and fuel their addictions. Some legit ones have physical injuries. For others, the wounds are invisible and hard to understand, like traumatic brain injuries. We owe these warriors not only our support but our compassion as they struggle against an insidious enemy. They are eager to overcome their challenges and to build productive lives.

These wounded warriors are getting some of the help they need through the government – taking care of those hurt in the service of the nation is a basic federal government function and about the only kind of safety net program that can be legitimately extrapolated from the text of our Constitution. Where the government falls short – as it inevitably will, because it is the government – the American people are picking up the slack.

But the “professional vets” you see demanding handouts are, at best, exploiting their long-ago service. Just because you served doesn’t necessarily indicate that you will forever demonstrate the kind of character and self-respect that the military demanded you show when on duty. It’s not a free pass for the rest of your life – in fact, fellow vets expect more from you. We expect you to live up to the example of the overwhelming majority of veterans who came home, hung up our uniforms and went about building families and careers.

Kurt Schlichter

Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) was personally recruited to write conservative commentary by Andrew Breitbart. He is a successful Los Angeles trial lawyer, a veteran with a masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a former stand-up comic.