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For any new readers that don’t know anything about me:  I am a combat Vietnam veteran who served, proudly, with my brothers in the 57th Assault Helicopter Company in Kontum, Vietnam in 1968.  And, yes; War is Hell!  It doesn’t matter what war you were in, it doesn’t matter what your job was, every veteran in this country fought for it, put their lives on the line for it and earned every single Right in our Constitution through self-sacrifice and honor among some of the best men and women our country has ever seen!  No civilian will ever understand the situations where we were forced to kill other people in order to do our job, which was to ensure that everyone around us survived!  We did not fight because it was “cool”, we did not fight because we “would be heroes”, we fought because it was our job to protect the United States of America and to ensure the safety of every single citizen in our country, regardless of who or what they were!  How many civilians, other than Firefighters and Police Officers have done the same?  Yet we are always treated as “yesterday’s problem” and our Rights, the very Rights we fought for, are denied us while everyday citizens and even illegals are getting more benefits than we have!

When I got home from Vietnam I ran into hippie protestors that called me and my brothers names and spit on us and threw blood on us!  We were treated like trash and we were called “baby killers” and murderers by the very people we served to protect!  The name “Crazy Vet Syndrome” was used against us and many of my brothers killed themselves because they could not get the help they needed to end the pain of living with the deaths at their own hands!  In 1983, the frustration among us rose to a point where we stood up against the money wasters in DC and protested, and those efforts brought some changes that helped, but not enough!  It took until the beginning of the ’90s, when President Bush took office, for the government to stand up and begin supporting the troops and for the VA to stop holding back on benefits for the disabled vets!  Then came the Obama Administration!

Since Obama has taken office our troops in the Mid East have had to suffer with not enough supplies to keep them safe!  Bullet-proof vests, ammunition, food supplies and adequate health care has been short of “adequate”, much less necessary!  Now they are pushing to cut back on benefits for those who actually sacrifice their time, families and with many, their lives, ether through dying for their country, or losing their abilities to live normal lives because of severe injuries!  While illegals will be allowed full Welfare benefits, to include food stamps, full health care benefits and other “necessary needs” along with Americans who really don’t want to do anything for anyone but themselves, those troops who have sacrificed everything for their nation are treated like “unnecessary people”!  And veterans are being called everything from “Wasted Money” to “Homegrown Terrorists” by the current Administration which is made up of a majority of people who have never really done anything for anyone but themselves, unless it is to support their own goals!  And, while the people of America are suffering, the current Administration is living like Kings and Queens, openly wasting every single dollar they can on expensive parties, trips and social gatherings!  Which is the most “earned” quality in our country; the pride of the people for those who asked nothing from anyone else and served to protect our nation, or the power of those who seek only go gain it?  Where would our nation be today without the bravery of the millions of Americans who sacrificed their lives and futures just to provide every citizen with the protected Rights and Freedoms our Forefathers built for them!

To my fellow vets out there; the time has come to stand up and make your voices heard!  The time has come up to make the very government we sacrificed for understand that our sacrifices are much more important than their own greed!  The weather will change soon and that will be the time for vets to hit the streets and make their numbers seen by the press!  We need to stand proudly against the damages done to us and our military and show the people that, just because we are out of the service, we are not still soldiers who protect the American Dream!  DC needs the same kind of action from veterans that happened after WWI, when huge numbers of vets went up there an protested, forcing the government to build the Veterans Administration to finally begin caring for vets!  With all of the Trillions of Dollars wasted on people who do nothing but suck off the government’s teat, there should be plenty for the government to follow their Constitutional responsibility to provide for the needs of the military, first, and the veterans!  We all signed a contract to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and Domestic”, and part of the contract was that the government would provide us with what we needed to do our jobs and to care for our serious needs as vets!  We earned every bit of that through sacrifice, not the greed and power hunger of our governmental officials, and its time that we make our government fulfill its side of the bargain!  We are the heart of America, my fellow vets; it’s time to make that heart beat strong!

Wake Up Americans, Or Lose America!

Michael J. Kilgus

Gladiator 059


  1. Sam Moore - Gladiator/Team Cougar - Kontum JAN 68-MAR 70 says:

    Mike, great rant, one of the best yet. It seems as there are a number of folks doing their best to get the Vets organized and vocal about the Vet situation in the upcoming election. I have sent letter to one of my congressman about the situation. The other, is actually pretty Vet friendly. In fact he was one of the main pushers a few years ago to the last two mileage increases we have seen. In addition he is pushing for the Vets to be able use local hospitals and have them bill the VA as opposed to having to drive 400 miles to see a VA doctor.

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