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A Personal Note About the Mistreatment of Veterans

Long before I got started in the life insurance business, I learned many life lessons from my uncle, a veteran of World War II.  My uncle escaped the Nazis and came to this country as a teenager. Nobody in his family knew English. Like all the other immigrants at the time, they put their noses to the grindstone and did what they had to do to become Americans. His mother was seriously ill when the day came for her swearing in to be a citizen of this country. There was absolutely no way she was going to miss that.

My uncle served with distinction in the U.S. Navy. He then went to college on the G.I. Bill. (He still gives on a yearly basis to his alma mater). He then began a career as a probation officer for the city of New York. That career lasted 50 years.

A few years ago my uncle was combating an infection in his bloodstream. It affected many of his major organs, including his brain. This adversely affected his mood, and he felt very defensive when dealing with doctors and hospital personnel (this was not a VA hospital). He felt he often had to “plead his case” and remind them of who and what he was. Sure, he was not his usual self, but what was interesting to me was that his core identity shined through.

Do you know what he kept telling people? He kept telling them that he was an American. He was a veteran. He served his country. He served the city of New York. Over and over again. His basic message was this: the rights and welfare of a loyal citizen of this country – especially one who has put his life on the line for the rest of us – should never be trampled. Doing so is not just beneath his dignity – it is beneath the dignity of the nation.

Yes, it is.

Why am I speaking out on this issue? It’s simple: when our morals get stronger, then our government will get smaller. When our government gets smaller, our economy will get stronger. It is in my self-interest as a businessman, as a life insurance broker, and as an American to make sure our politicians and lawmakers do the right thing.