Friday, July 24, 2009
Department of Bad Ideas...
The military has come a long way from the time when it packaged cigarettes in with rations. Remember all those old black and white war movies where there would be bombs exploding and bullets whizzing by soldiers heads who are sitting in a fox hole no doubt smoking a cigarette?
Well apparently, according to the Defense Department, a committee, appointed by the department recommends that the Defense Department establish a timeline to eliminate all tobacco use on military installations to protect the health of all military personnel, civilian employees, family members and visitors. This committee has suggested that the military should "phase out" smoking all together in military academy's, new recruits, all military staff and eventually career military personnel and veterans.
Ok..where do I start...hmmm how 'bout, smoking is a personal choice not a public or governmental one. I don't like to be around smokers, but I also realize that people who smoke also have rights. I am appalled at the idea that the government can try to moralize this country with their secret agendas, all the while acting like they are doing you a favor. Again, smoking is a personal choice, there are special areas in which people can smoke, there are buildings that don't allow it and signs that will tell you "no smoking", so I think, In my opinion, we have struck a compromise in this controversial matter. Hey I have an idea, how about we make drinking alcohol illegal (insert sarcasm) for military people when drinking it on their own time while we're at it.
The Defense Department is saying that it is in the best interest of all the veterans who's health they are concerned about but the bottom line, as always, money. The amount of money it cost to take care of veterans who have contracted diseases due to smoking is astronomical. Ok, I don't doubt that, but how are you going to force a veteran who, probably has been smoking most of their lives stop smoking? And....as far as I'm concerned, the military doesn't really take care of the veterans that well right now, in fact, a lot of their facilities are run down, a huge percentage of veterans don't receive the services they need or they have to wait for them, military personnel who are wounded have not been given all the options that they need to live fulfilled lives and this doesn't even include their families. So why should we be so concern with smokers when we could focus on their treatment or should I say the non treatment of our military men and women who fight for this country and aren't given a fair shake when they come home, no matter what condition they are in?
Perhaps if the government felt this strong regarding the health of our military, then perhaps we shouldn't start wars that cost this country so much money and that we could use that money in other ways. Look, I'm really not trying to get political, because I'd rather write about a whole lot of other things, but when I hear and read about our government sticking it's nose in our business again, I just have to say something. If 20% of this country smokes and 80% of smokers want to quit but don't or can't, then why would this government even think that eliminating smoking from the military would even work? Smoking is harder to stop than any drug on the planet and I realize it is a major health concern for many people, but it is a private matter and should remain that way.
Cigarettes kill, but so does stress and bullets. I can't think of a more stressful time that being in a war. I've never been in one, but what I do know, is that when there is action all around you and maybe your thinking I'm not gonna make it, if you want to light up I say go for it. It could possibly be your last little pleasure in this life...I'm just say'n