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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sequestration: flawed by definition.

Our house is divided in strange ways. We spend money we don't have. We are pro life and pro death penalty. We will go to war to keep the peace.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, thank goodness I was just a Sergeant. I worked with what was on the ground and left what might happen in the future to higher minds than mine.

As a nation we are dealing with a failure to communicate on all sides and, unfortunately, the first people falling victim to this disconnect are the service members. Men and women who volunteered to fight to keep this nation whole only to return to one that is internally divided with seemingly no hope of reconciliation.

Now you may say that our house has been divided before and that today is
no different. It's different for service members because of what the word sequestration might mean for their future and the future of, seemingly, the only institution left with any integrity.

Not sure what Sequestration is or means? Neither am I. There are several uses of the word and all of them are the exact opposite of how we should be explaining the situation our military is currently facing.


1. The act of taking legal possession of assets until a debt has been paid

2. The act of taking forcible possession of something or confiscation.

3. The act of declaring someone bankrupt

4. The act of making a general cut in government spending

Before I saw that last definition I got a little nervous.

We just got out of Iraq and we are wrapping up the loose ends of our war in Afghanistan. Instead of reasonably explaining that as a nation we must Armor Down from these conflicts, we have decided to use a word that nobody knows and/or understands. Not only that, the word creates a feeling that our military owes us instead of the other way around.

Why in the heck would we use this word to describe a reality that must happen after war? Whether it's the nation as a whole or the individual coming home after combat there must be a transition before the creation of a sustainable civilian lifestyle.

This is a fact.

Individuals must do it and so must our nation.

When looked at from this perspective is it any wonder that our military is dying at home faster than abroad? We haven't created a process for transitioning individual service members and the process we have created for the nation is flawed by definition.

An honest man once said that "a house divided cannot stand".

Abraham Lincoln also said in very plain english: "A nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure."

So here we are folks, divided as the day is long with our military dying by their own hands faster than that of our enemies.

What to do?

I already stated last week that the first thing that needs to be addressed for all service members returning from combat is sleep. The most sustainable, inexpensive, and safe way to do this is by educating the military in the use of mindfulness meditation.

This is a much better tool than some new form of medication. Medication is a short term fix, but has challenging long term problems. And unlike medication, forming a dependency on meditation is a good thing.

I can contribute to the mindfulness education, but we all have to get on our politicians to explain things like sequestration in a way that can be understood.

And I don't mean explain sequestration in terms of the GOP wants to cut and the DEMs want to spend.

Our leaders don't understand just how much their behaviors influence us and I don't think we understand just how influenced we are by them.

One thing we all know, however, is that we all support our troops and our veterans. We may be divided over the cluster we have currently created for ourselves, but we are united by our heroes.

This post was guided by the 24th stanza of the Art of Peace, a book written by Morihei Ueshiba , the founder and creator of the Martial Art, Aikido.


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