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Old 04-15-2008, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Klatu Nebula
133 posts, read 491,247 times
Reputation: 106

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OUR STORY OF SHAME...

Is this your story?

Let's say you've done your time in hell... You served stuffing packing into blown-out guts of our young soldiers and airmen. Deep in a mid-Eastern desert, you crouched over the warmth of what remained of the kid you played cards with last night. Steam rises from his body, now open and exposed like a side of beef. Another shot of morphine for "Termite" the other kid, and the one that survived. "Come on kid, you've got to hang on," you utter in prayer under your breath, while the clop, clop, clop of the helicopter grows louder. You wave in response to the request on your radio, repostion yourself, still crouching, when the feeling goes out from your own side. Your belt, shirt and pants are wet from a flood of urine, and blood. Your heart races, looking at the kid, you try and communicate one more time...it's no use, the world is growing dark.

Or?

This is MY story:

Perhaps you show up for another day at the base, break out the new training tools, fill the containers with PK and set up the benches for your morning talk to the young squids. Everyday for months you have hosed them down with your magic chemical... No fire could survive this you tell them as they gasp for air. This is the ultimate....... Suddenly your own throat seizes up. Sweat rolls down your brow. You think for a moment, "Oh God, I shouldn't have..... " The mind is gone, you breifly awaken, tubes in your body, the breath is hard to get. Worse still, that feeding tube. No food will stay down, no drink, nothing works, and you celebrate your 18Th birthday wondering if you'll ever walk again.

Fast forward 10 years, 20, or 30 years. Thank God you've recovered enough to walk around and joke with your friends. Enough to have finally had a series of jobs and a retirement check. Not a normal retirement, but that, that one gets by being unable to stand up to the rigors of the daily grind. Retirement that comes from not having the muscle to pass the physical, unable to walk, or unable to digest your dinner. Dinner? Oh yeah, that's a torture you've endured since Vietnam, Panama or Iraq.

Some foods are better then others:

Fish are good, broiled fish are healthy and fishing offers a little time to relax and get the demands of a busy world off your back. Though your on a fixed income, they say your a hero. A real AMERICAN hero. They have a national holiday to honor you and your friends that didn't make it home. The furniture stores all have a sale in your honor, and the town has a parade for those able to walk 3 miles in the heat and cold. These things are good, but it's fishing you seek. Just take the family or the wife out to the park and spend the day relaxing by the water. As the thought grows in your mind, you think maybe a cabin rental, maybe a little meal at the snack bar, maybe a canoe rental... MAYBE...?

Misfortune has delt you a bad deck of cards once again, for all of your honor, for all of your bravery and love of city, state and country, they plan to charge you full fare to enter their park. Accomodations are scant for those with special needs, and Jacksonville, Florida, that queen of the Florida Military is demanding FULL FARE for your admission to her parks. FULL FARE for that canoe rental, or cabin... FULL PRICE FOR EVERYTHING... After all, you are a citizen just like everyone else and they want you to pay to play. Sadly they missed that day back in 1969, or 2006, when you and your friends paid the ultimate price. Jacksonville and Florida need to sweep these old rules away and come into the new era of honor and respect for those who have given so much. Can't we give something back? After all, these men and women deserve an afternoon or evening in one of our heavenly parks, you see, the've already done their time in hell.




Other States and even other Cities are way ahead of us on this, here is a sample...

NEW MEXICO:

Free State Park Day Use Passes for Disabled Veterans
Any veteran who is rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled by the VA and is a resident of New Mexico qualifies for an annual day pass and three free nights of camping. To apply, obtain the application from any DVS field office or download it here. Complete and send the application according to the instructions and attach a copy of your NM drivers license and a copy of the VA award letter showing a rating of 50% or higher

CALIFORNIA:

State Parks and Recreation Pass
The Benefits: A lifetime State of California Parks pass for only $3.50.

Who May Be Eligible: Any veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 50% or greater, or a former Prisoner of War.

http://img.timeinc.net/Life/lifebooks/military/gallery/vietnam_wounded.jpg (broken link)


GEORGIA:

Reduced Fees for Disabled Veterans: Any service connected disabled veteran who was discharged under honorable conditions can visit/use state parks historical sites and recreational areas at reduced rates.




TEXAS:

Free Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Free admission to Texas State Parks is available to any veteran who has a service-connected disability, which is rated 60% or more by VA, or a service-connected disability, which has resulted in the loss of a lower extremity. Application may be made at the headquarters office of any Texas State park by providing satisfactory evidence of service-connected disability. If such evidence is not readily available, it can be obtained from the VA regional office where the claims folder is located. The Texas State Parklands Passport is available to any veteran who meets the disability requirements, whether or not he or she resides in Texas. The Passport provides only free admission to the State parks, and does not exempt anyone from payment of other charges, such as camping fees, etc. We have provided a link to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for your convenience.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

State Park Admission
NH veterans with any VA service-connected disability rating shall not be charged a fee for day-use admission to NH state parks. Disabled veteran license plates issued by the state of NH, or a letter issued by the VA certifying the veteran suffers from a service-connected disability shall be considered proof of entitlement. Any fees for the use of enterprise activities (including ski lifts, food service, campgrounds, etc.) shall be charged.
Any active member of a federally-recognized unit of the NH national guard who is a legal resident of this state and is serving (or who retired) in pay grades E-1 through E-6 shall not be charged a fee for admission to the state park system. Any fees for the use of enterprise activities (including ski lifts, food service, campgrounds, etc.) shall be charged.



So how could it work here? Both the City of Jacksonville, the Beaches and the State of Florida need to revise their rules. The National Park Service already issues a "passport" for their parks to anyone who proves they are 100% disabled veterans. They simply require a form DD214 and the disability award letter issued by the VA. ANY NPS office, Ft. Caroline, Seashore, St. Augustine etc... can issue the passport. Rather then reinvent the wheel, why not use the NPS passport, and or the Florida State Disabled Veterans ID card as a pass for all of our parks? I would suggest that we follow the NPS lead and the veteran and his family (or carload) get into the park for free. We wave all entry fee's for 100% disabled veterans. Another approach is to wave the fees on veterans of 50% or more as some states do it. Almost all of them seem to include the families in the deal.
Secondly, the matter of discounts or vendors, most states/cities allow for a discount on camping, cabins, boats etc of a fair amount, while any concessions carry an understood 10% - 25% off retail. This would include things like canoe rentals, horseback riding or swim lessons.

One way for us to attract solid citizens, salt of the earth new residents, is to get in line with the rest of the country as she honors her war veterans. Locally, we should shine... God bless our veterans!


Care for our disabled veterans? How much are they worth to you? Look closely... They did DOLLARS too... even today they give you a sort of sick sinking feeling.


http://oldtoolsforsale.com/smiley6/cry3.gif (broken link)Ocklawaha

posted in my favorite forums to create a call for action!
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:32 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,838 posts, read 33,487,994 times
Reputation: 8746
As a vet I think you got a good idea...but IF you want to change things cant do it here.
Go to your local VA start a petition...send it to the Gov
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,938,993 times
Reputation: 3414
I know there's a fee to get into Hanna Park...which other parks require a fee, Ock?

And am I understanding right, there never was a discount for veterans? Or was there a discount that Jax is now taking away?
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:47 PM
 
65 posts, read 237,606 times
Reputation: 50
What am I missing about the money? Why does "one peso" (that should read "un peso") say "The Japanese government" on the top?
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:54 PM
 
71 posts, read 266,974 times
Reputation: 29
It's a peso from the Philippines (also names their currency the peso) from when the Japanese occupied the Phillipines.

Last edited by ck123; 04-15-2008 at 10:57 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Klatu Nebula
133 posts, read 491,247 times
Reputation: 106
Default Get it in front of the troops

Yes, I realize things won't change by posting this here, however, it will get the "push" for such things in front of more people.

Florida has promised to come in line with the other states some 5+ years ago, but so far not a single thing has been done to offer our veterans a break in taking the family to the park.

The money is as CK says, I placed a photo of it here so some people could calculate how much value there is in giving the Vets a park pass. This money was scooped up by our toops, It was indeed issued by the IMPERIAL JAPANESE GOVERNMENT. Also found with this was boxes of US dollars drawn on the Imperial Bank of Japan. Chilling as it is, it sort of gives a currency to the dollar value of a veteran.

Now that we have this in front of the troops, who can help? Is there anyone out there who can get the City to move their fees? How about at State level? Where should we start and with whom?

Ocklawaha
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:18 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,007 times
Reputation: 12
Active military Combat Duty Grant

the city of jax is giving a grant to military homeowners who leave for combat duty in the form of a rebate on their property taxes, among other things that they do. As a Navy wife, army brat, airforce mom... I know that each soldier/squid/etc has chosen this profession not for discounts but because they believe this is what they are suppose to do. I think your passion is commendable, but parks are public for all to use and should be kept up. For this they need money. Maybe you could direct your passion into a more serious forum, like care for the wounded after they return?
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:21 PM
 
147 posts, read 517,076 times
Reputation: 92
Might want to vote for Obama too in Nov as I hear McCain wants to decrease the benefits vets now receive.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:11 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,287 times
Reputation: 20
The City of Jacksonville and State of Florida does indeed honor it's Veterans. It provides free admission for Veterans with disabilities and other discounts for Veterans with a honorable discharge. Just go to Florida State Parks and check out the information regarding the annual pass.
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