#MenToo, #MeToo, Crime/Punishment, Criminal Justice, Not the Popular Opinion, Sexual Abuse, Speaking from Experience, Stigma/Taboo, Victims of sexual abuse/sexual assualt

Coming Forward, Are you ready?

******* TRIGGER WARNING*******

This blog post will touch on topics of coming forward, speaking up and what that means as a survivor of sexual abuse/assault. While I won’t go into detail, the topic in itself may be triggering for many survivors. It is not my intention to trigger, only to inform. Continue reading at your own risk.

 

I’m feeling inspired this morning after I came across a social media post from a survivor seeking advice from those that have come forward about their abuse. This person is seriously considering coming forward, filing a report against her abuser and is looking for support.

My personal thoughts on this matter, I fully support her decision and know first hand just how difficult this is.

Could you imagine if all survivors took immediate action against their abuser(s)? A society where we could come forward, be believed, not have to relive our trauma over and over as we explain in full detail the vile acts that we were forced to endure. A society that wasn’t corrupt and the sexual predators weren’t protected but rather all given a minimum of 15 years in prison with no chance of early release, no special privileges. Imagine if that punishment was universal in every State, Province, and Country. The same sentencing should be imposed upon those who knowingly make false claims.  I do imagine this and I think the acts of sexual violence would decrease because of harsher punishments with no wiggle room to bribe down to a lesser sentence.

The reality is, that’s never going to happen. Greed and corruption exist, not all humans possess the qualities of integrity and accountability; sadly I don’t see things changing for the better anytime soon.

The best opportunity for a survivor to come forward is within 48 hours of the encounter. This small window of time is the only chance to retrieve any evidence that may be present/left behind. Having the courage to get yourself  (or get someone to drive you) to the local hospital is your best chance to ensure that your abuser(s) gets taken into custody.

Without evidence (physical, video, audio) a witness or another survivor that is willing to speak up, the odds of a survivor being taken seriously rapidly decrease. It’s now a matter of a “He said, She said” scenario and it becomes more difficult to prove/prosecute.

Coming forward is especially difficult if there is a Statute of Limitations that prevents survivors from reporting the crime against them after 7, 10, 15 years after it took place. It is frustrating when we process trauma differently and for many of us, our brain has protected us by hiding that trauma for 15+ years. We weren’t aware that a crime against us had been committed until it’s too late. Where’s the justice in that? There isn’t any!

Coming forward within the 48-hour window doesn’t ensure that the brave survivor is granted a “happily ever after” ending. Coming forward doesn’t just affect the life of the survivor, but in most cases affects the lives of those around them. That idea alone is enough for many of us to not come forward at all, especially when the abuser is a family member.

Does coming forward about the abuse you endured make you selfish? Absolutely NOT!

Does coming forward about the abuse you endured come across as “Seeking Attention”? Absolutely NOT!

Yet so many of us are made to believe the opposite is true. That’s because those that are making us feel that way are scared, afraid and don’t want to deal with the aftermath, the judgments, the whispers, the rumors and the hardships that will most definitely follow.

Should that guilt be enough for us survivors to stay quiet and keep our mouths shut? That is up to the survivor. I can’t answer that and speak for everyone.

I was told that there would be “consequences” should I choose to speak up and tell my “story”. I was 9 years and my mother who walked in on my last encounter with her boyfriend was in complete denial. She didn’t believe me even though she witnessed it happening. I knew that this moment was my opportunity to speak up and tell her everything. That wasn’t enough, she was still siding with “him”. I was told that if I was ready to deal with the “consequences” that she would drive me to the hospital and that I would have to endure some very uncomfortable tests and there would be questions that I had to answer truthfully.

I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong, I wasn’t the one lying to my mother about what she walked in on. I had no reason to be punished. I knew that if I couldn’t prove to my mother that I was telling the truth, the abuse would continue and her boyfriend might actually follow through with the death threats he made against my younger brother and mother. How could things get worse for me than they already were at that moment?

The testing and procedures performed at the hospital to collect the evidence took place, not one of my favorite moments. I still have a hard (emotional) time at every OBGYN appointment some 30+ years later. But I knew it had to be done, not just to prove my abuser wrong, but to help protect myself and my brother from possible harm. Also to ensure this bastard doesn’t hurt another little girl. I couldn’t live with that guilt, knowing that I could have done something and didn’t.

The consequences of coming forward appeared shortly after, while still at the hospital. Due to the nature of the crime, me being a minor and the doctors were convinced that my mother was not going to break off the relationship (they weren’t wrong); Child Services were called along with the local police detectives. Long story, short. My brother and I were placed in foster care that evening. What was supposed to be for the weekend, turned into a few weeks, that turned into a few more months. I entered the foster system at age 9 and never got out until I aged out of the system.

Sure, I pressed charges against my abuser and had my day in court. The evidence was tested and obviously came back as his, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. A small victory for me. My younger brother was completely innocent, had never been abused, had no idea what was going on. He didn’t know what was happening or know why we couldn’t go home. I fought for him, pleaded that he should get to go home.

Being 9 years old and not fully understanding the whole picture.

We later learned that our mother was still visiting her boyfriend (my abuser) in prison. It was those secret visits that caused her to lose her parental rights. We were close to coming home (after 4.5 years). After the proof, after all that I endured and sacrificed to protect myself and my brother, this was how I was rewarded. This was my consequence and my brother was an innocent bystander.

Was Justice served? YES. I got to the hospital, evidence was collected and used to put my abuser away for 10 years. One less sexual predator out in public.

Was the outcome what I had hoped? Not in a million years. I can only be accountable for myself, and I did just that. I didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. Just ashamed to have a mother that didn’t believe me and kept putting my abuser before her kids.

My mother has failed me on several occasions, but that’s a story for another day. The best thing she did was to allow me to make my own choice and drive me to the hospital that morning.

While the situations are similar, there are many variables to consider if you are thinking about coming forward/speaking up about the abuse you endured. As much as I love the idea of all survivors coming forward, I know that many can’t, some aren’t aware that they should. All of which is okay, just know that I support your choice.

For anyone considering coming forward:

  • Do so when you are ready, not because you are feeling pressured.
  • Be prepared to relive your trauma and share your story several times to several people. It’s mentally exhausting.
  • Without evidence or witnesses, filing a police report is still helpful. Should another survivor report the same abuser, that might be enough to prosecute.
  • Most importantly, Know that you didn’t do anything to deserve this. The abuse you endured was not your fault in any way.
  • Start your healing process when you are ready, not because the court mandates it. When YOU are ready.
  • You are not alone. There are many support groups that you can join, even online to help you process what you’re feeling. There is no shame in seeking support. Nobody understands better than someone who’s been through it.
  • For the Parents of a child that comes forward- bring them to the hospital- be supportive no matter the outcome- Protecting your child comes FIRST- Be the adult they need you to be, hold the abusers accountable, no matter who it turns out to be.

Coming forward and reporting the abuse that you endured isn’t easy on so many levels. The courage and bravery required to speak up doesn’t come easy. When you finally do, it’s possible that your claims aren’t taken seriously or they are dismissed as a misunderstanding, especially without proof/evidence. Even with proof and there is no shadow of a doubt, the aftermath is unpredictable. One thing is for sure, you won’t get a Thank You and your efforts won’t get recognized, because it’s not seen as heroic when it most certainly is.

If the TV and Movies have taught us one thing, it’s that in this world, there are Heroes and Criminals/Villians. Heroes help to put the Criminals away, Heroes protect the innocent. This seems to be an acceptable norm, except when it comes to sexual abuse. Sexual Predators are often disguised, hiding in plain sight right under our noses, posing as heroes. Sexual Predators have infiltrated many positions of power and they use that position of power as a means of protection. Now, these Criminals are able to protect other criminals and the Heroes are the ones that suffer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abuse comes in many forms, Crime/Punishment, Criminal Justice, Government, Immigrants, Not the Popular Opinion, Religious Beliefs, The World We Live In

A Cornucopia of WTFs

Welcome back blog readers,

I know that I haven’t been posting in a few weeks. Life gets busy, I’m not always inspired, and not everything is worthy of sharing.

Those of you that follow me on Facebook know that I am doing my best not to comment or share anything about #45. Which is difficult as he attributes to many WTF moments and thoughts. I don’t like contributing to making stupid people famous, or in this case, more famous as I find that sharing only does more harm than good.

WTF topic #1: WTF is really going on at the southern border?

The only news that seems to be shared is that the large migrant caravan has made it to the U.S border, families have been separated/detained. Several immigrants have died, including infants/toddlers and those humanitarians that want to help are being arrested for trying to bring water and necessities.

We are shown many pictures of detained people sleeping on the concrete with aluminum foil blankets, and they are being denied basic hygienic products like soap and toothpaste. There are many claims of children being abused, it’s just choas. Nobody is allowed to go in to verify the wellbeing of those detainees, and they are being treated worse than convicted felons in prison.

Do we know if any of the families are actually being processed to allow them safe/legal entry?

If the U.S knew (which I have to assume they did know) that they would not treat these families with humanity, why didn’t they simply turn them away or give them the option to turn around leave? Let them know what life would be like for them, let them know they would be separated from their kids/spouse, sleep on concrete for months, possibly indefinitely. Let those people decide which personal hell is worse.

WTF is Mexico doing to help their citizens? Is the government offering to help keep them safe should they want to go back/leave the detention area? The news coverage on that seems a bit sparse.

 

WTF topic #2: Why are rapists and pedophiles not SERVING the TIME they DESERVE?!?!?!

You know this topic gets my blood boiling. Time after time, no matter how many of us come forward with the truth, share our most profound shame, these assholes rarely serve two years in prison.

It seems like every week, there is a new headline of an accused sexual predator that has abused multiple people or one person over several years under the noses of their peers.  They are offered a plea deal, a slap on the wrist, community service because an actual GUILTY plea would ruin their life, their career, their chance at a scholarship. Well BOO fucking HOO!

The life of their victim(s) are ruined forever, life for them will never be the same. These sexual predators shouldn’t be allowed to be back in public, not ever.

What’s worse is that now we have Judges, Lawyers, Prisons, and Religious nut jobs that protect these sexual predators. I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it, Once in prison, rapists are housed together away from Gen Pop, for their protection. Let that sink in!

I’ve also read many headlines that suggest that getting raped is “God’s Will.” Seriously WT actual F! If your god/religion teaches this, get a new religion.

Which is a good segway into the WTF topic #3: Child Brides/ Claiming religion makes it okay to not have morals.

I don’t care if the parent’s consent, the legal age of marriage should be universal worldwide at a minimum of 18. If you are not old enough to buy alcohol, sign a lease or other legal binding contract on your own, VOTE, open a bank account then in my eyes and in the eyes of many you are too young to consent to the marriage.

Men that seek child brides are pedophiles. PERIOD. Sex with a child is still rape, you will never change my mind on that. You can claim that they are your spouse all that you want, that doesn’t change the fact that they are too young to consent, and I don’t care that the parents agreed, they too are part of the problem and should be ashamed.

Religion should not violate human rights.

 

That is all of the time I have today. This post is one that I will update anytime I have a WFT topic to vent about. Chances are, you’ll see this post pop up as I update it.

Not the Popular Opinion, Religious Beliefs, Speaking from Experience, The World We Live In

Religion, it’s personal so keep it to yourself.

Religion icons set

Welcome back blog readers,

There are a handful of topics that get me fired up, and religious extremists are one of those topics. This is not going to be religion bashing post, because that would be disrespectful and it’s not at all the point that I’m trying to make.

Before I go any further, I should make the disclaimer that what you are about to read are my opinions based on my experiences. I do not follow any particular religion, I do not belong to any church. I’m simply offering a different perspective. I am not lost, nor do I need saving.

Lately, there are so many headlines on social media that have me shaking my head in what should be disbelief, but is sadly the new normal in society. Shame on us for allowing such things to happen.

Things like this:  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alabama-abortion-crime-pregnancy-trump-administration-us-a8854716.html?fbclid=IwAR3QY9xUsuWaEHkkMBZvqQOIhru1JH6IAv8NtRfov3gDAwWBHOQS-na_UXs

And this:  https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-lawmaker-no-abortion-access-would-force-women-to-be-more-personally-responsible-with-sex/?fbclid=IwAR1nrD9XjQzIcKvWNnHNQXwzLGu8rX8bb3WyxB3ulZ6_gK_qW_hu8QMtGrA

Yes, while on the outside it looks as though on the Republicans are taking credit for these new rules on controlling women and their bodies; if you look a little deeper, you’ll see that religion plays a part. These lawmakers are forcing their beliefs and views on society, and it’s not right.

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As I have said before, Religion has a time and place. Religion is personal and is not meant to rule the entire human race. There is not one religion to rule them all, just as your religion isn’t the only one that exists. While I don’t follow or put my faith in one particular religion, I do recognize that others do exist and I respect whichever one you seek comfort from or choose to follow. As long as you don’t push your beliefs on me, we won’t have a problem.

Laws and religion are supposed to be separate, but clearly, they are not. Laws are meant to protect citizens, keep the peace, not force us to conform to your religious beliefs because you don’t acknowledge any other religion but your own.

Religion should have NO place in the government, there should be no religious influence what so ever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all government officials have to be Atheists, I’m saying that religion should not be playing a factor in the lives of others.

Just as religion and public school should be separate. There are schools dedicated to various religious groups so those views should not be pushed on students that don’t practice or follow, it’s their choice.

As for the medical field, the government doesn’t need to get involved in every single aspect. Patients should be allowed to seek doctors or other medical/mental health professionals that they are comfortable with.  Patients have rights, click the link to read more from a reputable source.

https://www.who.int/genomics/public/patientrights/en/

When ethics and morality come into question, that’s where we tend to see religion pop up. Topics like abortion and physician-assisted deaths seem to trigger people. We have to respect that some medical professionals are not on board with performing either, that is fine. If these services are not something you believe in, that too is also fine. It doesn’t mean that other patients shouldn’t seek out these solutions if it’s in their best interest and there is a medical professional that is willing to help.

Please spare me your comments about how it’s Murder! That is your opinion, your opinion is not a fact. Abortions and Assisted Deaths should be a discussion for the patient and their doctor, your input carries NO weight. Just as my opinions about any medical procedure you want carries no weight.

Religion is personal, so keep it to yourself and mind your own business.

Acknowledge that more religions exist beyond Catholic and Christian, be respectful and stop pushing your views on other people.

If your religion promotes being mean and hating other humans based on their beliefs, gender, race, how they identify, then find a more peaceful religion.

Blindly following those that promote hate and racism never leads to anything positive.

That is all the time I have for today. ~ Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

Abuse comes in many forms, Health Care, Not the Popular Opinion, Politics, Religious Beliefs, Stigma/Taboo, Women's Health

My Body, I have the final word.

58162940-hands-holding-women-s-health-card-bokeh-background

Welcome back blog readers,

Just a bit of fair warning, If you don’t want to read what I have to say about my views on abortion, then carry on about your day.

I know this topic may generate different points of view, that is perfectly fine as long as we can agree to keep things civil. My opinion on this matter is that it’s my body, I should have the final word. Just as it is your body and you should have the last word. While it’s nice to have all of the facts, and I do mean facts, not religious beliefs, or opinions I’d like the right to choose what is best for me. I don’t want men that have no experience being pregnant making choices for me. I don’t want any religious group making decisions for me.

The choice to go through with an abortion is very personal, can we agree on that? Why would I want the government stepping in or religious groups that I have no affiliation with telling me what is best for me and my body?  I don’t. I don’t want that for anyone as they are not the ones who have to live with that choice, the guilt, remorse, or deal with any complications that might come after the abortion takes place.

Do I think making the choice of having an abortion is easy? No, absolutely not.

It’s also not right to pass judgment on a woman who is making a choice to have an abortion. Those groups that linger around the family planning clinics, protesting, yelling, harassing women that enter/leave are despicable. Those groups assume all those that enter are going in for an abortion when that is not the case. Not to say that some of those appointments are for a consultation, more often than not, many of those appointments are related to reproductive health and have nothing to do with seeking an abortion. Frankly, what women go in for is between them and their doctor/ OBGYN, not you or anyone else.

You may feel that abortion is not right for you, that is fine, that is your choice. That doesn’t give you the right to pass judgment or pass laws that make that choice for anyone else. In many cases the decision to have an abortion isn’t just a matter of Oops, we didn’t use protection. Incest, Rape are things to consider as to why a woman might choose to have an abortion. In some cases the mother to be might have health related issues that may prevent her from carrying full term, her life may be at risk and therefore the baby’s life as well. Most people don’t consider that possibility, they only hear abortion, and their mind goes straight to MURDERER. Not everything is as black and white.

Not every woman has the support of the father to be. Not every woman has the support of her family. Maybe you do, many of us don’t. Can you understand why a woman with no father to be, no parents, no family in her life finds out that her life is at risk if she carries full-term might consider saving herself over losing her life along with the fetus?

Is it really better to force a woman to give birth only to be at a higher risk for postpartum depression, she has no support and her newborn baby is found in a dumpster?

Yes, I’m fully aware that adoption is available. As easy as it is to sit back and claim that you would make a choice to put the baby up for adoption when that time comes is all well and good until you are in that position and are put on the spot. For some of us, going through the 9 months of carrying a baby only to give it up is not as easy as it sounds.

I find that many Pro-Lifers are hypocrites, not all but many. They prefer that the woman carries full term, give that baby a chance at life. Until the baby is born, the mother who has no support goes on welfare/government assistance for 18 years or the child ends up homeless or in the foster system and their tune changes. Pro-Lifers fight for a child to be born, not for that child to be fed, housed, educated or to see that the child receives health care. That’s not Pro-life, that’s Pro-Birth.

A choice that I make for me and my body may not be a choice that you make for yourself and your body, that’s okay. I believe that you and everyone else has the right to CHOOSE what is in your best interest. If not having an abortion is best for you, Great! Don’t have one that is your choice. Isn’t it nice to have an option and not be forced to do something against your will, especially when it’s your body we’re talking about?

If there are doctors that are fine with performing abortions, more power to them. Let them help women that require it. The same goes for doctors that are okay with helping patients with terminal illnesses, they know they are on limited time and want the chronic pain and suffering to end. The option for physician-assisted suicide is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean the option shouldn’t be available for those who want it. This goes for medical professionals that don’t want to perform surgeries that go against the morals/beliefs, they shouldn’t have to. It’s all about CHOICE and the freedom to be able to make a choice for yourself, not have one forced on you.

You may not want something, or opt for a procedure, that is fine. Your beliefs should not stop somebody else from choosing that for themselves as their choice has no effect on you whatsoever.

I am not owned by anyone, I am not the property of the government, I answer to myself and want the freedom to choose. I want you to have the freedom to choose.

For those curious minds, while it is not your business, I will clarify before the question gets asked; NO I have not had an abortion, I have never been pregnant because that was MY CHOICE.

 

 

Clear the air, LGBTQ, Not the Popular Opinion, Out in the open, Stigma/Taboo

Gender Bending

Welcome back blog readers,

First, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Next, I’d like to talk about gender bending and how it relates to those folks that are transgender. I was spending my New Year’s Eve binge watching Blue Planet II on Netflix (which is what prompted this topic).  Transgender is not as “new” as many assume that it is.

There are several species of fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds that can change their gender or appear as the opposite gender in order reproduce. I encourage you to click the link below to learn more.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/sequential-hermaphrodotism-sex-changing-animals/2

These animals have had this capability for centuries and it’s been something they’ve had to do in order to survive.

Yes, I’m aware that hermaphroditism is not exactly the same as transgender. My point is, the idea that a living creature is born as one gender while also performing the role of the opposite gender is natural, not the work of the devil, not evil and if anything this unique ability has kept these species from becoming extinct.

When it comes to transgender, you may be surprised to know that there are several historical (FACTUAL) cases that have been recorded going as far back as 1503 BC. Once again, I encourage you to check out the link posted below to learn more.

https://www.cbc.ca/doczone/features/timeline-transgender-through-history

Why is it so hard for many people to wrap their mind around accepting that transgender people don’t choose to be transgender? Transgender is NOT a choice. Transgender is NOT a phase.

Why do so many people assume that all transgender people are males dressing as females in order to peep in public restrooms?

Let’s just get this out once and for all, shall we? Any transgender person choosing to walk into a women’s bathroom does so because they are more comfortable using that bathroom. They go in to use the bathroom, relieve their bladder, empty their bowel, wash their hands (hopefully) and carry on about their day. They don’t go in with the intention of sexually assaulting your wife, your girlfriend, your daughter.

It’s honestly no different than a mother bringing her young son into the women’s bathroom because that is the bathroom she is most comfortable taking him. Same for the father that takes is little girl to the men’s room. There is no ill intention, just the basic need to use the bathroom. Those of you who think I’m being naive, you can think what you’d like. My statements are made based on my experience and having used public bathrooms for 40 years and only being peeped on by a young child looking into my stall from underneath the adjoining stall.

Transgender people are just people. The way they identify means nothing to the rest of us. Humans are humans no matter how we identify or who we love. None of us has any control in our genetics or which continent/country we were born on, so let’s stop all of the hating based on things we have no control over.

We are all sharing the same planet, we all bleed the same color. Open your mind and accept the fact that humans are diverse, unique and for the most part are good and we want to live in a peaceful world free from all of the hate. We should be allowed to express ourselves, wear what we want, love who we want as long as our choices don’t harm anyone. There are much bigger problems in this world, transgender is not one of them.

You do have the choice to like or dislike certain people, you do not have the right to physically assault them for being transgender simply because you don’t approve.  Just mind your own business and carry on.

This concludes my post for today.

Lots of changes happening (some have started) as far as the author part of my life is concerned. I’m excited!

Wishing you all the best in 2019! ~ Hannah

Government, Immigrants, Military, Not the Popular Opinion, Politics, Venting

Trump Dump: Veterans before members of Congress!

Welcome back blog readers,

Over the last few days, I’ve been seeing/reading the thoughts/opinions of my friends/family on social media regarding Trump, his views, what he would like to put into action as well as the treatment/rights of veterans compared to the treatment/rights of immigrants.

What occurs to me is that much of the anger/frustration that is being displayed from us (the general public) is misdirected and we are comparing two things that aren’t related, in the sense that one has nothing to do with the other. Yet so many of us keep jumping on that bandwagon because we’re mad about one issue and taking that anger out on something not related.

Allow me to clarify…

First, let’s get the topic of Trump off of the table. It should not come as a surprise that I do not support Trump, I didn’t vote for Trump and frankly, I’m shocked he’s still in power. I know there are the loyal Trump supporters that will always stay loyal, and that’s fine. There are Trump supporters that voted for him and are trying to turn a negative into a positive by reminding us all that Trump WILL make America great again because they are in denial about Trump’s real agenda and they can’t swallow their pride to say, I was wrong to vote for him. Then you have antiTrump supporters who see that he’s trying to take away human rights along with many other despicable things.

Here’s the real issue… You have a man that has had 20+ women accuse him of sexual misconduct, this same man is conspiring with Russia/Russian mob for over 30 years, this same man that has been married three times to three IMMIGRANT women and he has a huge hatred for immigrants (even though his grandparents were immigrants). This same man that intentionally tore hundreds of families apart to deport illegal immigrants (parents) and threw their kids (US Citizens) in holding facility then made toddlers who can’t speak English defend themselves in court. Trump is hoping to open many wildlife reservations, risk the extinction of many species (which up until this point were protected) just so he can drill, cut down trees and destroy the planet. The same Donald Trump has been threatening to take away a woman’s right to choose (because he doesn’t agree as if to suggest that he’ll have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy). Just this week this same man is pushing really hard to take away the human rights of the transgender community (again because he doesn’t believe people can be transgender).

With all of that said, please remind me of how Trump is making America great again. Why are so many supporters unwilling to see that Trump is not a modern-day hero, he is not looking out for the people, he is looking out for his businesses, his assets, his family, and his business partners. Trump supporters can keep on supporting a monster, it is your right to do so. Although your choice makes me concerned about where you stand on my rights as a woman. As one of my high school teacher’s used to say, “You can polish a turd, but it’s still a turd, now it’s just a shiny turd”. That is how I see Trump, a shiny turd.

Politics and religion need to be separate, just as public school and religion need to be separate. We need to stop cramming our personal believes down each other’s throats and stop judging people because their beliefs are different than our own. What we believe is a private matter, but it doesn’t mean that you’re right and everyone else is wrong.

It’s one thing to be patriotic, to have pride in your country and be firm about what you believe. It’s another thing to force all students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, because they may not pray to God. Just as you can’t expect all athletes to stand for the National Anthem because, in case you haven’t noticed many athletes are not AMERICAN (take NHL Hockey for an example). Don’t get your panties all in a bunch because some players take a knee, that is their right it’s not like they are burning the flag.

Perhaps we should consider the fact that all country national anthems should be played/sang to honor all of the players and their respective home countries, but that would be time-consuming and Americans are impatient and just want to watch the game, right. Chances are that if the national anthem for Sweden, Norway, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic all had to be played to honor the hockey players, what are the chances that Americans would stay standing for all of them? I think that falls under “practice what you preach” and if you can’t then shut the hell up.

As for the comparison of veterans to (illegal) immigrants, here are my thoughts on this matter. Veterans and Immigrants are two separate issues and the slogan of “Veterans before Immigrants” would make more sense if the slogan read “Veterans before Members of Congress”.  I’m all for veterans, my grandfather went to Korea, my father went to Vietnam and my brother was in the Coast Guard in Alaska and my sister volunteers at a VFW in California. Veterans serve their country, they put their life on the line and sacrifice so much to do what they do. They deserve to be taken care of while they are serving and after they get home.

Immigrants, on the other hand, you can’t compare them to veterans. Immigrants may not have fought for the USA (or wherever they immigrated to) but they might have served in their country. It’s possible, we just never ask them do we? We’ve been brainwashed to think immigrants are job stealing, disease-carrying parasites from a foreign land. In reality, most immigrants leave their country because there is a war taking place in their backyard (good chance that our beloved veterans are over there fighting on their home turf).

Again we don’t consider that as being a possibility. Immigrants flee across the ocean or across the border for a better life. They come over with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Most people don’t realize just how long the legal immigration process takes (again, because we don’t ask). The legal process takes a minimum of 3 months once the paperwork arrives at the processing center, nevermind the time it takes for FBI clearance, the medical exams for each person in the family and the time to fill out the multi-page application and gather all of the documents/proof that is required and the fee varies from $500-$1200 per person.

So think about that for a moment… You have a war taking place in your hometown, you can’t work, your house is gone and the only thing running through your mind is that you need to get yourself and your family to safety. You don’t have time to wait 3-9 months to go through the proper channels. Any important documents/proof may have already been destroyed. What are your options? Where do you go?

You do your best to start over in a country that boasts about being the best, the richest, a place where dreams come true. The only things veterans and immigrants have in common is war. One group is sent to maintain order while the other group flees for their safety. To suggest that illegal immigrants have more advantages, or are better cared for than veterans is absurd!

Members of Congress on the other hand…. If anyone deserves a cushy pension after their years of service, it’s veterans, not the members of Congress that have never served a single day in their life. From what I’ve noticed most members of Congress (including the POTUS himself) have successfully dodged/avoided that particular civic duty and encourage their kids to do the same. That’s not very patriotic at all now, is it?

I suspect that I’ve rambled on long enough. Folks we are on the same team no matter where we live, where we call home or who our parents are. Yes, there will always be a bad group, an extreme group, but you have the choice to be better than that.

Choose to be part of the solution, instead of continuing to be part of the problem.