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County voters should be ashamed | Editorial

Which kind of veteran will you celebrate today?

The patriotic World War II type, the forgotten Korean War type, the disenfranchised Vietnam type, the seemingly insignificant Gulf War type or the current batch of Iraq and Afghanistan war survivors? Perhaps one veteran from any one of those eras that saw no combat or service in a foreign hot zone?

With four generations of American veterans living in our midst, Kitsap County should be ashamed of itself for the defeat of Proposition 1 with 61 percent of voters saying no to collecting $12 to $15 a year from average property owners to fund interventions and services for indigent veterans living here.

Ranging in age from their late 80s to late teenage years, 35,000 veterans call Kitsap County home – all eras have different needs, issues and specific benefits. Of all the types of veterans, most will never ask for a thing in return from their service after leaving the military – even from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bootstrap mentality that defeated Prop 1 with ideas that the taxes raised would be spent to fill gaps in other programs rather than indigent veterans, or that helping those veterans in need is the sole realm of the federal and stat governments floats in a form of black irony and double standard that fails to acknowledge that this community is built on an annual local Defense Department payroll of $1 billion and tens of millions of dollars paid locally in lieu of taxes create the largest industry in Kitsap County.

This county owes more back to those few who spent time doing the dirty work and the killing which has propped up the local economy since the early 1940s. The entire middle class lifestyle of most who voted no would simply not exist but for World War II and the military industrial complex that built your homes and continues to expand the quality of your lives across the board.

 

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