That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

What it Means to be an American

with 3 comments

I’ve gotten so tired of complaining people that when I read Katherine Kersten’s column this week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune I had an epiphany.  Katherine writes:

But before we declare an economic emergency and demand a “New Deal” for the new millennium, let’s remember a classic American resource that was in ample supply 75 years ago, when unemployment was not 5.1 percent, but 25 percent.

Back then, only about 44 percent of folks owned their homes, compared to two-thirds in 2000. Financing college usually wasn’t a pressing problem, because college was beyond the reach of all but a fortunate few.

If you know people who grew up in the Great Depression and started adult life in the 1940s, you’ve heard about this resource. It was an attitude, a set of expectations — the “glass half full” view of life.

I learned something about it from a practical joker and his wife — John and Jeanne Kersten of Fairfield, Calif., my mom and dad.

One story says it all. After they got engaged in 1949, my dad sent my mom a photo of what he said was the starter home he had purchased for them in Topeka, Kan. In actuality, it wasn’t a house, but a broken-down garage in dire need of paint and shingles.

My mother didn’t get the joke. Instead, she was thrilled, and made the rounds of family and friends to show off the photo. “I was proud that this would be our first home,” she said. “I didn’t expect to own a home because my parents never had. I was so pleased that John had bought a place.” She was amazed when my dad laughed and informed her that the photo was a joke…

Above all, we’re reminded that our greatest resource is a “glass half full” perspective that says that a garage is a mansion.”

What ever happenned to this country’s plucky determination?  Why don’t people see garages as mansions anymore.  Another recent story of an ungrateful American with a glass half-empty attitude the same day.

Army Spc. Jason Hubbard got to leave the combat zone in Iraq after his brother died. Hubbard, 33, and his youngest brother, Nathan, enlisted while they were still grieving for their brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, who was 22 when he was killed in a 2004 bomb explosion in Ramadi.

At their request, the pair were assigned to the same unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, and deployed to Iraq the next year.

In August, 21-year-old Cpl. Nathan died when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Kirkuk. Jason was part of the team assigned to remove his comrades’ bodies from the wreckage.   He then returned home to California where his brother got a tax payer funded funeral.

That wasn’t good enough for Jason though.  He refused to repay the army the $6,000 enlistment bonus they had given him and tried to access $40,000 in educational benefits that he didn’t have coming to him anymore since he quit the army.  He even wanted his pregnant wife to be treated at an expensive hospital at taxpayer expense.

What would have happenned if the veterans of the Revolutionary War or World War ! had demanded such ridiculous benefits?  Now they want to pass a bill so that people like Hubbard don’t have to pay bills like the rest of us.  I say this “Jared, we’re proud of your service, but give me a break.”


Written by thatsrightnate

April 18, 2008 at 5:59 am

Posted in Iraq, Veterans

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Remember, because Harry Truman (D. MO) mismanaged and bungled reconversion, there were not enough homes for our brave returning heroes of World War II. Because of the great housing shortage, many veterans had to live with their parents or in integrated public housing complexes. A garage in Topeka would be a mansion to a war bride who didn’t want to live with her parents or among strangers from the South.

    The Untenured Professor


    April 18, 2008 at 9:38 am

  2. Sorry, but I’m not a big fan of professors tenured or otherwise


    April 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm

  3. Hahaha. At first I thought you were serious and was like “siiiiigghhh, another one of these” but this is seriously funny.


    April 19, 2008 at 9:26 am

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