Reality is often much different from posturing. Politicians tell you what things will be like, but you have to live the reality. If you have a dreaded disease like cancer, you can put on a smile for your friends, but when you go home, you are alone with the fear and pain — the reality.
When I was in Vietnam in 1970-71, my hometown paper ran a story titled “Rockets Slam Chu Lai.” I can’t find anything to prove that, but I did link to a journal that shows Chu Lai was a target.
We were under a ridge, and the Viet Cong would lob rockets about every three days. The VC was ineffective most of the time, and the rockets would soar over our base into the Gulf of Tonkin. However, once in awhile, they were accurate, and then men died.
My parents saw that headline and my mother cried herself to sleep with my picture. That was reality. I was in my bunk when the rocket killed seven MPs next door. I heard the sickening “zip” before impact, and the shrapnel from the exploded rocket hitting my roof. My hand shook as I lit a cigarette — reality.
At the same time, Richard Nixon was talking about ending the war with “dignity.” The fact is, he had no idea of reality. Reality was Ho Chi Minh saying that even if we killed 10 of his men to every one of ours, he would ultimately win.
Why am I relaying this history?
A couple of days ago, my wife, who is disabled, received a letter that her catastrophic coverage through Medicare is ending. So far there has been no resolution, although tomorrow we are going to see them. Can you imagine a person without coverage — and my question is how can these coverages be dwindling — in the “Obama age?”
Illinois, like many states, has been struggling for money. Funds keep getting cut because, when you borrow money from the government, and you are the government, the money has to come from somewhere.
The reason I am writing this article is to report some reality. My wife is on disability and, as I reported in a companion piece, there will be no increase in Social Security in 2011. That applies to disability as well — reality.
How much more reality is there going to be?