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My Name Is Jason, I'm A 35-Yr-Old White Male Combat Veteran...And I'm On Food Stamps

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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3 moms liked this

 

You are here: Home » My Name Is Jason, I'm A 35-Yr-Old White Male Combat Veteran...And I'm On Food Stamps

 

 

sds

By Jay Kirell

My name is Jason.  I turned 35 less than a week ago.  My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17.  I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college.  I've never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan.

Oh, and I'm now on food stamps.  Since June, as a matter of fact.

Why am I on food stamps?

The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving.

I mean, if that's okay with you:

...Mr. or Mrs. Republican congressman.

...Mr. or Mrs. Conservative commentator.

...Mr. or Mrs. "welfare queen" letter-to-the-editor author.

...Mr. or Mrs. "fiscal conservative, reason-based" libertarian.

I do apologize for burdening you on the checkout line with real-life images of American-style poverty.  I know you probably believe the only true starving people in the world have flies buzzing around their eyes while they wallow away, near-lifeless in gutters.

Hate to burst the bubble, but those people don't live in this country.

I do.  And millions like me.  Millions of people in poverty who fall into three categories.

Let's call them the "lucky" category, since conservatives seem to think people on welfare have hit some sort of jackpot:

Those living paycheck to paycheck?  They're a little lucky.

Those living unemployment check to unemployment check?  They're a little luckier.

Those living 2nd of the month to 2nd of the month?  *ding* We've hit the jackpot!

The 2nd of the month being the time when funds gets electronically deposited onto the EBT card, [at least in NY] for those who've never been fortunate enough to hit that $175/month Powerball.

I fall into the latter two categories.  But I've known people recently - soldiers in the Army - who were in the first and third.  They were off fighting in Afghanistan while their wives were at home, buying food at the on-post commissary with food stamps.

And nobody bats an eye there, because it's not uncommon in the military.

It's not uncommon - nor is it shameful.  It might be shameful how little service-members are paid, but that's a separate issue.

The fact remains anyone at a certain income level can find it difficult from time to time to pay for everything.  And when you're poor you learn to make sacrifices.  Food shouldn't be one of them.

The whole concept is un-American.  People living here, in the greatest country on Earth, with the most abundant resources,  should be forced to go hungry because of the intellectual notion of fiscal conservatism and the ideological notion of self-reliance.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I didn't risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America.   I certainly didn't risk it so *I* could come back and go hungry.

Anyone who genuinely supports cutting food stamps is not an intellectual or an ideologue - they're a bully.

And nobody likes a bully.  Except other bullies.

It's time for regular Americans to stand up to these bullies.  Not cower in the corner, ashamed of needing help.  Because if there's one thing life has taught me, it's that you never know when you'll be the one in need.

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM
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It's another liberal bullshit spin.

Wicked.Jester
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM
5 moms liked this

Meh....

Again I don't know why people who support foodstamps would be against REFORM that should cut out abusers, lifers, and waste and provide MORE benefits to people like Jason here.

Because there won't be any money for anyone if more than 40% of the country continues to be supported by the dwindling middle class, and thats just fact.

We need reform, that isn't being a bully, its being a REALIST.  And with reform so goes the abusers and also the stigma.

I don't get at all, how people don't see that as a win for everyone.

survivorinohio
by René on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM
3 moms liked this

I wonder what will happen to this soldiers esteem when he is asked to sit in a months worth of training classes where monopoly is the biggest task at hand then given an assignment to count cotton swabs.

We need opportunity so we wont need foodstamps.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM
8 moms liked this

 The reform we need is livable wages as the majority of people ON foodstamps work full time

Also medical care, we have the highest medical care costs in the world and it's bankrupting our citizens right into the system....and the republicans seem to be OK with that

With livable wages and affordable care we would eliminate more than 50% of people off the foodstamp roles

Quoting Wicked.Jester:

Meh....

Again I don't know why people who support foodstamps would be against REFORM that should cut out abusers, lifers, and waste and provide MORE benefits to people like Jason here.

Because there won't be any money for anyone if more than 40% of the country continues to be supported by the dwindling middle class, and thats just fact.

We need reform, that isn't being a bully, its being a REALIST.  And with reform so goes the abusers and also the stigma.

I don't get at all, how people don't see that as a win for everyone.

 

armywifey1983
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM
3 moms liked this

I knew quite a few soldiers on food stamps. Depending on the area they lived in, they simply couldn't make it without some sort of help. Its sad. :( Now their pay might go onto the cutting room floor if a budget isn't passed. No one's paycheck should be used as a bargaining chip by people it won't even effect.

Wicked.Jester
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM
5 moms liked this

Increasing the minimum wage raises inflation.  It always has, it always will.  Hence the reason why minimum wage is never enough.  

Minimum wage was $3.25 when I got my first job.  Its over $7 now.  And people who make minimum now are as piss poor as they were then.  

People need to realize a minimum wage job was never meant to support a family as the sole income.

We also, through all its dents and bruises, have the best medical care in the world.  People don't go to other countries for superior advancements in medical care, they come HERE.  I am not saying the system is perfect, but it is NOT the piece of crap everyone pretends it is.   The Government getting involved like it is will only make things worse.  You think its expensive now?  What do you think will happen once Government inefficiences, corruption, and waste enter the picture on top of the gluttony that goes on right now?

I don't know about you, but I WANT doctors to make good money.  I WANT the best and the brightest to choose that profession because those are the people I want holding my life in their hands.  Take away that incentive, and we will have a bunch of also-rans performing brain surgery and then we will no longer have the most sophisticated medical care in the world.

And no, I don't want the guy who was choosing between being a doctor and a trash collector because they now make the same salary cutting me open.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 The reform we need is livable wages as the majority of people ON foodstamps work full time

Also medical care, we have the highest medical care costs in the world and it's bankrupting our citizens right into the system....and the republicans seem to be OK with that

With livable wages and affordable care we would eliminate more than 50% of people off the foodstamp roles

Quoting Wicked.Jester:

Meh....

Again I don't know why people who support foodstamps would be against REFORM that should cut out abusers, lifers, and waste and provide MORE benefits to people like Jason here.

Because there won't be any money for anyone if more than 40% of the country continues to be supported by the dwindling middle class, and thats just fact.

We need reform, that isn't being a bully, its being a REALIST.  And with reform so goes the abusers and also the stigma.

I don't get at all, how people don't see that as a win for everyone.

 


hnye77
by Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Hmmm, I was paid very well in the Military.  Sure it's tought to start if you have a family but IMO, the military pays abovve the average non-military job.  When I seperated, I took a HUGE paycut to do the same work.... YES people start at the bottom in the military just like anywhere else and YES it's difficult but it isn't worth a blanket statement about a controvercial topic. All social issues deserve room to grow....  

quickbooksworm
by Silver Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I'm liberal and I agree with this.  Unfortunately, I think the type of reform that would work will not be supported by conservatives.  I would like to see people get skills training in things that are actually useful, like computer skills (you would not believe the number of people who lack basic office computer skills).  More incentives need to be offered to small businesses to encourage them to hire the unemployed and/or do some on  the job training, like an internship that they can then use as a reference.  Bring people in to teach classes and seminars.  The focus seems to be on cutting the fat and spending more money on drug testing than promoting self sufficiency.  A very good friend, who is like a second mother to me, once told me that if I learned a certain skill and software that I'd always have a job and she took the time to teach me.  I haven't been more than 10 days unemployed since then and I make decent money. 


Quoting Wicked.Jester:

Meh....

Again I don't know why people who support foodstamps would be against REFORM that should cut out abusers, lifers, and waste and provide MORE benefits to people like Jason here.

Because there won't be any money for anyone if more than 40% of the country continues to be supported by the dwindling middle class, and thats just fact.

We need reform, that isn't being a bully, its being a REALIST.  And with reform so goes the abusers and also the stigma.

I don't get at all, how people don't see that as a win for everyone.



TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM
3 moms liked this

 It's an emotional and illogical spin.


That said, however, it is a shame that our military is not paid a living wage.  That's just wrong. 

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM
3 moms liked this

 I quit reading at Mr./Mrs. fiscal Libertarian.  This is only a bash post.

 

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