On this Vet­eran’s Day, let’s not take our vets for granted

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Opinion -

As cit­i­zens of the United States of Amer­ica, we’ve be­come ac­cus­tomed to the good life and of­ten take our coun­try’s ser­vices for granted, in­clud­ing our armed forces and the men and women who de­fend our coun­try.

I com­mend our vet­er­ans for their ser­vice and rec­og­nize a great or­ga­ni­za­tion that stands up for them daily: The Vet­er­ans Pro Bono Le­gal Project, a part­ner­ship be­tween United Way of Broward County’s Mis­sion United and Le­gal Aid Ser­vice of Broward County.

The project ef­fi­ciently con­nects vet­er­ans with at­tor­neys in a vet’s area of need, from fam­ily law and con­sumer is­sues to VA ben­e­fits to busi­ness trans­ac­tions. All of these ser­vices are 100 per­cent free to vet­er­ans.

As a bank­ruptcy at­tor­ney, I’m par­tic­u­larly trou­bled by a trend I’m see­ing of el­derly vets fac­ing crush­ing debt and over­whelm­ing stress as a re­sult.

I re­cently filed a Chap­ter 7 bank­ruptcy for a 94-year old who served in the Women’s Aux­il­iary Corps dur­ing World War II. She sur­vives on So­cial Se­cu­rity with no as­sets or fam­ily sup­port and had amassed sig­nif­i­cant credit card debt. I was able to stop the ha­rass­ing calls from cred­i­tors, which were caus­ing her ter­ri­ble dis­tress. I ex­pect that as the case moves for­ward, her debt will be dis­charged.

In an­other case, a 92-year old World War II vet­eran who also was sur­viv­ing alone on So­cial Se­cu­rity, got be­hind on his car pay­ments. I filed Chap­ter 13 for him, which en­abled him to keep his car and re­main in­de­pen­dent.

It is my obli­ga­tion to use my ex­per­tise to serve vet­er­ans, par­tic­u­larly el­derly vet­er­ans. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one in our com­mu­nity to step up and help when and where they can. We should stand to­gether to help and sup­port our vet­er­ans, in­stead of tak­ing their ser­vice for granted.

– Chad Van Horn, founder, manag­ing part­ner, Van Horn Law Group,

Fort Laud­erdale

AR­MISTICE BABY

On Nov. 11, 1918, my mother gave birth to her first child in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts. From her hos­pi­tal room, she heard loud shout­ing and cheer­ing from the streets, mark­ing the end of World War I. She named her son Vic­tory Peace Sil­ver­man and, through­out his en­tire 88 years, he was known as Vic­tor P. Sil­ver­man.

At the be­gin­ning of

World War II, Vic­tor joined the U.S. Army and, as a top first sergeant, served in North Africa and Italy. His younger brother, Arthur, was in the U.S. Army Air Corps, sta­tioned in Eng­land. Sadly he was killed in an air mis­sion over Ger­many. Vic­tor could have come home as the sur­viv­ing son, but he felt his duty was to serve his coun­try.

By the end of the war, Vic­tor’s par­ents and two sis­ters had moved from Bos­ton to Mi­ami Beach, where they owned the Fred­er­ick Ho­tel. His re­turn was a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, know­ing he was com­ing home, but never cer­tain when.

Then, on a par­tic­u­lar evening, a call came through the switch­board. Vic­tor was at the Mi­ami train sta­tion. The folks hap­pened to be out at the time, so our desk clerk gave him in­struc­tions on how to ar­rive, and then pro­ceeded to ac­ti­vate all the neon lights in front of the ho­tel.

When the folks re­turned, Daddy ques­tioned why so many ex­pen­sive lights were all on. The clerk replied, “The lights are on again all over the world,” to which Mommy said, “Vic­tor is home,” and then fainted!

This was a scene that will be etched in my heart for­ever. – Phyl­lis Green, – Aven­tura

LOOK­ING TO 2020

Af­ter the elec­tion, I feel that the glass is half full. Yes, the Democrats did some good things and had some wins, but hav­ing the House just won’t stop the Trump ex­press train roar­ing through Amer­ica.

Let’s thank all the women and vets and new­com­ers who got off the couch and ran for of­fice. And let’s salute Beto O’Rourke, An­drew Gil­lum and Stacey Abrams for run­ning flaw­less cam­paigns (no PAC money, in­clu­sive­ness, agenda for work­ing peo­ple) in deeply red states.

At least now, Texas, Florida and Ge­or­gia may be­come pur­ple states.

The bad news is that Repub­li­cans lied to vot­ers about health­care and their op­po­nents, but tri­umphed through voter sup­pres­sion. Trump aban­doned his job as pres­i­dent to barn­storm the coun­try and spread lies, ha­tred and racism. And now they will think this is the win­ning for­mula.

It will be a long slog turn­ing this coun­try around. Many of us are tired of the cheat­ing and ly­ing and mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to vote. So, now on to 2020!

– Kitty A. Roedel,

Co­conut Grove

COUNT­ING VOTES

Gov. Scott seems con­fused about vote fraud. Count­ing ev­ery vote, even if it takes time, is not vote fraud. Elected of­fi­cials, such as gov­er­nors, should know that is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Boards of Elec­tions.

The res­i­dents of Florida know ev­ery vote must be counted.

– Deb­o­rah L Scotello,

Hol­ly­wood

SOME­THING STINKS

In We­ston, one can smell the stench of po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion in the air. And the foul winds are blow­ing from the Of­fice of the Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions.

This is not Brenda

Snipes’ first rodeo; she al­ready has quite a bit of mud on her from her of­fice’s prior shows of bad faith, gaffes, mis­takes or worse. Whether she is a Machi­avel­lian player for the Democrats or just a hap­less in­com­pe­tent, I can­not say. Let the in­ves­ti­ga­tors and the courts get to the bot­tom of that.

Snipes should re­sign af­ter the re­sults of this mid-term elec­tion are made of­fi­cial. As­tute ob­servers re­al­ize that ir­repara­ble dam­age — to the can­di­dates, to the elec­tion and to the elec­torate — has al­ready been cal­lously and cru­elly in­flicted.

No mat­ter who ends up win­ning the con­tested races, half the vot­ers in Broward and, in­deed, the state, will con­clude that there has been chi­canery, fraud and, per­haps, crim­i­nal con­duct. In the fu­ture, this im­por­tant post should be ap­pointed or the bal­lot en­try should be non-party af­fil­i­ated. – Ira Co­hen,

We­ston

RE­COUNT BUL­LY­ING

Florida’s past his­tory and the word “re­count” do not ex­actly in­still con­fi­dence in Democrats. Yet, Repub­li­cans Rick Scott and Marco Ru­bio are al­ready scream­ing foul, at­tack­ing by us­ing words like “un­eth­i­cal lib­er­als,” and su­ing.

Their lack of con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to se­cure votes has them chan­nel­ing their in­ner Trump. They need to sit down, breathe and let democ­racy take its course. – He­lene Davis,

Ken­dall

RU­BIO’S COM­MENTS

Sen. Marco Ru­bio has sur­faced from the depths of Doral and Venezue­lan pol­i­tics to now weigh in on the Trump and Rick Scott con­spir­acy the­ory of vot­ing fraud in Broward and Palm Beach coun­ties.

Ru­bio’s in­volve­ment and com­ments now, as votes are still be­ing counted, is typ­i­cal for a man so full of him­self that he still thinks he will one day be pres­i­dent of the United States. He has a bet­ter chance of be­com­ing pres­i­dent of Venezuela.

– Har­vey Slavin, Hal­lan­dale Beach

AC­CUSED REPS

Doug Mayer’s Nov. 8 let­ter, “Game changer?” opines that 1.5 mil­lion exfelons will en­able Democrats to win elec­tions in Florida.

In coun­ter­point, I sub­mit that Repub­li­cans have suc­ceeded to elect nu­mer­ous can­di­dates un­der in­dict­ment, like Con­gress­men Dun­can Hunter of Cal­i­for­nia and Chris Collins of New York this year.

I sup­pose it’s prepa­ra­tion for 2020, af­ter the Mueller in­dict­ments of Don­ald Trump are re­vealed.

– James L. Wil­son,

Plan­ta­tion

An­drew Gil­lum, Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date, re­spond­ing to Pres­i­dent Trump’s tweet that the Florida re­counts are “an em­bar­rass­ment to our coun­try and democ­racy.”

WHERE TO RUN?

I am a Holo­caust sur­vivor per­son­ally fa­mil­iar with his­tory. Pres­i­dent Trump and his cronies are more and more re­mind­ing me of Hitler and the Stalin-style purges of any­one not obe­di­ent.

Amer­ica has a lot to worry about be­cause, like it was dur­ing those his­toric times, who among the Repub­li­can lead­ers is even try­ing to rein in this ego­ma­niac, Trump, who ap­pears bent on de­stroy­ing the Amer­ica we know?

Is it time for me to again pack my bags?

– Gunther Karger,

Homestead

BUT ... MEDI­CARE!

It’s in­ter­est­ing that Gov. Rick Scott, who once cheated mil­lions out of Medi­care, is now say­ing there is “ram­pant fraud” in Florida’s Se­nate re­count.

If any­one knows about ram­pant fraud, it’s Rick Scott. – Glenn Hu­ber­man,

Mi­ami

PEACE­FUL

Can you imag­ine what the elec­tion sea­son (three years of it?) would have been like if ev­ery speech and print ad were factchecked be­fore the speeches were spo­ken and the print ads printed?

Ut­ter si­lence and blank pages.

– Jim Barteld, Pom­pano Beach

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