What does it mean to be an American? That’s a good question. I guess being and American means you live in America, that you have the rights that are protected by the constitution, that you have to pay taxes to work in America, that you are protected by the Bill of Rights, and maybe it means you have the right to be whatever you want to be. So what does it mean to be an American?

To me, being an American is more than the constitution, more than the bill of rights, it is living each day as a free person with the ability to make your own choices and live the American dream…..which I have no idea what that is supposed to be. So many people come to America to live the American dream, but the sad thing is that many Americans can never get close to living that dream.

Well I started this post because for this New Years I adventured to Las Vegas to ring in the New Year. Normally I spend this time with family or just let it pass. I have rang in the New Year in several different countries. In 2004 I rang in the New Year in Germany which was amazing. In 2005 I rang in the New Year in Iraq. In 2007 I rang in the New Year in Kuwait. So I figured this year I would go somewhere that is famous for its amazing New Years parties and experience what everyone always talks about.

I will skip the experience for the end and just jump to what I observed. As an American Veteran I guess what I see through my eyes are much different than others. With me was my wife, her friends and one of our friends who was in a wheel chair. I saw first hand how people treat those that are in wheelchairs and in fact those that are handicapped. Since was going to do a lot of walking I decided to take my cane. As we both were walking down the road we were pushed and ran off the sidewalks, many of the sidewalks weren’t very handicapped friendly. We were walking down the main strip on the sidewalk and we asked a young lady to move, several times, then my friend politely touched her leg with his foot, which was covered in a cast, and she lashed out at him and told him not to touch her with his nasty feet. He once politely said to another lady, “hey, I bet your cold,” “She said I bet you can’t walk cripple.”

The experience of “America” disgust me. We are better than this America. We have lost site of what is important in America and what makes us America. Nothing else in America makes us such as people. What we produce or lack there of doesn’t make us Americans. What makes us Americans is us, who we are and what we stand for, whatever that is anymore, no one really knows. We aren’t a nation that stands for what is right and we are no longer a nation that protects ourselves from our own government. We are a “me” nation, what can you do for me and what is in it for me. What have we done to ourselves as a nation to get to this point? Our kids and this coming generation have this same outlook. They think the world owns them something, but they haven’t don’t anything to deserve something from this world. What have they contributed to this world to think they deserve everything?

As I looked through the crowds of people the only thought that went through my head was, “if they only realized what I and so many other soldiers have truly gone through they wouldn’t be so careless.” But even later that thought  made me realize that they wouldn’t change even if they knew. God is truly absent from this country and I truly noticed this New Years in Vegas. It saddens me that our country has turned this way and that we are becoming more corrupt each day. Corruption is seeping into every crack of our society instead of good, the bad is overcoming. A world I don’t want to be in anymore, one that I don’t want to raise my kids in.

Now the experience was great, seeing Vegas for the first time was a treat and I am glad that I experienced that. I’ve been to many great cities and it is one that I am glad I visited. Will I go back? Maybe during the day and to see a few sites we missed, but I won’t go again for a New Years bash. Plus seeing Jeff Dunham was amazing. He was the main reason we went and his show was incredible.

So Here we are in 2015, a year I never imaged I would make it to. What does 2015 have in store for me. Well I hope that the VA pulls their head out and gets busy correcting wrongs. I hope my condition improves and we come to a close on a chapter of my life that has gone unanswered. I hope the CVA video works in our favor to provide an insight of the VA from a soldiers point of view and I hope it helps Veterans.

In close I hope to post everyday and I hope to make a difference in some way to anyone that reads this and to any Veteran that is going through the same issues.

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