POSTED: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 5:50pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 6:44pm
El Paso — David Nevarez spent this Veterans Day the way he spends most days...as an outspoken advocate for veterans, especially those disabled by wartime injuries.
As a Marine Nevarez was wounded during Desert Storm. He's considered 80 percent disabled. His wife works two jobs, he has none. When he speaks about himself and his inability to work, he is speaking about thousands like him with physical wounds, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury.
"The more I stand up, the more I sit down, the more the pain increases, the more I need my TNS unit, my heating pad, the more time I spend in bed."
What to do, in this veteran's opinion? Return the miliary to its previous numbers. A pared down Army for example can result in more deployments for individual soldiers.
And for those who come home without the ability to work or even manage their lives? Unable to support themselves or their families? Should America pay all the bills for a wounded veteran, perhaps in the form of a stipend or annual income? Nevarez believes that's the least America can do for those who have sacrificed themsevles for freedom. It's a small price. he says, considering that many veterans are buried under a headstone.
He also argues fro a V-A hospital in El Paso for the large military population and those veterans who may wish to retire here. The William Beaumont Army Medical Center near Fort Bliss is not technically a VA Hospital, though it does provide many service for veterans.
We asked of wounded veterans, "Do you live with a sense of pride, of bitterness, or in that gray area in between? That's a personal question, answer it for yourself". Nevarez inhales deeply and then answers. "I am proud to have served, and will continue to do so even after 20 odd years being discharged from the Marines Corps. I will continue to fight for the military I see here who are in need."