Veterans being targets of hate is nothing new, but it has been taken recently to new levels. Two incidents, one in a suburban Chicago nursing home and one in a Spokane parking lot, resulted in the deaths of World War II veterans in what can only be described in the most horrifying of terms. That one veteran died at the hands of the police and the other at the hands of teenaged punks demonstrates the depth and breadth of societal deterioration into near anarchy. And the situation seems to not be improving.
The Illinois State Police are investigating the circumstances of John Wrana’s death in Park Forest. His crime appears to be refusing to go willingly to a medical procedure from which he had a 50/50 chance of not regaining consciousness. Someone somewhere decided that his refusal was unreasonable, a decision for which he ended up not only being tazed by a SWAT team but gut shot with a beanbag. The beanbag caused the internal bleeding which killed him.
Two street hoods have been identified, one arraigned, in Spokane for the death of Delbert Belton. He died as a result of their beating him and leaving him dying in a parking lot. His only crime seems to be that of being old and having the unmitigated gall to venture out in public to meet friends to shoot pool. It has been reported that the two thugs later went to his residence to commit additional crimes. They must have felt entitled to what he had and decided that he should no longer be allowed to enjoy his own stuff in his own home.
There are no easy answers to any of this but there are plenty of questions. The first one which came to my mind was, “Aren’t our older vets dying fast enough without people going out killing them?” Of course, neither of these gentlemen was targeted because they were veterans, but the simple reality is that they had faced enemy fire and managed to survive it. Late in their lives, citizens of their own country managed to do what the enemy could not do – kill them.
As an amateur student of history and a degreed student of sociology, this sort of willful disregard for the sanctity of life is an indicator of a society in decline if it is widespread or accepted by the rest of society. My hope is that the rumblings we hear are those of the general population saying, “No more! We have had enough of this behavior.” If the nationwide increase in issuance of concealed carry permits in an indication, perhaps folks are finally paying attention and responding in ways which might allow this once great society to survive.