I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary. (Nathan Hale)
With our roots in a movement founded by veterans, issues involving the well-being of our military personnel are of paramount concern to The Modern Whig Institute. We believe those who sacrifice so much to serve their fellow citizens should be adequately compensated while on active duty, and provided with adequate pensions, health care, job training and other transitional and support services after discharge. For us, treating our veterans and active duty personnel with the respect they deserve is more than a matter of prudent public policy -- it's a matter of our national honor.
What's more, as Whigs we believe our obligation to our veterans and military personnel goes beyond just advocating for the best government policies to ensure they are properly compensated and cared for. Our commitment to them, and our overarching philosophy, compels us to take direct action. For that reason we have developed the Veterans Volunteer Initiative to serve as a connecting point for those who, like us, wish to take a direct hand in aiding, supporting and assisting our veterans. Please take a moment to read about the VVI in the drop-down tab.
During World War II, after it became clear Britain's RAF had successfully fended off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said of his gallant flyers: "Never before, in the history of human conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few." Those words are no less true in our own country today. The liberty and prosperity of over 327 million Americans are daily defended by less than one-half of 1 percent of the population. If you add in veterans, just 7.3 percent of the population are serving, or have ever served, in our armed forces.
Given our great nation's justifiable pride in our prosperity, and our instinctive commitment to care for our fellow citizens, we see no reason why our veterans should not be given all the resources they so richly deserve, especially considering their number. Having pledged their very lives to our defense in a perilous time, they should expect a grateful nation to reward their dedication, patriotism, professionalism and sacrifice with the support they need. It's the least we can do.
The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it. (Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf)
While The Modern Whig Institute advocates for government policies we believe are in the best interests of the nation, we also have great faith in the ability of our fellow citizens to take care of some things on their own. As Whigs, we have a can-do attitude and believe firmly in taking direct action through volunteerism wherever we can.
Fortunately, the United States Veterans Administration provides a platform for ordinary citizens to serve in a volunteer capacity and directly aid and support our veterans. In conjunction with the president's United We Serve initiative, the VA's Volunteer Service program recruits citizens to, in the words of the VA, provide "caring and sharing" to our veterans in a number of ways. Whether its to aid homeless veterans in finding employment and affordable housing, ensuring veterans are properly honored with a final resting place, providing transportation to veterans who need it, or simply ensuring returning military personnel get the welcome home they deserve, there is a place for you to do your part.
You can find your nearest service opportunity on this directory:
And if you're a student, or know one, there are service opportunities for them, too:
And here is a link to a printable Application for Voluntary Service (links to the online version are on the VA website):
We ask our supporters to offer their time as Modern Whigs, but there are some important guidelines we ask you to follow:
1. Don't foul the nest. Please keep a positive attitude, and always keep in mind the Whig emphasis on civility. Don't engage in negative activism or get confrontational with VA staff. If you see something obviously wrong, document it and report it to the party so we can look into it.
2. Stick with it. It's important to demonstrate the classic Whig traits of determination and commitment. One reason is our desire to portray the Whig movement in the best possible light. But another -- and more important -- reason is our deep, genuine and abiding advocacy of authentic public service. Whigs "walk the talk," so please only undertake obligations you can fulfill.
3. Be visible. In the near future we'll have Whig attire (polo shirts and t-shirts) to offer, but for now please dress appropriately for whatever role you're assigned. Smile, be pleasant, and don't be shy about explaining what Modern Whigs are about. We want you to be proud of our movement -- and for our movement to be proud of you.