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Grab Your Popcorn, the VA F*cked up Again

Call to Arms
Call to Arms
February 27, 2024
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On February 22nd, I joined veterans and service members at an historical event orchestrated by the United States Army (South) in partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs. It was a ceremony steeped in history and emotion, aimed at honoring the Buffalo Soldiers, rectifying a century-old injustice that has lingered like a shadow over the annals of American military history. Yet, as we gathered to pay homage for our veterans, the specter of 1917, a year marred by a grave miscarriage of justice, cast a long shadow over the proceedings.

In 1917, 19 soldiers were denied any right to appeal and were executed on December 11, 1917. The fate of these veterans was left to one law professor as their lawyer to defend all Buffalo soldiers involved in the case. The American soldiers stood no chance and never had the right to a fair trial. The Commanding General at the time had the authority and they didn’t need the president’s permission to conduct a lynching in 1917.  President Wilson at the time was so embarrassed that one of their top general officers had committed such a heinous crime, that he changed the policy for UCMJ to ensure that the commander-in-chief was the authority sending service members to death, and not post commanders. 

On Feb 22, 2024, the VA sought to amend this historical injustice by finally recognizing these soldiers as honorably discharged veterans, complete with the full honors and headstones they were originally denied. Yet, the event, while noble in intent, was marred by lack of consideration for the healing that comes with 106 years of injustice—a mural labeling these exonerated men as mutineers, undermining the ceremony's very purpose.

A mural located near the Honored Buffalo Soldiers titled “The Legacy of the Houston Mutineers” by the Department of Veterans Affairs stirred controversy.

Why does the leadership of the military and organizations like the Dept. of Veteran affairs continue to stain the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers? 

“Hey VA, you spelled U.S. Army soldiers incorrectly.”

It is extremely tone deaf to bring everyone together, reach out to family members and ensure that we communicate to them that their family members are being acknowledged. But you still refer to them as Mutineers? Why are these honorably discharged Americans still haunted by the events in 1917?

I know we don’t f*ck w/ tradition when it comes to the ceremony but tradition felt wrong at the event as we sat for 45 minutes to listen to keynote speakers before we even heard the names of our brothers buried 100ft away. 

“It’s tradition to host a long presentation of honorable speakers”, was the VA’s response for having back to back to back public speakers with formidable backgrounds, all before hearing the names of those veterans we all gathered to honor. 

Thank you for the professional years of service but no one needs to hear about your parents service and why you took a political route to service. That time could have been used to address the visiting communities, to mention the original burial site near Salado Creek and how this is not the first time their bodies have been moved. Instead, inform their families that the walk from the back of the property is no longer an option and that our brothers are laid to rest in front of the national cemetery where they should have been.

At American Grit, every home in America will KNOW, CELEBRATE, and DEFEND the freedoms that we have as Americans for the next generation. We will defend matters like this to ensure that the rights of all service members receive the justice that Buffalo soldiers receive today.

Their story shall be told with the respect and accuracy it deserves, embodying the spirit of "We Can, We Will, Since 1866."

This We’ll Defend

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