Nowhere To Go But Back – our new song about the GI Bill

If McCain’s opposition to Jim Webb’s new GI Bill isn’t all the proof we need that he won’t do enough for our veterans, then I don’t know what is.

After his usual “my military service gives me special privilege to shit all over those with military service” qualifier, McCain explained his position:

The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment, the same benefits as those offered veterans who have reenlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale. It offers generous benefits to all veterans but increases those veterans’ benefits according to the veterans’ length of service. It’s important to do that. Because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment.

Maybe I’m standing too far outside the process to see whatever it is that he, Bush and the 22 senators who voted against Webb’s bill see, but it seems to me that at a time when volunteering for service is a far more dangerous proposition than ever, four years of education for four years of military service is a fair deal. To double a soldier’s chances of not ever getting to use those benefits by making them go back for another deployment-laden term is cruel, cruel treatment, and to suggest it should strip anyone of the right to say they support the troops.

That’s the monstrosity that inspired this week’s song about McCain, et al’s efforts to keep our servicemen from ever receiving the benefits it dangles in front of them, “Nowhere To Go But Back”.

(Hold the mouse over the title, a player will appear.)

Nowhere To Go But Back

There’s an upward trajectory that they promised
But to be frankly honest, I must’ve misunderstood
‘Cause they’re taking double the years that they’re giving
Waving around yellow ribbons, but they’re not making good
So, can you help me figure it out?
I can’t tell which side they’re on when they talk out of either side of their mouths

So pay no attention to the signals they send
It’s not what you do, it’s what you spend
If you intend to hold up your end of the pact
And I know there’s a carrot stuck on a stick
It keeps getting longer they keep getting sick
A hundred or so world’s away from the inside track
Because there’s nowhere to go but back

No one mentioned the MRIs or the X-Rays
No, they promised a gateway, not a revolving door
And it’s a million memories away from the basketball team
Waiting out some varsity dream from a tent on the floor

And I find it difficult to discern
I’d like to think that the more you put in the line the more you’d expect in return

So pay no attention to the message they send
It’s not what you do, it’s what you spend
If you really intend to keep their affairs all intact
And I know there’s a carrot stuck on a stick
It keeps getting longer they keep getting sick
Put those gloves together and pray for a second act
Because there’s nowhere to go but back

I don’t know what kind of degree I could earn
With a shaken up brain too shell-shocked to learn
At the end of one more enlistment term
So long on risk but short on returns
To climb up the ladder to a lower rung
They’ll keep on climbing long after it’s done
Throwing man after man after dollar in spite of the facts
There’s nowhere to go but back

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