Recently a fellow veteran asked me a tough question: “If you were 18 again, with things the way they are now under President Obama, would you serve in the military?”   I could tell that just asking such a question made this decorated combat veteran uncomfortable. After all, his career in the military spanned more than 30 years and included deployments to some of the world’s hottest hot spots. More than once this American patriot put his life on the line for our country, and more than once he came within a whisker of losing his life. For this good man,  questioning military service must have felt like treason.

Before I could respond, the old veteran answered his own question. He said, “I would not serve in the military today—not with Barack Obama as Commander in Chief. Obama’s treatment of the military and veterans is a disgrace.” I agree with him. I am proud of my service in the United States Marine Corps and would not trade that service for anything. In fact, I am doubly proud of my service in the Corps because I joined at a time when my peers were burning their draft cards and slipping away to Canada to avoid military service. But I would not want to serve under the circumstances that now exist in the military. Those who wear the uniform have to know that their commander in chief has their back, will do nothing to undermine their effectiveness in combat, and will ensure that they are properly taken care of, even after leaving the military.

For the first time in my lifetime we have a president who not only fails to take care of our troops and veterans, but seems to disdain them. No president in my lifetime has shown less respect for active-duty personnel and veterans or done so much to undermine the effectiveness and morale of the military as Barack Obama. According to former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, President Obama is distinctly uncomfortable when he is around military leaders, as well he should be. Anyone who has done as much damage to the military and the morale of our troops as Barack Obama should certainly be uncomfortable with high ranking officers who have dedicated their lives to building and trying to maintain the best military in the world.

Further, anyone who has knowingly allowed veterans to be treated like undeserving beggars instead of heroes—as President Obama has—is unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. Do not be fooled by his recent reluctant decision to finally take action to clean up the VA. If veterans and the groups that represent them had not demanded action, old warriors would still be dying while the Obama administration knowingly looked the other way. President Obama is simply taking the action he has been forced to take out of political expedience, not out of a sincere concern for veterans.

Since the day he took office, Barack Obama’s modus operandi has been to divert money from the defense budget into his various pet social programs as part of his larger plan to increase the number of voters who depend on the government for their daily bread. Dependent voters make dependable voters—at least for the Democrat Party. His protestations to the contrary, the disastrous concept that came to be known as sequestration was the president’s idea, and it has not gone away. Sequestration is just another hot-button political issue that got too hot to handle and had to be expediently kicked down the road to be dealt with later. It has not gone away. As of this writing, sequestration is scheduled to once again rear its ugly head in 2015—conveniently after the 2014 mid-term elections.

So consider what President Obama’s attitude toward the military and veterans really means, especially when it is juxtaposed against his attitude toward those who are on welfare or are dependent on other forms of government entitlements. Here is a president who treats people who are currently contributing nothing to the safety and security of American citizens better than the men and women who willingly put their lives on the line to preserve our safety and security, not to mention our freedom. Here is a president who views the military as little more than a laboratory for his pet social experiments, experiments that are politically motivated rather than by a sincere desire to enhance military effectiveness. This being the case, I think the old veteran I mentioned at the beginning of this column was right when he said: “Obama’s treatment of the military and veterans is a disgrace.”