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July 6, 2015

After careful consideration, I can only conclude that these signs are pathetic, self-defeating crap.

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It goes without saying, or at least it should, that past generations of American warriors experienced combat far worse than that of the typical Iraq or Afghanistan veteran.
Yes, today’s warriors have fought some hard fights (Fallujah, Najaf and Sangin come to mind). But in terms of scale, casualties and intensity our wars have been different than many before. We haven’t endured three or four thousand KIAs in a single day like at Normandy and Antietam, or two thousand in 76 hours as at Tarawa. Yet the men who crossed sabers on Civil War battlefields or waded through surf, blood and dead comrades to a beach swept with machinegun bullets and shellfire somehow endured fireworks displays without putting signs in their yards. Signs, Of Veteran Entitlement | chrishernandezauthor

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 6, 2015 4:24 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

And previous generations of combat vets did not have a federal government propping up the "caring" professions trying to convince every vet that s/he is a victim rather than warrior conqueror. Previouus administrations did not tell vets that they were mentally damaged from their service, suspect of conduct and classified as actual threats to the domestic US as potential domestic terrorists.

My father in law saw heavy, heavy combat against the Japanese in WW2, having stepped onto gun-swept beaches eight (count 'em, 8!) times and fighting through the subsequent campaigns, including the lengthy Philippines campaign. He had buddies die in his arms and was attacked more than once by enemy aircraft (an experience not one present-day soldier or Marine has endured).

Did he come down with PTSD? You bet your sweet ass he did. After I married his daughter and we visited, I would be awakened almost every night by his nightmare moans. That was 40 years later, and I heard them for years afterward, too.

And what did Col. S. do the next morning? He got up early, ate breakfast, showered, got dressed and went to work to support his family. Every day for 50-plus years. He joined the Lions Club and more, went to church and served on the planning commission of his large-city home town.

He did, dinosaur that he was what REAL MEN DO, and never regretted what he endured. It was, as he told me, "what we had to do, and when we had done it, we came home and got on with life."

What he and his hero-comrades did not do was come home to a government and a society that treated them like ticking time bombs, as objects of pity and, frankly, scorn, as permanent wards of the state, or as mentally delicate infants whose sanity could be shattered by a string of firecrackers on the 4th of July.`

They were, and their country was, in a word, made of tougher and sterner stuff than we are today.

Reader, are you offended by my words? Well screw you. I am a retired Army combat officer. My son fought in Iraq in the Marine Corps as an AAV crewman.

In battle, our men and women fighters are as tough as any generation ever had. But we ruin them when we bring them home. And I think it is on purpose. That is the greatest national shame of the post-9/11 wars.

Posted by: plus.google.com/104841162830331053592 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 6, 2015 6:25 PM

I'm not offended by what you said. I served 1966-72 and they were not good years.
I'll stand with you.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 12:48 AM

I had an Uncle who was with Patton during WWII as a tank commander. After having a couple of tanks shot out under him he came home to a job in NYC as an elevator operator. Perfect since he didn't have to choose to go sideways. That would have challenged him.

He could tell some great stories too, just not connected to one another and in no particular order.

Rheingold, Luckies and his sofa was where he went after that war. Not all returning WWII guys came home to 30 years and a watch.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 6:03 AM

As a combat vat, fire works don't bother me. I don't like loud noises that I don't expect, in places where there shouldn't be loud noises.

I do get jumpy, but more with out of place things.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 6:07 AM

As I said in !Kaboom farther down the Top 40, I hate fireworks. But, I'll never be party to restricting anyone's right to use them as they please off my property, including blowing a limb off. Oh yeah, I did 23 years. Lifer.

Posted by: BillH [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 6:31 AM

Thank you, "plus.google.com"

I agree that what's being done to our veterans is "on purpose."

Posted by: Punditarian [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 8:03 AM

I worked at an Army hospital. We had a "warrior transition battalion" which consisted of, I was told, less than 15 percent combat-zone wounded warriors. The rest were just generally broken, unhealthy folks (stuff like athletics injuries, "normal" illnesses, injuries from car wrecks, that sort of stuff).

We also spent untold dollars on our PTSD clinic, Traumatic Brain Injury clinic (where, it was rumored, the clinic chief's sound system was so expensive they couldn't pave the parking lot), social workers, psychologists and shrinks.

I learned one thing: If you want a full-time job that'll last forever, get a masters in psychology or sociology and get in with the DOD healthcare system. You'll have a job forever.
You can also get a masters in counseling and get a job with the Army Career and Alumni Program where you can counsel GIs on how to write resumes and look up jobs on the internet. The resumes are especially important since most GIs will only need to know how to fill out a job application, not provide a resume to a prospective employer.
Charlatans. Money pits.

Posted by: OldFert [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 9:08 AM

There is an aspect of PTSD that many people don't realize. That is survivor's guilt. Many combat vets saw friends and unit members die, yet they somehow made it home in one piece. When you're home and safe, there is a nagging question of, "Why him and not me?" Most people deal by just stuffing it down and out of conscious thought. It's something that sneaks up on many and may not come out for years. Add to that, a war effort where friends died and the whole thing is pissed away by gutless politicians - as happened in Vietnam and Iraq. That layers rage on top of the guilt. Most vets keep pushing the guilt and anger down, often through work, alcohol, hobbies, or whatever diverts them from that guilt and anger. It is a poisonous mix that over time can lead to depression and an inability to have satisfactory relationships with wives, girlfriends, or co-workers. If it gets bad enough, it can lead to suicide, murderous rages, or "nervous breakdowns." Treatment can help resolve the issues. The sooner it is sought the better. But often many vets are well out of the military and their problems don't seem related to the war until a skilled counselor can help them identify the hidden, repressed causes of their guilt and rage. Yes, I'm speaking from experience.

Of course there are some who endure combat, lots of it, and seem to be relatively unaffected or at least it doesn't lead to psychic disturbances that disrupt their lives. Different people have different levels of psychic durability. It's just the way we're wired.

Are we coddling our vets? Yep. Sure as heck beats the way the Vietnam vets were treated. But it does appear that the anti-war forces are way too eager to claim that war ruins the lives of the warriors that fight. Some where in between the extremes is where we need to be.

Posted by: Jimmy J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2015 3:19 PM

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