The hidden cost of war

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MarneMath
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http://cdn.csgazette.biz/soldiers/day3.html

This weekend coming up is memorial weekend, a time to honor the sacrifice made by the few who choose to wear the uniform and paid the ultimate price. It's important to remember each and everyone of them, but I would also like to remind people of those who came back physically, but mentally and emotionally are still fighting the wars.

I served in the Army, and would've liked to have kept serving, but due to an injury I was medically discharged. The Army, as a whole, has been decent to me and took care of my physical injuries, yet the military often forgets about service members who have served in combat and struggle to readjust. The article above is just one story of one soldier who obviously needed help, but was instead screwed.

Numerous civilian and military studies have shown that troops returning from combat are more likely to get in trouble. A 2010 study published in the online journal BMC Psychiatry showed that deployed Marines diagnosed with PTSD were 11 times more likely to be discharged for misconduct as nondeployed Marines.

The growing realization that combat can push people to break the law has spurred cities across the country to create veterans courts that offer suspended sentences if veterans complete therapy and substance abuse counseling that can help them recover. There are now more than 90 such courts, including one in El Paso County.

The Army has not embraced the same rehabilitative ethic even though many of the problems arise during active duty, said Maj. Evan Seamone, a longtime Army lawyer and vocal critic of the current system, which he says is too focused on punishment.

"These soldiers are denied the very type of care that they need to complete the readjustment process," he said in February at a conference on PTSD in Florida.
 

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  • #2
BobG
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Good article. That's just the last of a three-part series. Here's a link to the entire series: Other Than Honorable

A big part of the problem is taking away medical benefits from a person injured on the job.

If an employee were injured at McDonald's due to his work environment, McDonald's would be liable to provide medical treatment regardless of whatever the employee did in the future. He'd have to pay the price for his drug offense, DUI, etc, but McDonald's couldn't use his misconduct as an excuse to stop providing treatment for a workplace caused injury.

I have no problem discharging a person from the military because they're no longer fit for duty for whatever reason. But even if it were a case of true misconduct, it doesn't erase what they did for the military before the misconduct. The military should still be liable for providing treatment for combat related injuries regardless of the reason for discharge.
 
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phinds
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I have no problem discharging a person from the military because they're no longer fit for duty for whatever reason. But even if it were a case of true misconduct, it doesn't erase what they did for the military before the misconduct. The military should still be liable for providing treatment for combat related injuries regardless of the reason for discharge.
Well said.
 
  • #4
morrobay
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And for what ? Invading Iraq after 9/11 would be like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor.
The U.N. should have taken action against Saddam. Now with the Sunni's dismantled, Iraq is
unified with Iran. The Afganistan war is lost. The U.S. should have been out of there in 2002.
The thank you for overthrowing Ghadaffi in Libya for the opposition was an attack on the U.S.
and U.K. diplomatic compounds. And with all the experience the U.S. has in " influencing "
elections , Egypt should not have gone to muslim brotherhood. Yes all the above were/are
disasters for hundred of thousands. In my opinion Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be
held accountable in an international court.
 
  • #5
256bits
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And for what ? Invading Iraq after 9/11 would be like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor.
The U.N. should have taken action against Saddam. Now with the Sunni's dismantled, Iraq is
unified with Iran. The Afganistan war is lost. The U.S. should have been out of there in 2002.
The thank you for overthrowing Ghadaffi in Libya for the opposition was an attack on the U.S.
and U.K. diplomatic compounds. And with all the experience the U.S. has in " influencing "
elections , Egypt should not have gone to muslim brotherhood. Yes all the above were/are
disasters for hundred of thousands. In my opinion Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be
held accountable in an international court.
That is not the issue here. Political decisions and policies would need a seperate thread for discussion.

This is about the lives of servicemen and servicewomen.
 
  • #6
morrobay
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That is not the issue here. Political decisions and policies would need a seperate thread for discussion.

This is about the lives of servicemen and servicewomen.
Which are directly, cause and effect , affected by political decisions.
 
  • #7
256bits
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Which are directly, cause and effect , affected by political decisions.
I would have to generally agree with that statement.
 
  • #8
Combat vet here (Desert Storm, 1st Armor Div)

I understand what morrobay is saying. However, there is a flaw in the argument being made.

Yes, Operation Iraqi Freedom can easily be considered a huge mistake. But we could have gone up against "Hitler Jr" in the most justifiable war in history, and our vets would still be dealing with the same emotional issues. Reintroducing vets back into society is an important part of overall strategic readiness.

Does anyone know who the first people are to get "drafted"? Recently discharged veterans who are now part of the inactive reserves. So, when our recently discharged vets are suffering from PTSD and treating it with drugs and alcohol, our overall strategic readiness goes down a notch.

Not to mention the fact that we've filled society with trained killers who have gone bonkers.

In my opinion, nothing is going to change for our vets until one of them goes postal. Once that happens, then everyone is going to say, "Why didn't someone do something?"
 
  • #9
When I joined the army in '88, all of our leaders were all Vietnam vets. When I joined, it was a "new army". The culture became more professional. The old Vietnam-era practices had long since been abandoned, and the guys who were not fit for service due to the lingering horrors of Vietnam were weeded out.

My platoon sergeant was a LRP in 'Nam, and he wasn't right in the head at all times. My battalion sergeant major had a flash back out in the field once when a chopper came in to drop off a VIP to watch our field exercise. I was an M1 tanker, and we were in the middle of a really serious game of "laser tag" with 63 ton vehicles.

Dude flipped out when he heard the huey coming. Flipped out. (Like "sudden battlefield realism" flipped out.)

Those 2 are just a random sampling of the loose cannons who were "sane enough" to stay in the army after Vietnam. And this is 14-17 years after the last of the troops were pulled from 'Nam.

I have connections to people who are either currently serving, or are now Iraqi Freedom-era vets. The stories I'm hearing, and the junk that I'm seeing tells me that we're deep into that "post-Vietnam" stuff.

The government needs to take better care of their active duty service members and the vets. The PTSD stuff that's going on right now is bad news.
 

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