This came to my attention thanks to thefreethoughtproject.com’s article on it. I will have a link to the article at the bottom. They provided a link to a report I want to talk about. The heart of the article is based on a report entitled, High Suicide Rates among United States Service Members and Veterans of the Post 9/11 Wars. A link to the report will be at the end.
This happens to fit perfectly with the theme I’m currently riding. The situation of our veterans has been on my mind and writing for a long time. The missions that we send them on and the complete disregard they receive for their efforts is unacceptable.
PTSD Is not a new phenomenon. Going back to at least WWI the military brass started to consider the “insane notion”, that humans can only handle so much horror before physical and mental breakdown. The first to experience this involuntary response to the insane stress of battle were not served well.
They were often called cowards and many were shot for cowardice. Even WWII gives us a story of MacArthur slapping a US soldier who admitted he was suffering from overwhelming fear, not physical injury. This soldier was humiliated and sent to the front in order to “man him up”.
PTSD Definitely existed prior to Vietnam. My Great Grandfather fought in Okinawa. For him, it took the form of silence. He couldn’t speak of any part of his service, including the parts that were peaceful. Papa told us nothing of his service with the exception of two occasions I’m aware of. They were both near the end of his life and both were very vague.
I can tell you that he was a “contentious objector”. Papa was 7th Day Adventist and a pacifist. His service was voluntary but he asked to be helpful in anyway that he could without having to kill anyone. He worked the radio on that God awful island. Even though he didn’t work the machine guns, flame throwers, or mortars he saw the results. This was enough for him to compartmentalize this experience and refuse to explore this pain just to describe it to us.
Nothing was worth reliving any aspect of his service, certainly not anything he thought would romanticize the hell he saw. I learned very young, to not ever even ask. For a youngster with high ideals of heroism and war, a first hand account would have been amazing. Know I have researched this battle a ton and am incredibly sorry my Papa had to experience it at all.
The Pacific Campaign was the real war for Americans. This enemy made the Germans look like pussy cats. At least the beaten down and leftover troops that were not fighting in the East. The Germans were most concerned with the commie Mongolians that were after blood. The commies were proving to be unstoppable and unwilling to offer any civilized intentions for prisoners.
The commie brass even shot any officer that failed to accomplish any impossible order they were given. Any captured commies were disowned by Stalin and if they were lucky enough to be liberated or escape, it was for not. They were shot for cowardice anyway. Stalin even disowned his own son. When it was revealed to him that his son was in the hands of the enemy, he said, I have no son. What a fucking psycho.
As for the civilians, they were subject to rape, torture, and murder. The commies were disgusting. All armies have rapists. It’s the leadership that determines how much will be tolerated. The US court marshals soldiers who engage in disgusting abuse of non-combatants. The German army made no exceptions. Rapists were shot where they stood. The German’s were honorable and all you have to do is ask one of their American counterparts about it. Unless they claim to have seen some POW camp that was bombed to bits by allied bombing campaigns, that is.
Any site of such would seem like pure evil. That is, until you learn why. The entire continent was being carpet bombed day and night by the US and UK. Supply lines were destroyed, all supply sources were destroyed or seized, and the German people were unable to feed themselves. The last months of the war made it impossible for the Germans to keep these camps secure, supplied, or safe. They were frantically trying to keep the barbarians from their women and children.
Berlin was leveled by our bombers and given to the army of Stalin. Stalin then loosed his men to bring vengeance and pain to the mothers and daughters of NAZI’s. Maybe 2 million German women were raped. Maybe a million men committed suicide. The behavior of the Soviet troops was appalling to all who witnessed it. General MacArthur saw the USSR for what it was and he saw the Soviet soldiers as barbaric, uncivilized, and morally bankrupt. He spoke up every chance he had. Ike didn’t care and wanted the general to shut up.
My damn OCD makes it impossible for me to stay on point. My point is that while this war gave us incredible levels of death, destruction, and genocide, it didn’t flood the VA with mental injuries. The PTSD that we are so familiar with today really began in earnest, in Vietnam. This was only 20 years after WWII and many soldiers were the children of vets. Why were they so different in terms of social status and mental toughness?
They weren’t less tough at all. WWII soldiers were usually working or smoking, not fighting. The battles had some predictability and prisoners surrendered by the thousands. They fought a conventional war in which territory marks one’s progress. The WWII soldiers knew their objective and could believe in their cause. Vietnam was an insurgent war with no real battle lines and no distinction from soldier to civilian. The enemy was everywhere and nowhere at once.
The soldiers that lived through the jungle, booby traps, and ambushes were then attacked by the baby boomer teenagers. Baby killer, murderer, and on and on. This isa what the public had for the soldiers who were victims of this conflict, not the cause of it. The baby boomers cut their teeth in the protesting and spitting on soldiers. This was just the beginning of a lifetime of blaming the wrong people for problems in their own lives.
PTSAD Bloomed in Vietnam for obvious reasons. Back then it wasn’t unusual to accept military service instead of a prison sentence. The military draft was in full swing. Millions of children lied to get to fight WWII. Nobody wanted to be drafted for Nam. Military draft is slavery and the worst possible type. I’d rather pick cotton 16 hours a day than fight some illegal war in the jungle.
The wars that have followed The Nam, have all been similar in that they are empire wars. Defense hasn’t been a legitimate cause since the war of 1812. Even that war was probably a failure of diplomacy on our part. At least it gave Canadian’s a common bond and identity of their own. It also gave us our National Anthem when Francis Scott Key penned “oh say can you see…”
According to the report,
“This paper estimates 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans of the post 9/11 wars have died by suicide, significantly more than the 7,057 service members killed in post-9/11 war operations.”
If this doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. The soldiers are the same if not better than their ancestors. It’s the missions that are totally different. Wars for the empire are never-ending, bloody and violent, and impossible to fight without hurting innocent civilians.
This is just a snippet from one man’s story,
“An IED explosion left McDaniel with physical and mental wounds that eventually forced him to resign after a pre-deployment assessment “flagged” him as unfit for combat with a combined traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD diagnosis. The Army told him to put in his disability claim, and just like that, his military career ended. McDaniel’s transition back to civilian life was a terrible time. “I isolated. I felt guilty because my guys got hurt, and I was in charge,” he said. “It was my fault. They started committing suicide when we got home pretty quick.” Medically discharged, the loss of his brothers in arms and his overwhelming guilt led to alcohol abuse, divorce, and a feeling of “cascading betrayal.” At his lowest, Sgt. McDaniel, fortunately, found useful resources for depression and suicidal ideation. Unfortunately, many of those in his battalion could not continue to cope with their traumas. He revealed that while his unit lost nine people in Iraq, 15 have taken their own lives since leaving the service. “Now more people from my unit have committed suicide than died in combat,” he said. “I feel that because of that, it made me reflect on what we went through, where we were at, how our role in the war has caused some of this extreme chaos in the minds of fellow soldiers. … It really kind of strips your humanity and soul away, war does.”
This is so fucked up. How can we allow this to continue? Why are any vets homeless? We collectively owe this man and his comrades so much more. We at the very least owe them our attention. We should be giving them all of our “charity”. What the fuck are wee doing sending aid to foreign governments when our people are hurting so bad?
“There are clear contributors to suicidal ideation like high exposure to trauma – mental, physical, moral, and sexual – stress and burnout, the influence of the military’s hegemonic masculine culture, continued access to guns, and the difficulty of reintegrating into civilian life. In addition to these factors, it is imperative we also consider the impact of the military’s reliance on guiding principles which overburden individual service members with moral responsibility, or blameworthiness for actions or consequences, over which they have little control.”
The blame is on us. We allow these wars to exist. We fund these military adventures. We are the “society” they have so much trouble integrating back into. After we use them up for the benefits of the oligarchy running the country, we throw them away. This needs to stop. No more war, period. Bring them all home now! I want them stateside to protect our borders.
The ones that exist now and suffer at this moment must receive help from us. The demonic government that approves of these military debacles can not be trusted to care for the sons and daughters they ruin. We must take them in and build them back up to the men and women they began as. We need them and they need us. Patriots and military vets are both on the domestic terrorist list. Patriots that can should offer to hire only vets. Veterans need to be brought back to our society and given the respect they damn sure have earned. I don’t care that the cause they fought for was evil. The reason soldiers fight, is the man next to them. They fight for each other.
It’s time for us to fight for them. That means doing anything we can to stop the conflicts that are causing so much pain. It also means taking care of those who return and making damn sure they have what they need. Why are we building housing for junkies while doing nothing for vets? Unless the bum is a veteran of this country, they should be banned from the city. All veterans should be given whatever is required to make them better. We have money for abortions, needles, and hotel rooms for drug addicted lunatics. For the veterans who sign up with the most noble cause they can think of, protecting “freedom”, we have nothing. Maybe a service dog for the lucky ones. Most are given a bucket of pills and told they did good things that they should be proud of. Pills don’t turn dishonorable acts into honorable memories.