Suicide and our Veterans

Support our troops, a theory that does not save lives

They came home injured. They came home from thousands of miles away with stress disorders, nightmares, and horrid memories. Most were only kids when they joined. They had to grow up over night. Now Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have reported that twenty two out of the 2.8 million who served in these wars commit suicide each and every day. That is a staggering figure. It is one that brings this country great pain. Shame on our government for not doing more to help them.

Our flag flies high on a good holiday yet as we celebrate with picnics and family dinners declaring that old self righteous claim, "We support our troops!", when we should ask ourselves do we really? How many of you who have claimed to support the troops and actually did something for them when they returned? Some showed up at the airports waved and then said good by good luck.

Engaged in the movement for change I have met at least a thousand young men and women who have served and the stories they share are not reported on the corporate news stations in the United States. I have learned from them that women have fought combat even though Congress did not approve it formally and implement training for women in combat prior to the wars. I learned women have been raped and many young men who served have told of brutality where it should not have been, and corruption and mayhem. Some call it FUBAR, others call it a silent fury.They have suffered so much. It was our government who put them there. If corruption, rape, mismanagement, and distrust of our leaders are all entangled in the experience for those who have served our leaders are responsible. Like usual not enough is being done.

Our veterans are dying at an alarming rate. While our leaders cater to the latest needs of the biggest multinational corporations these young men and women should not have to suffer alone. After all they survived they should not be dying at home. Par for the course of the American military experience, our greatest general President Grant died in poverty in the Adirondacks writing his memoirs so he could provide for his family. Screwed over by Wall Street he lost all his money. After Viet Nam our government never even brought home all those who fought. Some were missing in action and were left over there. Their final hour a mystery covered by a veil of deception that our government has never unfolded. But the politicians unfold their corporate paid for flags every election season, claiming we support our troops. They wear their flag coat pins well.

After no weapons of destruction were found I turned against the war effort. Too many caskets were returning home carrying young men the same ages as my own sons. No matter how we feel about the war the youth who joined the military are not to blame. They are hurting and they need our love, acceptance, and friendship. That kind of support does not come with passive words to make our own selves look " patriotic" and feel good. It means, if you see something say something. Do something now. They are dying and something needs to be done.

It's time to say something. I pledge to write letters, to ask questions, to educate the public and offer friendship and hope. If any veteran is reading this. You are not blame for all that has happened and you are not alone.

Please contact your good for nothing politicians and demand they do a whole lot more to help our veterans. If we do not do something today what do we have to loose? Twenty two young Americans tomorrow and that is too high a price to pay. Please stop what ever you are doing and call congress right now.

Joanne Kathleen Farrell

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