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What About OUR Veterans?

Updated on October 11, 2012
Proud Veteran
Proud Veteran | Source

The Few and the Proud

All the veterans that I have known serving since World War II were so proud and honored to serve their country. Those men and women were and are the backbone of this great United States. Many of them have and had to carry a monkey on their backs upon the return home called PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder.

During World War II, you just didn’t talk about things, and were encouraged NOT to do so, unless it was with one of your own comrades. They were the only ones that would understand. Sadly, these brave and wonderful service people went untreated and were left to wander and be mired in their own private hell with nowhere to turn. Many were heavily involved with drugs and alcohol to make it a little less bearable, but when they woke up again, it was still there, haunting them and their families. Don’t think that it was pleasant for their families. During those days, divorce was very rare.

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The Hardest Job They Will Ever Love

For each war, drafted men and volunteers rolled in, the same scenario played out. Our soldiers were expected to kill others, whether or not it was warranted. They also had to live with their actions, which they did, and it was a heavy price that they paid for the rest of their lives. Every time that they heard a loud noise, they had flashbacks. There were bad dreams to contend with, and some had them every night. Others had missing limbs and injuries to be reminded about every day. And they never complained, because they were proud to serve the United States and keep us all safe from harm.

PTSD wasn’t recognized by the government until fairly recently, and they finally began trying to do something about it. Many of the doctors and psychiatrists never saw the front lines and they were still unable to visualize what our service personnel had to deal with on a daily basis. Who can understand the horrors and visions of death but someone else that was there? How can they expect to successfully treat it unless it is by a peer?

Viet Nam Vets

Those that saw Viet Nam on the front lines were exposed to Agent Orange. They moved it bare handed and without any protection. Those men paid for that, and they were told that they would be all right, and they believed it. Thanks for serving your country. Then they had to deal with the incidences of cancer that went through the roof during that time period, not to mention children that were born with things that they shouldn’t be born with.

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OJT Isn't Good Enough?

Now our men and women that served in Iraq and Afghanistan come home and can’t find jobs. What they were trained for in the service doesn’t work in this country, as they don’t have that paper certification. On the Job Training means nothing for medical personnel. That happens to be one example, and there are many others. Oh, I know, a few of them get lucky and find very good jobs. But what about the other 95%?

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There Are Many...

There are still suicides. Some of our service people have no place to live and are surviving on the streets of America, while we send money to Third World Countries to help them.

Not all veterans were on the front lines. Some of them were involved with very important support services, like electronics, handling the mail, laundry service, administrative services, mechanical services, and so many more. These personnel are not to be forgotten, either. They were also trained in the same things that the active fighting personnel were involved in, as well.

What is wrong with this picture? Can’t we do something better for those that serve their country and risk their lives and mental health?

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      flacoinohio, you are certainly correct. The VA seems to be pushing numbers, and our vets have to wait so long for what they need. I know one that has been trying to get the correct medical help for YEARS, and has to keep starting and restarting at square one.

    • flacoinohio profile image

      flacoinohio 4 years ago from Ohio

      It is very sad that our veterans do not the help they deserve and that one set of veterans have priority or better benefits or access to their benefits for longer terms than others. Soldiers are expendable to our government, they are expendable at war and expendable when they come home from war, especially if they have medical needs. Having a holiday or getting thanked for service means nothing if a soldier cannot find a job, get adequate health care, or mental health services.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, shiningirisheyes. That how and who our veterans are. They were thankful for the fact that they could do their part to keep our country safe. They are the backbone of this nation, forever and always.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Deb - I don't know how I missed this proud hub. I have tears in my eyes. It is far too few the times when I meet someone with the comprehension and determination to give our veterans the honor and respect they deserve. I had the pleasure of talking with many of my Dads friends along with him regarding WWII and there were many impressive traits that stood out. One in particular was the way they never took praise of any king but heaped it on the fellow buddy they were with or had lost.

      Such an important hub shedding light on the shameful inadequacies of our service men and women of every generation.

      Voting up and sharing

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, Letitia. Those are the facts of life for every service person for the rest of their lives.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Without a doubt, billd. They all went above and beyond the call of duty.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

      Thank you for that moving reminder. I remember when I was in high school history class. One day somebody dropped a book and the old teacher jumped sky high and turned white. Then he explained he'd been at Pearl Harbor. It was the best history lesson we could have got.

    • billd01603 profile image

      billd01603 4 years ago from Worcester

      Voted up and Awesome, great Hub. We can't forget that they were just normal guys from normal American families who did something extraordinary!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so right, justsilvie. They deserve a lot more than they get. When they can't serve any more, that is the end of them.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, yes, Mhatter, I do know where you stand. Thanks for your support.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      whonunuwho, you did what you could in other ways, and you taught those future vets. That counts for a lot.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's right, Becky. They did what they did out of their love for US and this country.

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      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Being an Army brat, Army Grand brat and having been an Army wife this subject is close to my heart. So sick of seeing how this country treats its Vets. Tired of seeing the benefits they earned reduced or taken away, tired of hearing resentful citizens call career military who work after retirement double dippers, Tired of politician sending them off to a war, while their own families watch safely by the sidelines. People hate to hear the the word Affirmative Action, but for government jobs it is in place for disable vets, it should be in place for all Vets for all jobs.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Hopefully you know my feelings. We take the sacrifices of our country's heroes much much too lightly. Thank you for your efforts.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Breaks my heart that our service men and women sacrifice their lives and get nothing of real value or support in return. They are basically thrown to the winds when they leave the service, whether they saw combat or not. Vietnam was terrible in how the vets were treated and this was in my time. I tried to join the service but they would not take me because I had a severe spinal injury only two years prior to that from football injury, and the scar was too obvious, I went to college and became a teacher of the handicapped and served for twenty-five years in that capacity. I always feel a hurt in my soul for the vets and why I did not have to go myself. Time moves on.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      My husband is a Vietnam Vet. We have them to thank for making the VA do something about PTSD. I honor my veterans and all veterans. I have even written about them. God Bless them all for doing what is right.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      They sure do, Billy What got me going on this, was an older Reader's Digest article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A great message Avian, and thank you for writing it! My dad was in WWII and he would never talk about it; many friends were in Vietnam and they never talked about it. These incredible men and women carry a hell around inside of them for the rest of their lives.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      ThoughtSandwiches, we do need to better understand where they are coming from, including those that are hiring. They are being looked at sideways, as though they are ticking time bombs.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      aviannovice,

      Excellent read that everyone should understand to better help our service men and women. I had an uncle who took his lumps in WW2 and he was never quite right when he came home...it was very sad.

      We do need to do more for them. Thank you for writing this!

      Thomas

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