What About OUR Veterans?
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.
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.
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%?
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?