Training for war. Training to re-enter society after war. Why the desperity in gov't funding?
From the time Americans are born, we are taught the value of patriotism and fighting for our freedom. Schools, libraries and recruiters, all gov't funded, groom us for armed forces. Then we are intensely trained in combat tactics, physically and technically. Expensive! Then, sent off to war. When returning, seems like there is only charities to help transition these people back to civilian life. For many, this won't happen. Where is our gov't then? I even have to fill the tank before returning a rental car. Don't the vets of war deserve to have their tanks refilled? They are why we are here!
The same happens over here. I've never been in the forces, but at times I'm glad I haven't. Former soldiers are left to 'get on with it' after they've done their bit. Recently soldiers in uniform were refused intry into some shops in different parts of the UK mainland. Demonstrations by Islamic hotheads were allowed to go on during march-pasts in HQ towns, with threats to Moslems in British uniform.
In Afghanistan UK-born Moslems have been overheard by 'evesdropping' monitors, with West Yorkshire and West Midlands accents most noticeable.
Fully trained soldiers have been shown the road, to cut down on the wage bills and new recruits taken on - who trains them, civil service mandarins in Whitehall? They have trouble using pencil sharpeners, never mind anything more dangerous than a civil service tea mug.
Soldiers are always treated this way. Private Eye noted regiments were disbanded as that is cheaper than cancelling contracts for Aircraft carriers. After the falklands war MArgaret Thatcher tried to exclude disabled veterans from her victory parade.
The government typically doesn't care about soldiers after it doesn't need them anymore, except for the fact that it pays for them to get an education and will give them a lifetime pension if they are severely injured. My greatest observation is that while they are serving, soldiers' expectations are raised so high about what the world outside their fishbowl is like that they are sorely let down when their term of service is up. They're so used to automatic promotions, $30K bonuses, 4-day weekends, free healthcare, and 30-day furloughs that they are not equipped to survive in the civilian world without turning into beggars who think taxpayers owe them more than they have already given. Many of them seek government employment or try to fake injuries in order to get a monthly check. They don't like civilian jobs because they don't get enough attention there. I agree with everything you said except the last two sentences. We are not here because of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. That's thoughtless propaganda talking. We are safe here in the states because no country can afford to send an army across a large ocean and invade the US mainland knowing that we are an individually armed and patriotic society. If soldiers haven't figured it out by now, I don't know what to tell them. At least now they are allowed to leave when they are finished. 5 years ago, you couldn't even finish your military service without facing stoploss and be compelled to serve indefinitely. I learned a valuable lesson when I returned from Iraq: Whenever someone in our society tells you "Thank you for your service", he's really thinking "Service is for Suckers".
I have two uncles that served in Vietnam with one of them doing back to back tours. I completely agree that the vets deserve to have their tanks refilled. Government and politician actions speak louder than words. The money flows to whatever and whomever is most important and that is certainly not our vets.
What amazes and infuriates me is the fact that we have Presidents and those vying to be President who have no firsthand experience in war that want to play Battleship with people's lives yet do not invest in doing right by them once they return. Further, these same politicians would make sure their sons or daughters aren't in the military, let alone anywhere near a war.
I live in a highly military populated area and know a couple of people that have had great problems in getting the things they were promised. One was evicted because his GI Bill stipend was over 3 months late, his part time job wouldn't cover his monthly bills. He couch surfed for a few days then moved out of state to live with his mother. I don't know if he has finished his education.
While there are people with a "victim" mentality, those who may be on drugs, or have serious mental issues, this is not the majority of US military vets. The people that I know, relatives and not, are upstanding people who only ask for what was promised and they work hard for themselves and their families.
They don't want a handout and feel that their service was a job or a calling and that it is not for suckers or something they should be thanked for.
Mental health services for vets are sorely lacking. Look at all the suicides and cases of people snapping. It's a shame.
First, is how poorly we have treated our soldiers while they served. From constant deployments without end (rather than expanding the number of soldiers available to handle those duties the past ten years, which would also have helped people find work - instead of giving foodstamps and Welfare, give them pride and purpose serving their country) to the their cutting back on Health Benefits for the families of soldiers.
When I left the Army in 2002 it was largely for four reasons:
1) The cuts Congress enacted, soldiers had full medical benefits for their families, that was taken away, and they would only cover the soldier, if they wanted their family to have health insurance they had to pay.
2) They made it so that if you re-enlisted after 10 years, they could keep you for as long as they wanted there-after, 20, 30 years, it was up to them, not you.
3) They were scaling back pay for experienced soldiers while giving 10 thousand dollar bonuses to kids coming in with no experience.
4) They were making it a PC place for their social experiments, whatever the flavor of the week was, be it pampering new recruits or women in the front lines... they would lower the standards however much they had to so that they could get a certain percentage to make it.
Wrong answer... if they want a woman to be a grunt, then she should be able to out perform any standards already in place. War isn't a place where being PC or meeting quotas does any good.
Lastly, I knew we were going to be doing exactly what we did... deploy over and over and over again, for 5 to 10 years. And after more than a decade of service to my country, I wanted to enjoy having a family, not start one and be absent for it 75% of the time.
How our government treats our soldiers is a disgrace, and by and large that is a product of a society where 90% of the populace never serve, and more than 50% look down upon soldiers or fear the concept of the military. And those most guilty of that are those in Congress, the vast amount who lived privileged lives and never served.
Are you calling for mandatory military service as many countries have? If not, then you have to accept the fact that when military service is optional most people choose not to serve. You cannot blame people for wanting to preserve their own lives.
The Great USA , cares little enough about it's returning war veterans . Especially mental health issues ! In our own civil war studies , they show that the Gov't. didn't even have to notify next of kin of a death , return the bodies of the dead or even bury our own dead soldiers on the battle fields rightt in America . Not until the first world war did that change . Check out studies by the dean at Yale ! My Father returned from WWII in a state of mess, mentally , phisically , and emotionaly . My brother from Viet nam .........I don't have to tell you about that war ," The forgotten war "......Korea ! The same thing . The wars in the gulf ? A prediction ......in ten years you won't even remember which neighbor or friend was there ........but they will . Have we grown into a nation of supreme apathy ? Have you or have I ?
Great question (as always) IDONO. It points to the heart of a simple fact. The government wants to use its people to wage war. That is most ofwhat it trains and pays people to do.
If I truly focus on your question "why?", I would say that the government represents the fear in society's collective consciousness. We don't want to face that fear and heal it, so we act it out outside our own borders. Then we leave individuals responsible for rebuilding their lives and becoming humane again after we've taught them to kill.
It's sad. May we learn teh way of peace, inner peace, and outer peace both.
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