For the past two years, America has lost more soldiers to suicide than in combat. And the figures are actually slanted to minimize the numbers–several services only list suicides by soldiers specifically on active duty, do not list soldiers detached from their specific unit, the VA only tracks soldiers enrolled in the VA health service, which 3/4 are not. So these figures are almost guaranteed to be laughably low.
A friend of mine has a friend who’s married to a returning vet. She told me bluntly what’s going on in all too many cases. “These guys come home wrecked, emotionally shot,” she said. “The VA pumps them full of antidepressants until they can’t make love to their wives. So they go off the meds and get worse.”
So there’s too little care and ineffective care, institutional indifference and individual neglect. Think about how all this plays out as you watch the Washington pissing match over the debt ceiling.
Republicans have made a big fuss for the last thirty years about being the Defense party, the hawks and proud of it. Democrats have continued insanely wasteful Defense spending rather than being accused of being ‘soft’.
So we have $150 million fighter planes and a million and a half private contractors with ‘Top Secret’ security clearances while we abuse and ignore the people who did the fighting.
The dead, at least, got a funeral. That is apparently all the help our government can afford a soldier.
There are lots of people ill served by this government. But there is no more vivid example of the hypocrisy of the inmates running this particular asylum.