Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It was Veterans Day and most neighborhoods cancelled the day off from school because of all the days off they already had due to the storms in the north east. So, weather trumps people who ruined their lives representing our country. We really should respect those people one day a year.
Then we are told that General Outrageous I mean General Petraeus resigned because he had an extramarital affair. Sure, the high ranking General should embarrass the country and should be on display to our children as not being a very good example of a man and soldier on Veterans Day with the help of all media everywhere. Couldn’t they come up with a warm and fuzzy advertisement of the handsome and brave soldier coming home to his beautiful wife and adorable kids?
Where is that handsome, brave well adjusted patriotic soldier anyway? Well they are all coming home but we need to know the truth about our newest Veterans, after all there really wasn’t much media on the poor guys. Two and a half million soldiers served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them more than once.
The Veterans Administration tells us that more than 20% have come home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder known as PTSD so that comes to about 500,000 patients. For some, returning is more than they imagined. The suicide rate for the Army is up 15% over last year, for the Marines, it is above 28%. A few of our troops returned to become something they thought they could never be; criminals for the first time in their lives.
After World War II our soldiers were offered tax breaks, affordable housing like the Town of Levittown in New York. Businesses had jobs reserved just for returning veterans. There used to be something to come home to that was just for them. Now, around Houston , in Harris County Texas, 400 Veterans are locked up every month. There is a guy who spent almost 22 years in the Marine Corp , had 4 combat deployments and made it to First Sergeant in the Marines. That is a pretty impressive military record..
There are two pictures that exist of soldier Arthur Davis. One standing along side President Bush when he was in charge of the Embassy Security in Afghanistan in 2006 and one that is a mug shot that was taken in the Harris County Jail. This guy did not let our Embassy get burned down and in the toughest country on the globe that hates us. One year from retiring from the Corp, he was in jail.
He was facing up to 20 years for assault with a deadly weapon. He was drunk and in a rage and took a knife to a fight with a neighbor. When faced with a altercation he took matters into his hands the only way he knew. He said the demons in his mind made him do it. He has reoccurring dreams of anger wanting to get back at the people who killed some of the 200 Marines he was in charge of in Iraq. The guys who died that he told their families he was going to send them home safely.
Symptoms of PTSD followed him home with feelings of anger and anxiety. He thought the world was dangerous and crowds were menacing. Noises were startling and he was self-medicating himself with booze. We used to have mental wards now we have prisons and medication. These guys need help when they still have images of their buddies being blown up in the middle of a sentence. Years ago you went for one tour of duty now they let guys sign um for tour after tour and by then they have lost touch with civilian life.
They end up loosing their job if they can even find one. They loose the trust of their family. They loose the little they have acquired. Back in Iraq he lived with hidden threats all around. Always on guard and if you killed someone you thought was the enemy who cares, aggression was just on your trigger finger. In America you are isolated and still angry and can not act out in a violent way to anyone.
Americans really don’t appreciate the freedoms they have. Free to go anywhere they want. Do whatever they want. The choices we have here are incredible that are not found in other parts of the world. The freedom of our women to wear whatever clothing they want. Have as many kids as the want. The freedom to decide not to have children if they want. The freedom to work at any occupation you want.
So forget Veterans Day this year the storms were more important. But never ever forget a Veteran. If they are in uniform, go up to them say thanks give them the largest denomination of money you got on you and put that cash in their hand. Thank them directly and quickly any day of the year because they went far away to keep the terrorists and any enemy far away from your shores.

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