When I was in private practice I thought it was awful when I heard that a survivor of the Bataan Death March FINALLY got his purple heart. Keep in mind that I was in private practice around 2005. Now I was reading where a World War II vet finally received his benefits from the VA. I have heard of things taking time but this is ridiculous. I know that there are some who receive excellent service from the VA. I also know that there are some who work for the VA who are wonderful and provide high quality service to our veterans. I also know that there are those who are idiots. I do not know why it takes so long for our service men and women to get their benefits. I have personally worked with hundreds of veterans during the course of my career as a professional counselor. I have helped many get their benefits. I have also watched as year after year ticked by and all the veteran received was more paperwork. One gentleman died before the VA ever got around to recognizing his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a case that was over 10 years in filing. It took them over 5 years to accept that he was in Vietnam.
I am from a family with a very long military history. My people do as far back in this country as the American Revolution and then back to the Magna Carta in England. So we have been standing out ground for right for centuries. But I am at the place where I no longer encourage young men and women to enter the military. This change is not because of any change in love for my country, it is a change in how I see my country treat its veterans. I see our country use and abuse and then abandon our military. It is hard to believe that people are sent into combat zones without weapon or ammunitions. But this happens routinely. It is also hard to imaging people expecting our military to ‘zero’ their weapon, or to have no round nor magazine in their weapon in areas due to political correctness. You would have thought that our government would have learned from Vietnam that you cannot have a war ran from D.C.
This is one issue that can really get my blood to boil if permitted because our service men and women deserve better. When our people sign up to defend this country there needs to be a reason where there is a threat to the country before they are sent out to fight. Likewise, they need to be given the tools and permission to do their jobs. Then if they are harmed in doing their jobs they need to be compensated for that harm.
Post-traumatic stress is more than just emotions. I was appalled when I read where our service men and women were being sent into combat with Prozac. This show such a ignorance to PTSD by those our young people are supposed to follow. As a therapist I did not have one female who was not sexually assaulted by their own fellow soldiers. I also had a number of men who had been sexually assaulted by their superiors. It is my understanding that the government made the statement that sexual assault in the military is a ‘occupational hazard’. Then when a some of those men went to file for benefits for being assaulted so much of their papers were blacked out. I also found that many of those who had more than ‘interesting’ duties also had much of their papers blacked out then they filed for benefits. Is this how little we care about our veterans? Use, abuse and abandon seems to be the call of the day. Personally, I dare our fat butt (see I’m trying to be nice) stupid Congress people to get off out of their overstuffed chairs and take their overstuffed butts and put on a uniform. I would even be glad if they would go into the same places our young men and women live on a daily basis and leave their high priced security guards behind and live like our service people with the same fears and hope to live through the night.
My Forefathers are embarrassed at our country. I am embarrassed at our country. I love my country but I am embarrassed as to what our trusted leaders have done to it. May God have mercy on America…I doubt that our leaders will.