Band Aid on a Sucking Chest Wound

Let’s think about this before we start another war:

At the Veterans Crisis Line in Canandaigua, New York, the calls come in all day and night. Every day, 1,700 calls come in from veterans on the brink. […]

Twenty veterans take their lives every day in America, or 6,000 a year. Personal finances, broken relationships and loneliness are all factors. […]

Responder Terrence Davis, a Navy veteran himself, said he always tries to answer by the second ring.

“It’s highly stressful. Just knowing that you have someone else’s life in your hands,” Davis said.

Former Sergeant Danny O’Neel knows that feeling. Santa Cruz, California, may be a long way from the battlefield, but for him and his men, Sadr City, Iraq, is close by.

“It was hell on Earth. It was the most dangerous place at the time,” O’Neel said.

In 2006, his unit lost nine men in the fighting. But back home, 14 have died at their own hands.

“The guys started isolating and drinking and doing things that they thought were helping them cope. And it, and it led to depression and suicide,” he said.

Suicide hotline operators, and every other healthcare provider trying to heal these vets, are doing some of the hardest work there is. But their labor is a tiny fraction of what’s needed to stop these preventable deaths. We need more research, more providers, and more money spent on providing care for vets and others. More broadly, we need to expand our concept of a casualty of war, and understand the true long-term cost of wars that DC armchair warriors are constantly pushing.






78 replies
  1. 1
    Zinsky says:

    Great post, mistermix! These Washington assh*les never, ever think of the consequences of their actions. Ever. I just heard that little wimp Lindsey Graham on TV talking tough about going to war with Iran. This hypocritical sissy should be the first one to parachute into Tehran, if he is so tough! Tie that POS up and drop him out of a plane over there and let him wage his own little war until he gets reduced to a pile of goulash…

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    Two weeks ago I called the VA crisis hotline, twice. They did great. It is a bit unnerving because while I needed help it wasn’t about suicide, just needed emergency medical care, but because suicide is such a problem with vets, they take it very seriously and question you seven ways from Sunday. I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t call.

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    @Zinsky:
    He shouldn’t go alone. I have a list. Also we should save money, they don’t need chutes.

  4. 4
    RepubAnon says:

    “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare”
    -Sun Tsu

    Pity Trump doesn’t read, or listen to others.

  5. 5
    Professor Bigfoot says:

    Thank you.

    If there one thing this country should oughta do, if it truly gives a shit about it’s veterans, is QUIT FUCKING MAKING COMBAT VETERANS.

    At the very least, make putting these men and women’s lives at risk the very LAST option, fer tha luvva Gawd.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    @RepubAnon:

    “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare”
    -Sun Tsu

    Trump: “Where’s my fucking money.”

    Individuals on the other hand…..

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ruckus:

    Also we should save money, they don’t need chutes.

    To save even more money in fuel costs, they should be dropped off half-way to their destination and be forced to swim there.

  8. 8
    Mike R says:

    @Professor Bigfoot: Gee whiz prof, making combat vets is good. I remember when I was a young combat vet, a west pointer gave me a lesson that hasn’t been forgotten. He said that our effort wasn’t a waste, referring to Vietnam, as having an army that had been bloodied and experienced, his words, deterred other countries especially the Russians from daring to mess with us. Which proves your point they don’t give a shit and are willing to have us rush bunkers for fun and profit and if people don’t adjust, well they weren’t really the best people anyway.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:
    Apropos of nothing, spouse has a client who jumped out of a plane for Uncle Sam, chute did not open and yet he lived to tell the tale, albeit with a medical discharge and fvcked-up legs. I need to shake his hand, maybe some luck will transfer back.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    Let’s think about this before we start another war

    We haven’t thought about it for the last three six, seven or eleven wars, depending on what you’re counting as a “war”.

    It’s a problem. I had a guy I was interviewing for a job a couple of years ago just start blabbing and telling me about how he’d start fights with “foreigners” or kick their car doors in when he saw them out in public and how they totally deserved it. Afghanistan vet, 90% disabled from THREE IED attacks. And then RIFed out before he could get retirement. Army didn’t want to pay for his medical/psych care, or anyone’s, which is why they’re dumping guys right around year 16 of their enlistment.

    He should not have been allowed out on the streets. He was dangerous. To everyone, including himself I am certain.

    There’s not enough health care dollars in world to fix this. I don’t know what the fuck we’re supposed to do, since “not starting shit in the first place” was never an option, or so I’ve been told by my betters.

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    To save even more money in fuel costs, they should be dropped off half-way to their destination and be forced to swim there.

    Yeah, but there’s a chance they might survive if you do that. Better to spend the extra dough to watch them hit the ground at terminal velocity. Think of the popcorn futures! //

  12. 12
    Mai naem mobile says:

    Meanwhile Bret Kavanaugh goes on about how his life has been destroyed by his own behavior. Bill Kristol makes bucks off going on teevee. Condi Rice goes on Fox Business and CNBC and gets treated like some foreign policy expert and people talking about how hawt she looks. George W. Bush goes around lobbying to get Kavanaugh on the USSC because one stolen election with its resulting two stolen Supreme Court seats wasn’t enough. Dubhya and his pal Dick Cheney(the one somebody literally sacrificed a heart for) should be orderlies for the quadriplegics they caused and that’s during the day. At night they should have to listen to the suicide hotline.

  13. 13
    Raoul says:

    I am just repulsed by the ways the Republican party has gotten away with decades of being the ‘pro-defense’ party while consistently underfunding veteran’s care and services.

    One of the million ways our press fails us.

  14. 14
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Friend of mine works for the VA and does therapy groups, said one guy is homeless, they get him a place and back on his feet. He comes in, thanks them, then goes out in the lobby and blows his brains out. Worth noting that most VA workers are vets too with their own issues.

    According to me friend what makes things like O’Neel’s Sadar City bearable is they are surrounded by people they can can trust. The vets then go back to civilian life and they are on their own.

  15. 15
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    More broadly, we need to expand our concept of a casualty of war, and understand the true long-term cost of wars that DC armchair warriors are constantly pushing.

    Agreed. Even more broadly, we really do need to stop starting dumb wars, as others have mentioned in this thread, that create these casualties of war

  16. 16
    Lyrebird says:

    @Mai naem mobile: YES. And meanwhile I think that young lady in TX who voted in the wrong district is, like, still incarcerated or something, while these wholesale liars into war and corruption keep on getting away with this…

  17. 17
    gvg says:

    We are having too many pointless wars. We are making too many Vets. They and their families can’t bear to hear that it was useless, so they become even more rah rah invested but I think underneath, they know.
    I used to hang out on a sports board. One guy couldn’t stop being gung ho about Iraq when it was falling apart and finally said that that would mean his bothers injuries were for nothing. I could understand his thoughts, and quit wasting my time talking to him, but it did teach me why it’s a problem.

  18. 18
    Leto says:

    @Ruckus: CMSgt Wright, Chief Master Sergeant of the AF, spoke recently about suicide prevention at a leaders symposium. I have the video, from a FB group, but can’t find a way to link it. I wish I could because he says a lot of really good things. The AF is going through a suicide crisis atm. We recently had a stand down day to try to help address the issue, but honestly one day to talk about it isn’t enough. We have too many missions, too little people. Despite our best efforts to take the stigma away from asking for help, it’s still there. And above all, as multiple people here have stated, we keep having chickenhawk assholes advocating for wars and trying to get us involved abso-fucking-lately everywhere. The only way I know how to change this is to fucking vote out every GD republican that I can. At minimum, that’s a start.

    @gvg: I know people like that and I don’t know how to reach them. I basically don’t talk to them about it because I’ve come to the conclusion that it was pointless. We destabilized a nation, had no plan for afterwards, and just expected unicorns and fairies to be everywhere. But you’re correct wrt to the “they know”.

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    I was once appalled to see an article about Dubya hosting an athletic event for a group of disabled Iraq vets. I mean, didn’t any of them realize he was the guy who sent them into combat for no good reason and got them blown up?

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @Mike in NC: Some must have, because they stopped letting him do that.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    satby says:

    Great post! I worry about my foster son, who seems to be coping ok, but did 5 combat tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, came home with deafness and PTSD and got divorced within a couple of years.

  23. 23
    David Evans says:

    Trump on John McCain: “I like people who weren’t captured”
    If he were ever to be that honest again he would say “I like people who didn’t come home with PTSD”

  24. 24
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @satby:

    Sorry to hear that about your foster son, but glad that he seems to be doing alright

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mai naem mobile: Rice was on Colbert and he handled her with kid gloves. I try not to look too much to comedians to fight political battles, but I can’t imagine Condi’s a huge draw with the kids, so I can’t imagine why the guy who did the rightly famous performance he did at that press dinner in ’05 or ’06 felt the need to have her on to mealy-mouth criticisms of trump (“it was the right decision to cancel the Talibans’ invitation to Camp David”)

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    Y’all act like the give a fuck.

  27. 27
    Wapiti says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: One wonders if they would be better off living in a group home where all occupants are other vets. But I doubt there’s a simple answer.

  28. 28
    Mandalay says:

    I have bookmarked this thread, and will link to it every time some dumbfuck posts on BJ that being President of the United States is the most stressful job on earth.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike in NC:
    I remember something I heard in Band of Brothers: you salute the rank, not the man. So maybe those veterans felt obliged to show respect to the rank of Commander in Chief, even if they did rightly blame W for their grievous injuries.

  30. 30

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: She’s on a book tour. I don’t know who her publisher is but there’s a lot of interconnection between networks and publishers.

  31. 31
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s different kinds of stress. Yes, the POTUS isn’t in any real physical danger the vast majority of the time, but to anybody in the position that actually cares about doing the right thing, it’s a very stressful job where your decisions often have deadly consequences those under your command, not to mention millions of innocent lives here as well as abroad, and more often than not there are no easy answers. That’s the curse of power and authority. It exists at every level and only gets worse the more powers and responsibilities the position has.

    That being said, a combat soldier’s job is also extremely stressful, but in a mortal way, and I’m sure any decent person who’s been POTUS will agree that the average combat soldier’s job is much more stressful than theirs

  32. 32

    OT. Also too, I apologize.

    I was today years old when I learnt that there is entire community dedicated to Ted Cruz / Marco Rubio slash fiction.https://t.co/3rruXhsCaJ— Brittany Shepherd (@blrshepherd) September 19, 2019

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    there is entire community dedicated to Ted Cruz / Marco Rubio slash fiction.

    I could have lived the rest of my life without having to know that.

    Damn you.

  34. 34
    Sayne says:

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at

    1-800-273-8255.

    Depression is a real disease and it’s treatable. If more people knew about this hotline, maybe fewer would take their own lives.

  35. 35
    Emerald says:

    @Zinsky:

    These Washington assh*les never, ever think of the consequences of their actions.

    They do not care about the consequences of their actions, unless those consequences directly and adversely affect themselves.

    FTFY

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    PSA: if you or someone you know has PTSD, there’s a pretty effective therapy called EMDR that sounds like woo but actually has some solid science showing that it works to decrease PTSD and other trauma symptoms.

    http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Alas, the story has no link to the Ted&Marco slashfic. I am disappoint.

  38. 38

    @Amir Khalid: Yeah, you’re going to have to find that one yourself. I had a heart attack last year.

    @TenguPhule: I did apologize.

    On another OT topic, apparently the action the whistle blower reported is actually a series of actions.

  39. 39
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Alas, the story has no link to the Ted&Marco slashfic. I am disappoint.

    So you’re saying you’d want to read it?

    “Oh Marco, fetch me my pocket constitution.” /I feel dirty for typing that

  40. 40
    Professor Bigfoot says:

    @Mike R: I have a grandson who is joining the Army after high school graduation next May.

    I recognize that sometimes you HAVE to make combat veterans; and every soul who puts on the uniform might find himself or herself getting shot at *at any given moment* (see the stories of cooks and drivers pressed into the line in the Korean war).

    As the father and father-in-law of vets and (too damn) soon to become the grandfather of a vet, I accept that there’s tremendous risk in the job.

    But dammit, I so wish I could TRUST the National Command Authority not to piss away our people’s lives over BULLSHIT and LIES.

  41. 41
    JDM says:

    Only pinko commies think supporting the troops means supporting actual people. Real Americans know that supporting the troops means indulging in as many wars as possible while cutting pay and benefits for the actual people.

  42. 42
    Professor Bigfoot says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: “No one comes home from war unwounded.”

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Gravenstone says:

    The fucking banner ad (for Trump’s re-election *spit*) at the head of the page just hijacked the entire page with no obvious way to close. Had to reopen the tab to clear it.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: this astounds me, maybe things actually are changing

    March For Our Lives @ AMarch4OurLives
    You all. The firearm manufacturer, Colt is ending production of AR-15s due to lack of demand. This is real life. We’re winning.

  46. 46
    C Stars says:

    My younger brother enlisted at around 18, was in Iraq by 18 and a half, and dead by his own hands at 23. The Marines courted him and put stories in his head for six months when he was in high school, but in the end nobody in the military gave a flying fuck about him, from when he was injured in Iraq (because he wasn’t given the protective equipment that would have prevented it), to at the end when they put up an amazing net of bureaucracy and derision to prevent him from accessing medical and mental health care. Hell, they were probably glad that he was dead. Not their problem anymore.

  47. 47
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Oh god, the tags:

    Barack Obama/Joe Biden (hinted)

  48. 48
    Professor Bigfoot says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Alas, they’re dropping out of the business because *they cannot compete.* Their quality is only “ok,” and there are a LOT of manufacturers and *builders* (because you can literally buy a bunch of components and BUILD an AR-platform rifle) who are producing the same or higher quality rifles for less (sometimes MUCH less) money.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    M31 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    apparently the action the whistle blower reported is actually a series of actions.

    of course it was — has there been any Trump admin wrongdoing that was just a one-off?

  51. 51
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Too late!

    Writing fanfic about real, living people is weird. Fans do this with actors on tv shows too, not just their characters. I think the actor playing Oliver on Arrow had to deal with this shit recently when crazy fans started giving his IRL wife, who also happens to be an actress, shit because they wanted him to hook up with his co-star.

    I mean I get imagining it would be cool if two actors with chemistry hooked up in real life, which does happen. But harassing their IRL SOs is over the line

  52. 52
    Leto says:

    @Amir Khalid: When the President arrives, you typically can’t get out of it. It’s a “mandatory” event.

    @C Stars: I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s part of the reason my mother steered me towards the Air Force, based on how her brothers (Vietnam vets) were treated by the Marines and Army. Again, I’m sorry.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Was in the navy hospital in 73 with a guy who I can/could imagine should still be in the hospital. He was, how should I say this, fucking fucked up. He was the worst of the 40-50 that I sat with daily. That I know of. A majority of them didn’t say a word. No one knew what was going on in their minds.
    And I think the Middle East is different than Vietnam. In the ME a lot do more than one tour. And conservatives are even more war loving than 50 years ago. They see more people under their beds trying/wanting to kill them and eat their young. Thirty years of faux news will do that.

  54. 54
    Professor Bigfoot says:

    @C Stars: So very sorry for your loss.

    This is one more reason why I’m *terrified* for my grandson.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Professor Bigfoot:
    That used to be the at least spoken concept. I know that not all command staff thinks this, I mean how does one get metals and acclaim if you don’t sacrifice bodies for the cause? And conservative politicians? Just think of all the bodies that can be destroyed in their names.

  56. 56
    C Stars says:

    @Leto: I’m sorry too. But there’s not much to be done about it. He was treated so poorly I feel like we could have done some kind of public expose on how awful it all was, but our family wasn’t in that place at that time. He was a joyful, honorable kid, and they made him feel bad about himself and they threw his life away.

    Anyway, in the last year I’ve ended up casually chatting with a couple of folks I don’t know that well and they tell me their kid is going into the military–they’re usually like, “I think little Tommy will really benefit from the discipline, and will be ready for college at the end, etc. etc., what’s the worst that can happen?” and I don’t even know what to say. I mean, Republican administration with a Middle-East-sized chip on its shoulder? Check. Venal assholes running the DOD? Check. Inside, I’m like, “You really want me to tell you what’s the worst that can happen? Because I fucking will.” But instead I just keep my mouth shut and make a beeline to the veggie dip because it is not something that is easy to talk about and I honestly just don’t know what to say.

    ETA: Leto, sorry, just unburdening myself. I thank you for your service and I’m glad that the Air Force worked out for you. I know the Marines are supposed to be the worst in this regard.

  57. 57
    mapghimagsik says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    As someone who writes a fair amount of (ficticious character) fan fiction, the real person angle is weird.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    I read the first chapter. Pretty much what I’d expect, based on the fanfic I’ve read. Writing not terribly good, in need of much tightening up to give the narrative some flow and rhythm. Plot also typical fanfic-grade stuff. Not disappointed so far, just meh. When does the hot boy/boy action start, and will it be described in, um, adequately vigorous prose? Let’s see how far I have the patience to get.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @trollhattan:
    If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have none at all.
    Not just a CW song my friend.
    And my luck hasn’t been as bad as a lot of people I’ve known. Life is making it last as long as you can, or at least as long as possible.
    To be honest, I don’t understand why people expect you to live 7or 8 decades of a shitty life, watching fat cats fuck everyone for a few bucks each and thinking it will always improve tomorrow. I guess not letting them take everything is worth something.

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians – farmers and laborers who were resting after a day's work in the fields collecting pine nuts https://t.co/ty7OYgHTaw— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) September 19, 2019

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    All the staff at the VA have to have id visible at all times and vets have VETERAN on it if they are. There are a lot of them.

  62. 62

    @Amir Khalid: Jesus. I can’t believe you’re reading that.

  63. 63
    Jay says:

    Put another way: the Army is using the student debt crisis as a crutch for recruiting goals https://t.co/JNRn0ksXRe— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) September 18, 2019

  64. 64
    JustRuss says:

    @C Stars:

    to at the end when they put up an amazing net of bureaucracy and derision to prevent him from accessing medical and mental health care. Hell, they were probably glad that he was dead. Not their problem anymore.

    Yep. I have a friend whose husband served in Iraq, came home with PTSD and they felt the military did all it could to discourage him from getting help. It’s disgusting.

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @Leto:
    No different than 50yrs ago.
    Conservative politicians like one thing. MONEY. People are just there to help get them more money. They have never given a fart, let alone an entire shit about anything else. Ships were undermanned, we had a WWII destroyer in our flotilla, it should have been salvaged at least a decade earlier, and all so the PTB could have a 600 ship navy.
    It is a scam for the defense industry, and a power play for politicians.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @Raven:
    Not all of us.

  67. 67
    J R in WV says:

    My service in the Navy was hard work, dangerous work, but no non-American military folks were shooting at me. My ship was home-ported supporting a submarine squadron in Key West. Yeah, tough, but someone had to support those subs.

    I have friends who can not talk about their service back in that era of Southeast Asia. I enlisted in the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Marines. I wear glasses and could not imagine floundering around in jungle and swamp wearing glasses to see anything at all.

    The treatment of combat vets, hell, of all vets! is despicable. Not the VA’s fault, more the fault of the Republicans in congress not being willing to pay what it takes to care for the vets. Anything for warfare, nothing for the troops!

  68. 68
    Leto says:

    @C Stars:

    ETA: Leto, sorry, just unburdening myself.

    No problem. I’ll always listen. Of all the shitty service treatment records, the Marines hold a special place for absolute shit treatment. While I technically understand it, I still don’t like it.

    I @Ruckus: agreed. AF has issues regarding planes. It is indeed a clusterfuck.

    @J R in WV:

    more the fault of the Republicans in congress not being willing to pay what it takes to care for the vets.

    This is a consistent theme in American history: conservatives who don’t plan for what comes after, and then definitely shit on the troops afterwards. Bonus March, anyone? /sigh

  69. 69
    EthylEster says:

    @Ruckus:

    Not just a CW song my friend.

    Blues or R&B.
    But maybe some CW singers have covered it.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The deserting coward and Darth Cheney both sleep like babies, too.

  71. 71
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mnemosyne: A psychiatrist used this technique on me many moons ago, after my bike accident, to get me to remember what happened (I had a concussion and some memory loss). Cuz why? Cuz I had to give a deposition so the driver’s insurance company would pay up. It really does work to deal with traumatic memories.

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @TenguPhule:
    From comment #1

    Tie that POS up and drop him out of a plane

    Sure, let them swim. Although I could give a rats ass if they can swim in that condition. Not my problem.

  73. 73
    MomSense says:

    @C Stars:

    ((((((((((((C Stars)))))))))))))

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Leto:
    Before I enlisted in 69 I got a lot of mail and phone calls from the local Marine recruiters. One day I just got pissed about it and went to their office. Couple of HS kids in there being bullshitted by the E6 behind the desk. He asked how he could help me. I told him in language that he could understand that they had to stop fucking sending me their fucking bullshit about how great it is to be a marine and get fucking killed for your country, when your country doesn’t give a flying fuck about your fucking life. Never heard another word from them. I hope that those 2 boys learned something. One had a chance in the army, a HS friend was sent to CO to the army language school and they liked him well enough to make him a teacher. His 2 yr hitch was boot camp and army language school. I tried the AF but was told when I walked in that I needed a 4 yr degree min to sign up, even just to clean toilets. I went navy. Best day of my life was walking off that POS ship and driving out the front gate and never looking back.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    This is why I do not like being thanked for my service. I was treated the same way as everyone else, like shit. You are expected to die if necessary, but that word necessary is doing far more work than any one word can. Some wars are necessary, when someone with the hate of a trump gets themselves in power and fucks over/kills a lot of people. That’s not honorable, it just isn’t. I did what I had to do, not because it was right, but because our country made the alternatives worse. That’s not honorable, no matter how you dress it up. We are citizens, we are the country. I enlisted 4 yrs after the civil rights act passed. It took almost 200 yrs, a civil war and we still haven’t gotten over racism. I served, not because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the only option that was left to me. Most people my age didn’t serve during Vietnam, that doesn’t make my service honorable. Or their lack of service dishonorable. Thanking me for my service is bullshit, not an honorable comment. I earned the VA, it was part of the contract I had to sign. I couldn’t walk away, but an officer could resign their commission and walk away. If service was honorable, we’d take better care of those that were injured. The VA is good but like so many things we do in this country, it is underfunded because that’s money that conservatives can steal. Honor? No. Service is normal, reasonable payment and treatment and honoring the terms of the contract – the VA, that’s honorable. But we have conservatives so honor never enters into it.
    Honorable? Killing people that are not harming your country is not honorable. Power is not honorable. Don’t try to honor something that can not be honored.

  76. 76
    Miss Bianca says:

    @C Stars:

    My heart breaks when I hear stories like this. My condolences.

    One of the reasons I am a big supporter of programs like Rivers of Recovery is that they are doing the hard work of rehab and counseling that the armed forces *should* be doing – but for whatever reason, whether it’s lack of money or lack of facilities or simply lack of compassion – they aren’t.

    One of these facilities is on the Arkansas River not too far from me. The director of that facility got a lot of flak from the neighbors when it opened – people were all freaked out thinking that wild-eyed vets with PTSD were going to, I don’t know, go onto their properties and shoot them all in their beds, or something. He was at a county commissioners’ meeting not too long ago looking to expand the facility, and said that there had been no suicide attempts among the 200 vets who had gone through his program.

    That impressed me. Giving wounded vets a way to cope and function and be physically and mentally active seems like God’s work to me.

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Money is the biggest reason. There is OK money for physical healthcare. But there isn’t for mental health care. The VA does what they can with what they have but it isn’t close to enough. The same problem exists in the public healthcare system. Physical failings can be seen, mental failings can not. We know what it costs for X procedure, we have no idea how many hours it will take to fix the mental problems of citizens or vets. Sometimes it takes years and thinking way, way outside the box. I’ve talked here about a Netflix 1/2 hr special, called Resurface. There is a lot going on in that 1/2 hr. Extremely screwed up vets, suicidal vets, blind/deaf vets. Finding a reason to go on, something so simple, surfing. It switches off the constant loop in the mind of a suicidal human that there is only one answer. This can be done without surfing of course but it takes time and one on one effort. And there are lots and lots of vets with major mental issues, often to go along with their myriad physical injuries.
    Vets kill themselves at the rate of 22/day, The average for the country is 123/day suicides in this country. That country average is over 44,000 per year. It’s an epidemic any way you look at it. It creates a lot of pain and suffering for those left. And we do shit about it. At least the VA is trying. Our medical community does little, because there really is no money to pay for counselors. I used volunteer at a local mental health/suicide hotline – in person counseling program. It was incredibly rewarding and incredibly difficult and we need far more of this and professional mental healthcare. If you have healthcare insurance provided by your job, look and see if there is any mental healthcare provision at all. I had, in my last job, extremely good HC insurance, but all the companies said they wouldn’t sell this type of product any longer, at any price. And we had almost no mental healthcare coverage. This was 24 yrs ago. Now? I’d bet zero mental coverage. It can’t be scored on a spreadsheet. So it’s not covered.

  78. 78
    Inspectrix says:

    Thanks for this post and thread. The mental health professionals have got it right:
    “Because the development of PTSD is conditional on trauma exposure, PTSD may be the most preventable of mental disorders. We have the unique opportunity to reduce the population burden of PTSD both by preventing trauma exposure and by delivering timely interventions in the wake of trauma to those most at risk.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800738/

    We could do a lot better in this country at preventing trauma (perhaps by avoiding unnecessary military interventions, teaching consent in sex ed, legislating gun control, etc) and then offer immediate treatment to those traumatized.

    I’ll repeat the crisis line info: 800-273-8255. Veterans and non veterans can both use it. Program it into your cell phone even if it’s not for you. I’ve helped others call and they do pick up quickly.

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