Salon.com is reporting that the government is looking to cut the costs of war by investigating people claiming post-traumatic stress disorder for fraud.
America, I know I said I wasn’t going to read Salon.com again, but I have and, as a result, I think I’m going to throw up.
Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are for the war or against it, we have a responsibility to these soldiers. This obligation is not easily met through slapping a yellow ribbon sticker on your SUV or accusing liberals of being anti-American. Sorry. The cost is a little greater than that.
I keep feeling like this should be obvious, but apparently it’s not, so I’m going to spell it out for you.
These men and women are volunteering their time, energy, skills, and potentially their lives.
Regardless of what you think of the war, we need a strong and healthy military, and we need to support the men and women in it.
One way to support the men and women in the military is to continually examine and reflect upon the goals for the campaigns in which we have them engaged. Yes, this means that we have an obligation to fight about whether we are doing the right thing. This does not make the arguers unpatriotic. It makes them careful with our most valuable resources–our citizens.
Another way to support them is to insist that they have the equipment and resources they need to do their jobs. It is UNACCEPTABLE that men and women are in harm’s way because they don’t have the things they need to do their jobs while we are sitting here in relative comfort.
Wars have costs. And even though I think this war is a crock of stinking shit piled so high it blots out the sun I would gladly do without whatever the hell you needed me to do without so that soldiers can have Kevlar or whatever else they need.
Of course, because asking real sacrifice and not just rhetorical loyalty would make the war very real for people in a way it’s not, we can’t have that.
Instead, we’re going to continue to screw over the very people who are making real sacrifices.
And now, now that we’ve stuck them in that stinking pit of a place and fucked some of them up good, we’re going to try to cut costs by refusing them mental healthcare because a few of them might be frauds?
Okay, seriously, I don’t know how many of you folks know people who were in Vietnam or who had fathers or friends of fathers who served in Vietnam, but let’s just talk frankly here about the shit we normally don’t talk about. If people go through traumatic events that they then find themselves unable to deal with once they get back here and if they cannot get the help they need, they are not the only ones who suffer. You know what I mean? This is not just a military problem. This is a problem that affects all of us and one that we all need to work to address.
Look at this bullshit from the VA: “Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war.” Please, read that again. The number of homeless Vietnam vets right now, as they are in their late 50s and early 60s, is greater than the number of service personnel that died in that war. If there is any clearer statistic on the way we have and continue to let our service people down, I don’t know what it is.
So, here’s what really pisses me off about this witch-hunt. 1.) Even if there is some fraud, the overall benefits of widely available mental health resources is so great as to, in my mind, negate what little fraud there might be. If you go through some terrible shit on my behalf, I don’t mind my tax money being used to help you deal with it. If some dumbfucks steal some of it, it’s still worth it to me for you to have the help you need. 2.) The people in the armed services are not our enemies. But the implication of investigating 72,000 veterans of the war on terror/global struggle against violent extremists is that, indeed, they are all potentially liars and con artists.
This is the thanks they get?
These true patriots come home from a war they volunteered for only to be accused by this administration, which has so closely linked support for the administration with support for the military and with “true patriotism,” of being criminals?