Veteran's Day revisited
Last night, I watched a sobering program on Nightline with Ted Koppel. As usualy, Koppel offered some good thought provoking stuff.
Did you know that it is estimated that 1/3 of all homeless are Veterans? Eighty percent of those have substance abuse problems. Most of them have some form of severe psychological trauma.
As Koppel pointed out, we Americans rally around our troops when they go to war, and we support them while they fight. And when they come home, we often throw celebrations and parades. But then, after the emotional inertia peaks, and we erect symbollic monuments, we kinda forget about them.
Veterans Affairs hospitals and institutions around the country are finacially strapped. Many have been forced to close, many have been consolidated, but the fact remains that once the Vets are home, we tend to forget about their sacrifices. No one can deny the psychological impact that war has on those who experience it. Many soldiers that survive war come home and face a lifetime of psychological turmoil. They have a hard time adjusting to civilian life. They turn to chemical dependence to deal with the memories they bear. Many are handicapped from war, and must spend the rest of their lives in and out of medical institutions. Many disconnect emotionally from their families, from their employers, and from basic civil behavior.
You'd think that in a society of our vast wealth we would protect those who would sacrifice their lives to protect us. You'd think that most Americans would gladly support tax increases if it meant that ALL our Veterans could get the treatment they need. Saddly, this isn't true.
War is hell, but it doesn't need to last a lifetime. For many, it does.
We should exercise EXTREME caution when CHOOSING to send our soldiers into battle. We should fully commit to THEIR cause when WE CHOOSE war over diplomacy.
Upon pondering these issues, I'm left with the notion that MORALITY is MYTH, a DREAM in a REAL world. People believe only what they want to believe, often at the expense of others.
It's time to WAKE UP!