Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The "cut of battle" - Returning Vets

Some of our Veterans are returning from the Middle East with a propensity to seek out dangerous past times, seemingly "addicted" to the high of battle.

They have been coming back as addicts in one form or another for decades. Battle after battle, especially, with no reprieve, with being signed on for more tours than should be necessary for an individual, more times than reasonable, especially when that individual is ready to be done, or feels they can't do it again, well, what would you expect?

Veterans have always and stereotypically come back from war to become fire fighters, policemen, etc. But they are also now coming home and seeking out hobbies that are not only reasonably dangerous but simply outright dangerous; and its killing them.

We have the right idea to take care of our Veterans, to treat them like heroes, at least generally so. Some are true heroes but its heroic to go and deal with that lifestyle in the service of one's country.

But we need to go further, so damn much further. IF we are going to send them to war, they need full gear when they arrive in theater, not flak jackets that are missing the steel plates that really protect them, not Humvees missing armor and appropriate armor at that. IF we are going to send them to war, we need to give them full medical and rehabilitation benefits to get them back into "normal" society. We even need to monitor them for the first few years back. But monitoring them in a way that is reasonable, friendly and helpful to them, not the bottom line, not the Pentagon, not the Armed Forces, but the individual at risk.

Let's stand not just behind our Veteran's but in front of them too, leading, not just pushing them into things.

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