In the years of the late 60’s and early 70’s the American economy was not necessarily “booming”; however it was nowhere near the catastrophic crisis Americans are facing today.
The early 70's are “fresh” in my memory. I had graduated high school and was off to ‘conquer the world’.
Little did I know what that ‘world’ would become.
Our country is in a severe economic crisis. The rates of unemployment are historical. Additionally, in unprecedented numbers, people are losing their homes. Countless well educated people are actually living in tents, having lost everything.
Included in this catastrophic economic crisis in our country are our Veterans.
Many Veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are leaving the service as soon as their “stop loss” date occurs. These Vets, much like many other Americans, are then faced with unemployment, and housing unavailability.
Unfortunately due to their service to our country – they are also facing other struggles that the average American cannot relate to or comprehend; post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries.
With the coupled stressors of the economic crisis in our country and the struggles of the unseen wounds of war that our Veterans carry with them, there is an upward spiral in violence committed by Veterans; domestic violence, substance abuse ending in tragedy, and an increase in suicides, among other violent crimes.
After facing the wars on foreign turf, our Veterans are facing a different battle upon returning home; many of our Veterans are losing that battle and finding themselves incarcerated. Our Veterans are becoming entwined in the criminal justice system at an alarming rate.
Our government, our citizens, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense are failing our veterans.
The criminal justice system - the courts, and legal practitioners, and even the American public who will serve on juries, are inadequately prepared to address the problems confronting our veterans.
Among Americans there is a lack of awareness and/or education on the critical situation our Veterans are facing.
With inadequate services available for our Veterans, coupled with a lack of willingness of the citizens of this country to take an involved and proactive approach towards offering preventative measures to our Veterans in trouble – our Veterans will sink.
As our Veterans sink, so does the future of our country. The youth of America will see what is happening to our Veterans, and they will not have the inclination to join the military.
Without our military to protect us – who will?
Instead of spending untold amounts of money attempting to rehabilitate known criminals - who have done nothing for our country, isn’t it fair that our Veterans get the first shot at rehabilitation?
Shouldn’t our Veterans with no previous criminal history be afforded a second chance before being thrown into prison with hardened career criminals?
Isn’t it fair that after defending our country – we defend our Veterans?
Joseph Patrick Lamoureux is a great man, and he deserves a second chance.
Please, help me support and defend my Veteran.