(I have inserted several paragraphs from this article. I will warn those of you with sensitive eyes, if you click to read the entire article, it does contain profanity. But, war is not sugar-coated either. )
Endless War: The Suicide of the United States
Friday, 21 August 2009 02:40
By Dahr JamailT r u t h o u t
"We hear war called murder. It is not: it is suicide."- Ramsay MacDonald, British prime minister 1931-1935
(Click here for complete story http://www.enewspf.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9626:endless-war-the-suicide-of-the-united-states&catid=88888972:analysis&Itemid=88889782.)
Soldiers are returning from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan destroyed mentally, spiritually, and psychologically, to a general population that is, mostly, willfully ignorant of the occupations and the soldiers participating in them. Troops face a Department of Veterans Affairs that is either unwilling or unable to help them with their physical and psychological wounds, and they are left to fend for themselves. It is a perfect storm of denial, neglect, violence, rage, suffering, and death.
Veterans are roaming the country wrought with PTSD.
"War is a really destructive thing, It follows you home. And it doesn’t go away. I was a sergeant, I was a leader, I was a trainer, I was very well thought of. I was one of the most professional soldiers…. I mean I got the paperwork right here in front of me if anyone ever wants to see the proof that I was a very good soldier. But now I’m a pizza delivery boy who works once a week because that’s the only job where I can call in a couple hours before and say, "I’m still at the VA, I’m waiting in line. I’m sorry I can’t come in for a couple hours." (Kristopher Goldsmith)
What kind of homes filled with the specter of a distant war will this country be filled with as more of our broken, wounded, and destroyed soldiers are brought back?
When the VA will not deliver the necessary care, many veterans turn to alcohol and drugs for self-medication. In the Pentagon’s recent post-deployment survey of health-related behavior, released in November 2007, of 88,235 soldiers surveyed three to six months after returning, 12 percent of active-duty troops and 15 percent of reservists acknowledged having problems with alcohol.
At the Northwest Regional Winter Soldier event at the Seattle Town Hall in June 2008, psychiatrist Dr. Evan Kanter, president-elect of Physicians for Social Responsibility, spoke at length to the 800-member audience about the crippling impact that the occupation has had on the mental health of the forces. Dr. Kanter specializes in treating vets with PTSD.
According to Dr. Kanter, these "psychiatric casualties" have a direct link with the high suicide rates in the military. He added:
“PTSD is no less a war wound than a shrapnel injury. It can be tremendously debilitating. Symptoms include nightmares and flashbacks, triggered physiological and psychological stress, social withdrawal, isolation, avoidance of any kind of reminders of the trauma, emotional numbing, uncontrolled outbursts of anger or rage, difficulty concentrating and focusing, and a state of hypervigilance, which the military calls the "battle mind." All these are symptoms that would make it impossible for a vet with severe PTSD to be in the room with us today. Studies that go back to the Second World War have found that combat veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide as people in the general population. Other lesser-known distressing facts are that 9 percent of all unemployment in the United States is attributed to combat exposure, as is 8 percent of all divorce or separation, and 21 percent of all spousal or partner abuse. The impact of all this extends to behavioral problems in children, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, and homelessness, all of which have implications that go well beyond the individual and reverberate across generations.”
(Information posted here was obtained solely and directly from: e-news Park Forest; August 21, 2009, Dahr Jamail, Truthout; Endless War: The Suicide of the United States. Please reference the link above for the entire story.)