Showing posts with label Veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veterans. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

America Is Already Great

Here's why...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Taxpayers Should Foot The Bill

I've been mildly surprised although not entirely shocked that conservatives have not really taken President Obama to the mat over just how FUBAR the VA Hospital situation has become. The president campaigned on making improvement to veteran's care and things have gotten worse. We had these same problems during the Bush Administration and it seems that nothing has been done to improve them.

Yet, if you think about it for a minute, it makes sense that the GOP are tepid in their criticism of the president. They know that if they go full on Benghazi or Obamacare mad, it will bite them in the ass. Why? Because the main reason why the VA is so screwed up is Iraq and they don't want to open up the can of worms when they can see the Senate in their sights. Afghanistan (our longest war) is also a big factor. I think conservatives are also having a difficult time in balancing the "everything for the troops" ideology with the "cut spending now!" meme so they aren't really making as much of a fuss.

But they should. These are our troops so let's keep our eye on the ball people. This is not about "failure of government" or adolescent glee (see: inferiority complex, insecurity, envy of success) at the president doing a bad job with this issue. It's about fixing the problem and making sure the troops are well cared for in our society. They volunteered to put their life on the line for us so they deserve the best care, indeed the best life, that money can buy. Both President Obama and President Bush have done a terrible job in handling Veteran's Affairs. This needs to change...yesterday. I don't want to see any more fucking stories about a veteran getting poor care, not being adequately treated for PTSD or other mental issues, or living in poverty.

Their quality of life should be much higher and taxpayers should foot the bill.

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Second Fort Hood Shooting

The silence from the Gun Cult after the SECOND Fort Hood shooting has been deafening and it's now clear why.

Military personnel who are not police officers are not allowed to carry privately owned weapons on Army bases. Soldiers on post must register their firearms, which Army officials said Specialist Lopez failed to do with the handgun he used in the attack. Fort Hood’s rules rely in large part on the honor system, and require all personnel bringing a privately owned firearm onto the base in a vehicle to declare that they are doing so and state why.

So, the idea of less regulation doesn't seem to be working well at all. In addition, this is yet another example of how the gun free zone lie is completely FUBAR. Obviously, there are plenty of guns on the base and no one is really checking for weapons. It is Texas, after all, so one would think this would deter psychos, right?

But it didn't and Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34, killed three people and wounded 16 others at Fort Hood before taking his own life on Wednesday. Lopez was being treated for mental health issues and was on SSRI medications. Ironically, he bought the gun that he used at the same gun store where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan bought his weapon. He passed the background check just fine.

Once again, we are left with a clear illustration of how just how poorly our nation is dealing with the issue of mental health. Politico has an interesting piece about how the conversation about these incidents should shift from gun control to threat detection. I completely agree. If someone voluntarily submits themselves for psychiatric treatment, especially if they are suffering from PTSD and in the military, they should lose their ability to obtain a firearm.

Consider this horrible statistic: 22 veterans kill themselves every day. That's right around one death an hour. Clearly, we are not doing enough to help the mental health of our veterans. This is indeed a difficult task considering we have been at war for the last 13 years.

Mental health in our nation as a whole needs to be vastly improved. We have to begin by removing the stigma associated with it and encourage everyone to see a therapist on a regular basis. I have no doubt that if gains were made in this area, we would see less gun violence, especially in the arena of spree shootings.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Thoughts

When most Americans think of veterans, they imagine an older man in a baseball cap with United States flag on it. Certainly, there are plenty of veterans out there who fit that description. If you see one today, walk up to them, touch them on the shoulder and thank them for their service.

Yet there are plenty of young veterans as we can see in the photo below from USATODAY.

These are the faces of an entire new generation of veterans that very much need to be recognized for their service in the last decade. Two, three, four and even five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan have weighed heavily on the minds of young veterans and turned the spotlight onto the issue of mental health and PTSC (post traumatic stress disorder). Two people very close to me have struggled with mental illness after their service in Afghanistan. One was a marine who served three tours in that country and has struggled enormously with the guilt of surviving where so many of his brothers...close friends in his unity...have died.

They need our support and it can be something as little as just spending time with them and checking in regularly to make sure they are OK. Monetary donations are always nice but your time is much more valuable. Show them how grateful we all are!