Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: How America Supports Its Troops

02 February 2007

How America Supports Its Troops

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We're far from the only folk who have at some time or other been accused of not 'supporting the troops'.

Perhaps the accusers in question haven't heard this particular deceased US soldier's shocking story.

Here's an excruciating excerpt from same.

Jonathan Schulze was a United States Marine.

He died earlier this month at the age of 25 -- not in Iraq, but back home, in Minnesota.

He died of wounds received during his seven-month tour of duty in Iraq, wounds different from the ones that earned Schulze two purple hearts.

This young man died of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, of wounds to the soul and not the flesh.

He died because the government that was there to send him far away to fight in 2004 wasn't there for him when he got home.
See some more of the same.
"What happened that a young man who was a marine veteran with two Purple Hearts turns up at a VA center and says: I am thinking of committing suicide, can you help me, can you admit me, and he is told: No, the list is 26 long in front of you?"
Here's the entire heart-rending report.

Weep while you read.

Of course this oh-so-sad, sort of story isn't new. Nor is it unique.

Far from it in fact.

See this sorrowful website (to all intents & purposes, still semi-secret), which was set up by a US Vietnam veteran: The Suicide Wall.

But first steel yourself, since said suicide statistics are scandalous.

Not to mention frightening.

Nor diabolically deplorable, deeply disgusting nor just plain damned indefensible.

Nor, even close upon criminal.


Huge hat-tip to Harper (she knows who she is).

And, to Bob Geiger.

Also, David Ehrenstein.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Ziem said...

These poor men. May this self-serving administration rot in hell.

8:04 pm  
Anonymous Tom V said...

That is a heartwrenching article and I commend you for posting it Richard.

This is just show you, that being a combat soldier/Marine is not 'just another job'. (How many times have we heard that lie before, haven't we?)
Teaching kids, building houses, preparing meals or driving a truck, is not the same as killing another person. It is terrible for a psychologicaly normal human, even if the victim is a uniformed enemy. In a civilian environment, where there are markedly more civilians get killed, including children, the stress and the supressed pain is much more intense.

Obviously this is one ordeal, that no brutalizing basic training with yelling drill-seargents lasting -I don't know,- 12 weeks really going to prepare a young man psychologically. In all honesty, probably nothing will.
The other thing is the description of an veteran care system well beyond its breaking point.

It was truly a heavy read, followed by heavy thoughts.

8:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy mother ....

What can I say? It's all been said.

Thanks for sharing this. I intend to spread it. This MUST be seen by every decent regular American - as well as others.

9:13 pm  
Anonymous max said...

Unless this message [and others like it] is put out as a video game or on American Idol or such like -- the poor sods most in need of this info -- will never see it.

Of course even if they did, it still wouldn't help your average imbecile.

You know the type. "Naaahhh, that would never happen to me. Naah. Not me. I'm too smart."

10:23 pm  
Anonymous Doug Watt said...

Excellent post, as usual!

10:37 pm  
Blogger bootlian said...

Right now I feel like I'm a dittohead living in an echo chamber and I don't mind admitting it.

Because as far as this post, it's links and everyone's comments go -- what can I add that's not been said? Except maybe to say I'm both outraged and maybe more to the point - enraged!!

12:28 am  
Anonymous Charles said...

All while those criminals responsible theses crimes against humanity (yes, that's how I see them) sit comfortably in their counting houses counting their ill gotten gains.

Hell is too good for them.

6:10 pm  
Anonymous musings said...

I sometimes apply a little stress to myself - after all I saw the WTC second plane in real time, at least on the television screen - and so I go to the page the Washington Post publishes "Faces of the Fallen." Originally, this referred to those killed on Sept 11 as they worked, for the most part, in their offices, or tried to rescue those who did. Now it applies to soldiers, a curious demographic including very senior officers in their 40's and 50's, and young men who volunteered just because they saw the same thing I did and believed that it was what Bush said it was, and that Saddam was a part of the plot (a very early supposition on the part of almost everyone because of a false trail of evidence).

I look at those fine-looking faces of men (and some women) who are not alive anymore, not a part of this world we are living in right now. Swept away by a wave of stupidity. And as I look at them (of course they merely represent the immediately dead), I wonder at how much more they might have been, had they been led rather than misled. For they were misled to their deaths by a junta of very devious and cunning cynics who have from the first been able to put people as easily into harm's way as if they were "fungible" objects (like a bag of nails) (Rumsfeld's words). I think the motivation for some of these men was not just to kill or get revenge but to shovel us out, as a neighbor might do after a storm. But if they were National Guard, they weren't even allowed to do that when Katrina hit!

How do you stare into that moral abyss which is this administration? How do you re-elect it? Bush first "made his bones" in Texas executing felons who had been on death row for years and had changed with their imprisonment. He seemed to enjoy proving himself to his handlers by this means. Now we see where it was going.

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Rex said...

No doubt this news will surprise and shock some people, but it shouldn't. It's nothing new. Once the cannon fodder is used up and served it's purpose, the corrupt government isn't any longer interested. Sadly, some people's pride (and deluded refusual to accept they've been lied to and used and abused) won't allow them to accept the sad facts. It's something too awful for them to contemplate - that there own war profiteeering leaders are in fact their worst (and most ruthless and cruelest) enemy.

12:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conscripts and draftees will earn my sympathies whenever they're nedlessly harmed. Volunteeers are a totally different kettle of fish. They chose their own path. The path of profesional killing - and dying for all manner of imagined 'causes'.

And please don't tell me that I wouldn't be able to sit here free and able to speak my mind if it weren't for them. This war was entirely uncalled for. Iraqis posed no threat to me nor the UK nor the US prior to our illegal invasion and occupation.

12:23 pm  
Anonymous len said...

Who said slavery was abolished?

That's what it is once the military has you. They OWN you.

12:11 am  

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