Sunday, January 24, 2016

Beyond 22 A Day Forgotten Veterans and Families

We Count The Coffins They Won't Even Think About
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 24, 2016

I always wonder how a family feels when they are planning a funeral for the others forgotten in the number "22 a day" being repeated by 400,000 charities as part of "awareness" fund raisers. After all we're really talking about over 26,000 a year but most only want to do what is easy all the way around.
If you saw half of the articles I have to read your head would explode too. I try to just put up the best ones the national media has no time for. Considering they've been covering the election for the last two years, they don't take time to report on much else anymore. Seems really strange all this attention on folks wanting to become Commander-in-Chief but no attention paid to what happens to the troops or veterans.

For what I don't post, I usually swear at it then drop it but the following articles are wrong in so many ways, I just couldn't let them go.

This bullshit has to stop! All of us agree on that because nothing has changed for any of our veterans from any decade. Pretty sickening to most of us.

Ask any of these groups what they are trying to change and they can't explain it or how they plan on making a difference. It happened from coast to coast this weekend just like every other weekend and reporters are all over it to give readers a warm and fuzzy feeling since they know this country loves its veterans, or at least appears to.
Active, retired military service members raise suicide awareness in Orlando
Orlando Sentinel
Caitlin Dineen Staff Writer
January 23, 2016

Saturday's high of 50 degrees didn't stop Jared DeFoor and 40 others from walking around downtown Orlando wearing military-issued shorts, carrying ruck sacks with no shirts on.
Check out pictures of the Silkie hike through downtown Orlando, calling awareness to the 22 veterans that die by suicide daily.
When passersby were done gawking at the 24-year-old's six-pack abs, the Marine Corps sergeant would tell them the real reason he stripped down.

"I've lost three of my friends to suicide," said DeFoor, an Apopka native who's been a marine for nearly six years. "So this is pretty near and dear to my heart."

The Silkies Hike, also called the "22 with 22 for the 22," is an event sponsored by the Irreverent Warriors organization.

Irreverent Warriors brings veterans together "using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war" and raises money to financially support warriors.
read more here
Great attention getter on that one.  It was pretty cold here yesterday. Is that a feel good story about veterans caring about their own? Sure. But is it a story on making any kind of real difference for their own? Hardly.

That's the point of all this. For all the groups out there claiming they are raising awareness, there is very little real things getting through to them.

They don't understand they are not stuck suffering the way they are or how to find what really will work for them. Simply put, with 4 decades of research behind us it seems more like they have taken a trip back in time to when no one was doing anything instead of everyone doing something.

These groups don't talk about the fact most of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50 and none of these new groups want anything to do with our generation. Leaves most of us speechless since it was our generation to make sure the research treating the wounds of combat past generations came home with were treated. Yep, we know nothing is new about any of this but this younger generation doesn't seem to have the awareness required to begin to understand any of this.

How did we do it without the internet? How did we learn so much more than they have begun to learn without instant access to a world full of knowledge? We learned because we needed to know the right answers and not will to settle for the fast answers that changed nothing.

On the Las Vegas Review Journal there is "Trike riders bring attention to veteran suicides" about yet another "awareness" fundraiser.

Air Force veterans started this one.
"We're not some person in a three-piece suit starting a veterans organization because it's a good idea," Peter said. "We are the suffering veteran that got around it with other veterans to figure out how to overcome the thing that was holding us back."
Well no real wonder who is the person in the suit he's talking about. Still, there isn't much in this article that is right.

The "22 a day" is wrong and we all know it. With the CDC reporting over 40,000 Americans committing suicide each year and veteran suicides are double the civilian population rate, that is over 26,000 veterans a year. Hey, but why actually think about something so important that there are charities popping up all over the country to raise awareness on something they need to become aware of first?

How about someone actually raise awareness on the basic facts, like they don't have to suffer with PTSD, they can heal and then maybe offer the hope suicidal veterans need that tomorrow can be better than this day is?

How about give them the knowledge they are lacking about how to actually make it better and liver a happier life?

The veterans and families I work with say they never heard any of what I have to say before and then they wonder why it isn't on the internet. I tell them they are just looking in the wrong places because after over 30 years, I can assure them that it is all available online. They are wasting their time searching social media sources and really won't learn much at all that way.

Further down in the article Rep. Joe Heck showed Congress is just as unaware of the real issues they are supposed to have jurisdiction over.
And as Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said during a meeting this week with veterans: over 50 percent of the suicides are in the population of nondeployed service members.
Non-deployed? They are still talking about that but never seem to fathom the fact that every servicemember had been trained in "resilience" for almost the last decade. How did they expect that training to work on deployed troops especially when most had been deployed several times?
"They're struggling with the same issues that the civilians struggle with," he said, listing such depression triggers as failed marriages and financial issues.
Huge difference between servicemembers and civilians because civilians are not willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of others and are not willing to endure all the hardships that come with that service. Families are different as well considering they are also willing to endure whatever comes with military life. Why compare the two? Why try to point to the regular problems without putting the rest that goes with it?

"So we've got to build a better mental health system in general," Heck said, adding that Las Vegas has the fewest number of publicly funded mental health beds "of any metropolitan area in the country."
What he failed to mention is the fact that Congress has been spending billions a year on what has failed. Strange how they haven't noticed that part. Even stranger that reporters haven't either.

So they'll keep covering these walkers and talkers, making it seem as if it is a good thing when we keep counting the coffins that shouldn't have been filled, and worse, ones they won't even stop long enough to think about.

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