Thursday, April 14, 2016

President Obama, Still Clueless on Service Members and Veteran Suicides

As always, no one had to explain anything. No explanation on how suicides went up after all this "awareness" or the other, all too often avoided fact, that most of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50. Then add in the other avoided topic of all the awareness raisers repeat a non-existent number from a report they didn't bother to read. As if that wasn't bad enough, add in the news reports on this infamous group and you have a sham-grand-slam hit out of the park by our Commander-in-Chief.
Wounds don’t end service for US military members

"Some participants in the annual Wounded Warrior Ride who were welcomed at the White House on Thursday are working through less visible wounds, like post-traumatic stress disorder. The ride was established to raise awareness of U.S. service members who suffer the physical and psychological effects of combat."
As you can hear in the video, there are sirens from emergency responders but they were ignored by the President and the group. Seems most politicians have a hard time paying attention to any of the emergency sirens replaced by the anguished cried from families after they had to bury a veteran they loved.

Am I too harsh? Hardly harsh enough because every time I read about more suicides, the words of President Obama reverberate in my had like a bad dream. The words came in 2008 when he was still a Senator serving on the Veterans Affairs Committee.

On January 24, 2008 Senator Obama said this in Beaufort South Carolina.
“I will never forget that everyone who wears the uniform deserves the opportunities that my grandfather got – to have a Commander-in-Chief who is accountable, and to have a grateful nation that helps you live the American Dream that you have defended,”
On February 7, 2008 then Senator Obama, Chuck Hagel and Tom Harkin were answering a group of veterans about suicides when the Washington Post reported this.
Army statistics show that 121 soldiers committee suicide last year - a 20 percent increase from 2006. This is the highest rate of Army suicides recorded since the Army started collecting this data in 1980. The Post also reported that last year about 2,100 soldiers "injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002."
and Tom Harkin had this to add
"These startling statistics should serve as a wakeup call that suicide among soldiers and veterans is more than a problem, it is an epidemic. Thankfully, our push to provide America's veterans with a suicide prevention program was heard last year, when the President signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act into law. But there is more work ahead - especially in serving our active duty military personnel. We can and must act quickly to save our soldiers who are so bravely fighting for our country."

But as we've seen, there hasn't been any accountability from anyone as more speeches were made.
Obama promises to repeat Montana's National Guard PTSD work nation wide
Obama Pledges Nationwide Use of PTSD Program
Eric Newhouse
Great Falls Tribune
Aug 28, 2008 - 
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promised Wednesday to expand Montana's pilot program to assess the mental health of combat vets nationwide, if elected.The Montana National Guard has developed a program to check its soldiers and airmen for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder every six months for the first two years after returning from combat, then once a year thereafter. The program exceeds national standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense.The pilot program was created in response to the suicide of former Army Spc. Chris Dana of Helena, who shot himself on March 4, 2007, days after being given a less-than-honorable discharge because he could no longer handle attending drills following a tour in Iraq.
"He (Obama) told me he understood why we need to have additional screenings for PTSD," said Matt Kuntz, Dana's stepbrother, who was among a small group invited to meet with Obama on Wednesday in Billings. "And he told me when he is elected president, he will implement Montana's pilot program nationwide."Kuntz, who recently gave up his job as a lawyer in Helena to advocate for the mentally ill and their families, said he was invited to brief Obama on how Montana had become a national model for assessing the mental health of its combat vets.
click above for more
I've done a lot of posts on the Montana National Guards program.
http://woundedtimes.blogspot.com/search?q=Montana+National+Guard 
As you can see, it isn't that Obama didn't know what was happening all along. He just hasn't taken much time to notice the change we got was more dead veterans and a lot more families grieving. The number of suicides went up but no one has done anything to hold anyone accountable for anything.


UPDATE:
Just got word some viewed this as a political statement.  In a way it is because after all these years, no politician has held anyone accountable for any of this. As with most things, this crossed over 2 administrations and will be carried over into the next one.  So no, not just about President Obama but he is in fact still Commander-in-Chief.