Saturday, November 5, 2016

Is This The Best We Can Do For Veterans?

Is This Really The Best We Can Do?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 5, 2016

I absolutely refuse to believe this great country of ours is not already great, as much as I refuse to believe this is the best we can do.

There are two people running to become President of this country. Half the country will be happy and the other half won't be. The losers, however, will continue to be the men and women in the military as well as our veterans.

Neither candidate for Commander-in-Chief has spent time talking about Afghanistan, which oddly enough, has happened before. You'd think it would matter considering sending troops there was in response to this nation being invaded by terrorists...but why talk about any of that?

Most of us have been scratching our heads wondering how these two candidates became the best this nation can do. Wow! Then again, most of us have been wondering if this is the best this nation can do on a lot of things.

Everyone is talking about veterans, especially with Veterans Day coming next weekend. They'll either be talking about them with ceremonies, parades or other veterans events, while others will be complaining about traffic because there is a parade for them. I suppose it has more to do with what is important to them and if they are more important than anyone else, then, enough said on that. 

Some say that veterans should be able to go to private doctors, but the truth is, a lot of them already are. As a matter of fact, most of them are. The Times Tribune reported on Halloween that only about 20 percent of our veterans get all of their care from the VA, but the most shocking number is with over 21 million veterans in the country, the VA has not been able to properly take care of the veterans they have. 

This is more of a problem created by Congress than the VA, simply because Congress, has had jurisdiction over how they are taking care of veterans since 1946. They like to forget that part, especially when they want their jobs back to push for privatizing the VA and sending veterans into the mess the rest of us face.

There seems to be a lot of talking based on what is claimed, instead of what is true. Are we so lazy we are willing to settle for something because someone said "believe me" or "trust me" when they offer nothing to back up what they say? We're used to politicians doing that, but reporters managed somehow to fact check them. So why aren't reporters fact checking what has been going on for over a decade when the topic is about veterans killing themselves?

Some pretend they have the solution, but evidence has shown they do not even know the basics. The evidence keeps smacking them right in the head, but they're to busy filling their heads with nonsense, false claims are flowing out of their mouths like a bad case of Tourettes. They may have good reasons to want to help, but they lack the knowledge to actually do it. 

PTSD and suicides tied to military service are not new, but after over a decade of everything being done to help these men and women, it has actually gotten worse. Yep, worse, not better, no matter how much money Congress has been spending or how much in donations folks have been taking in to "raise awareness" about the "problem."

Worse? Yes. In 1999, the Department of Veterans Affairs discovered there were 20 veterans a day committing suicide. They came out with that same number in their latest research report.
There are less veterans now than in 1999, so yes, it is worse. The majority of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50, yet, according to social media, Iraq and Afghanistan are the only ones worthy of attention.

So, when do we stop settling for folks running around the country, expecting our money, without offering anything in return? When do we actually demand proof of what they claim?

How is raising "awareness" doing anyone any good? Good question, but add to that, how did they expect a different outcome, when they didn't even take the time to figure out that efforts raising awareness worked in the 70's, 80's and 90's, when no one was jumping onto Facebook? Back then veterans were suffering in silence because no one was talking about them until they started to talk about it. The worst thing is, no one is facing the harsh reality of what war does to those sent, other than those who went in our place.

Other nations lack in taking care of their veterans but those other nations are looking to us for leadership on how to do it. It has been that way since the 70's, when all the great research began on PTSD. So far, we've shown that what works is easily replaced by what is picked up on social media as the best research is allowed to gather dust on the library shelf. (A library is a place where actual books are held and lent out so that people can share knowledge)

We are better than this! Our veterans deserve the best we can give them including the truth. Change that to "nothing but the truth" and that has to include the facts instead of empty words said during an campaign speech. It must include more than a propaganda push to support what has already proven to have failed like "raising awareness" when no one seems to telling them they can heal or remind them of why they are worth helping. 

In a few days, thankfully, this two year ordeal will end with someone being elected and the other rejected. When do we reject the notion that this is the best we can do for veterans, the number one issue everyone in this country should never put over politics?