Combat PTSD Wounded Times
November 13, 2016
What Veterans Are Expecting From President Trump is the headline on PBS. Judy Woodruff interviewed Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America about what veterans expect from President-elect Donald Trump.
"We had a day last year we had seven suicide calls to IAVA in one day alone. So, I think it does start with prioritizing it. It also starts with understanding that it’s not just a veterans issue or a government issue. It’s a national health priority." Paul Rieckhoff, IAVAThink about that for a second. Seven calls from veterans in crisis in one day. Those calls would not have come from older veterans making up over 65% of the veteran suicides that day. Those calls would have come from this newer generation of veterans.
These same veterans, with no wound different from other generations, receiving all the attention and most of help from all of these new charities, are still taking their own lives after a decade of "efforts" to help them stop doing it.
When do we change the conversation from repeating the number we think are taking their own lives after surviving military service to one about what they need to actually learn they still have a lot worth living for? In the military, there was a reason to lay down their lives and that reason was for the men and women they served with. To know they are not able to survive when they come home is a disgraceful statement on what the American public have been willing to accept.
We accept it because we haven't done much about it. We do not do our own research to discover the reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows the number of veterans taking their own lives has remained consistent despite the fact the number of living veterans has dropped by over 5 million since 1999.
We accept the fact that decades after veterans over the age of 50 are defeated by the enemy they have been fighting since Vietnam, Korea and, yes, even since WWII. Plus we accept the fact that most Americans have not paid any attention to them even though they are the majority of veterans in this country trying to heal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD claims more lives after combat than war itself.
We accept the fact that every politician has been doing a lot of talking, writing bills and spending money on repeated efforts that have failed because they have absolutely no understanding of what these veterans need to live. The worst factor is, these politicians have not taken any of this seriously enough to change the direction they have been on for over a decade.
So, please, make sure you drop and do 22 pushups to make yourself feel better. As long as you feel good about doing something you won't be seeing the simple fact that doing "something" has done nothing for them.