I expect this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our society is still dealing the veterans of Viet Nam, in homeless shelters, mental health clinics, and prisons. I fear that Bush’s wars will have even worse after affects on who had to actually wage it.
Army suicides at highest level in 26 years
USA Today – 8/16/07
Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report.
Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq
The Guardian/Observer – 8/12/07
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis
Homeless vets: A hidden crisis
Orlando Sentinel – 8/6/07
A growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are joining the ranks of Florida’s homeless after returning home. Experts say a system already buckling under one of the nation’s largest homeless populations might collapse under the weight of a new wave of veterans, many saddled with mental-health issues and crippling brain injuries.
The best way to help these GIs is to get them out of the situation they never should have been in to begin with. Short of changing the past, or completely overhauling the regime in DC instantaneously, doing whatever small things (in comparison) one can to keep deployed service people as sane as possible in their insane circumstances, is a worthwhile project.
Even some comfort items might help.
To this end, in Oklahoma City, the Democratic Party is organizing a collection of items to send to Iraq and Afghanistan for the soldiers. The effort is being spearheaded by Katherine Scheirman, a retired
Army Air Force officer ( sorry, can’t remember the rank see update below), who is also active with the Peace House and the OKC Peace Planners group.
The announcement is on the front page of okdemocrats.org right now, but there’s no link, so it’ll rotate off and eventually disappear (please, people, learn how to use dynamic content and archives!), so I’ve posted the story at OKIMC.