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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-12 06:59 PM
Original message
The Volunteer Army

Chris Hayes had a mother of a GI that committed suicide on his show this morning. It was wrenching to hear her tell the story of how her son slowly came to his decision. He had been a short order cook at IHOP before joining the Army. He was sent to Iraq and then went for another tour of duty after that. She explained how his laughter had become forced and unnatural upon his return from his first tour of duty.

He had tried to commit suicide several times with pills and pills and whiskey and the psychiatrist always said he was well enough to perform his duties. Finally, he hung himself and there were no more meetings with any Army psychiatrists.

I was a non-combat GI during the Vietnam War and I went back for a second tour of duty in October of 1968. It was very difficult mentally. I turned to drugs and opium dens to escape the reality. I cannot comprehend how some of these young people go for four or five or more tours of duty in a place like Afghanistan? I do not think I would have made it thru a third tour, even though I was in a non-combat unit.

But, on this day of remembrance, it seems to me that these young people are treated like pieces on a board game. Just because they are volunteers does not mean they are supermen. It is cruel and inhumane to treat our own soldiers in this manner, in my opinion. We cannot continue to send them to the far corners of the earth and then forget about them. We must understand what they are going thru.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-12 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. 18 suicides per day by veterans. not per month, not per year. Google it.
Edited on Sun May-27-12 08:51 PM by NYC_SKP
Because I've posted about it more than once but the news doesn't care.

K/R

Link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

:cry:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-12 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't know why their stories aren't told and that the do this time after time except that
Edited on Sun May-27-12 10:04 PM by KoKo
back in the 50's and early 60's we were raised in a different way. Maybe we had more support in some ways than we knew and maybe because the Military Draft affected people of all strata in our nation.

Today it seems they go off to war and for some it's just a video game, others deperation and others just because there's nothing else to do.

It's all like some kind of "Reality Show" on TV to them? Dumbed down without hope for anything else, others who are just aggresive and seeking what "soldiers of fortune" always have..and others clueless..

It's amazing to me how there aren't Poets and Story Tellers amongst this group like we had with other wars.

It's almost like these are "silent wars," and they are just "dutiful warriers." Something I don't remember reading history except in some ancient times but, not of American History. But, then..those who grew up with memory of WWII and were horrified with our long Vietnam war after Korea...and have a different memory and had different hopes and dreams that what our VP Joe Biden said in his Speech at West Point I believe where he said "You are the 9/11 Generation and will be known as the greatest generation in history." (I had the exact quote...but, I'm too tired to look it back up again...but, that's what he said.

I don't understand any of it. I assume the new generation of warriors is very "accepting." I don't know what that says about our society in these times. But, if the "9/11 Generation" is in charge of our future in the USA...I fear for the end of my days. (I am probably being too gloomy in my thoughts...but....I don't know what else to think, anymore, honestly.)

Plus...mixing the pills available to cope or forget...along with the drink (soldiers have always indulged in) it's a bad cocktail to have anyone deal with. Put that with the first generation of the Ritalin Kids given from early age for ADD, etc.. It's not good.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-12 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. The volunteer army seemed like a good idea at first. Turned out to be BAD.
Just did some quick wiki research.

Nixon ended the draft based in part on a paper he had read that had been written by Martin Anderson, an economist and Ayn Rand devotee who became an advisor to Nixon, then Reagan and Poppy Bush.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United...

The other reason Nixon ended the draft was de-fusing the anti-war movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United...

(This wiki contains a very poignant photo of young men registering for the draft in 1919. Apparently, they put on their best clothes to do so. They are in suits and straw hats. Then again, maybe it is a propaganda photo.)

And you know the anti-war movement is a pain in the neck for the new world order PNACers of America.

Charlie Rangel campaigned for a while to try to reinstante the draft, but got nowhere (except maybe years of harassment from the House).

Rangel felt the draft would spread the burden more equally because the poorest were registering for the draft because of a lack of better employment options.



No matter how you slice it, though, it was class warfare, only this kind of class warfare against the less privileged involves actual bullets, grenades, etc., instead of the figurative kind (which can also kill and maim).

The rich and well connected got out of the draft when we had one, Commander AWOL being perhaps the most notorious example. And after the draft was abolished, most of the rich and/or well-connected simply did not sign up.
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