U.S. Military: Screwed Coming and Going
Once again the loyalty of the Bush administration towards the members of the U.S. Military is on display. From today’s WaPo its clear that the troops surging into Baghdad will not have all the equipment they need. Armored trucks and humvees are in particularly short supply. A full supply of armored trucks will not be available until the summer. Supplying humvees will greatly deplete the supply leaving few for other contingencies. The brigades may also be deployed without a full complement of personnel having necessary job skills.
When they return from combat they will find that there are insufficient services to meet their needs. From today’s Star Tribune in Minneapolis a story of marine who went to 2 VA centers for mental health services to be told to come back in a couple of months because they were full. I guess he couldn’t wait, he committed suicide.
There is something truly grotesque about urging that the United States take better care of the mentally wounded men and women who come home from Iraq. Mental wounds are a given of any war, which is why Americans should be absolutely sure war is necessary before they ever agree to put the lives of U.S. troops on the line. The extreme anguish that can come from killing others, risking death and seeing friends die is a wound that relentlessly keeps on wounding.
On the second issue, Daniel Zwerdling of National Public Radio reported two months ago with devastating illumination on just how far the U.S. Army has to go. Zwerdling's report focused on Fort Carson, Colo., but anecdotal responses to his story suggest the problems are widespread. Zwerdling told of soldiers with strong military records who sought mental health assistance and were, like Schulze, told to come back later, were ridiculed and hazed by superiors and peers, and in some cases were drummed out of the service for behaviors that were obvious symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Zwerdling's reporting and Schulze's tragic story make you wonder: What kind of nation would put men and women in the Iraq hellhole and then treat them with such disdain when they come home wounded? The answers that come to mind aren't very nice
OK wingers tell us again how you support the troops. Despicable.