Skip to main content

View Diary: The Death of an Army of One (127 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Even under the best of circumstances, (8+ / 0-)

    returning to the civilian world involves no small amount of culture shock.

    Add to that frustrations of dealing with the VA, overpayments, underpayments, denial of existence, being put on 6 month waiting list to have an office visit with a doctor over life threatening conditions, and the fear of failure on behalf of one's family--

    This is before PTSD or TBI or any other condition that would make this situation demonstrably worse.

    You go from being young and able bodied, part of something bigger than yourself, to being ejected from (for many) the only community they know, with very little or zero support system and a mountain of red tape and unable to either find a job (as promised by all that fancy training) or hold one down because of your injuries.

    Everyone is so goddamn eager to tell you how patriotic you are, but not one person lifts a finger to help you in your time of need. Either because they don't know what to do for you, or just don't care. Either way, the end result is the same.

    Thanks for the Diary Democrats Ramshield. The government likes to play the statistics game a lot with all kinds of issues. It can be useful,  but there are times when the surveys used to find some of this data are skewed to find a particular result.

    A lot of people never dealt with that, and cannot imagine it. If they met veterans and heard some of our stories, they wouldn't believe us, because the tales of woe sound fantastical, too bizarre to be real, because civilians do not understand how twisted up the system is, and that's been that way for decades thanks to a bipartisan effort of apathy and greed.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:36:37 AM PDT

    •  I feel your anguish and anger (5+ / 0-)

      I am a disabled Vietnam veteran who served honorably in the USAF.  My struggles with Agent Orange related disease and PTSD/MST have been overwhelming.  Fighting for VA disability since 2005 has been so difficult and damaging to my physical and mental health.

      Thank you, GreenMother for your enlighted words and understanding of the horrible struggles of being an American veteran.

      •  I have been through some shit, but (and this is (5+ / 0-)

        important) as bad as it was, not minimizing a thing, I was still one of the lucky ones.

        I didn't end up homeless. I was able to muddle through it with my spouse and a couple of friends and family. I could have used real help, and it would have made a real difference, that being said, I managed to keep my head above the waves.

        Somewhere between luck and love, and determination I made it through, but seriously, there but for the grace of some god--it could have gone a whole other direction.

        If were to tell my WHOLE story here online, it would sound crazy, and it would infuriate people, and still--Mine is not even close to being the worst story to tell.

        When I talked to other vets who waited 6 to 8 months for an office visit for heart failure, who had to skimp on supplies when they have COPD, and some who reported being harassed at the VA due to their race or their gender, etc.,

        OMFG that pisses me off. It pisses me off for me, but most of all it angers me on behalf of all the vets who suffer needlessly with conditions that are treatable, with conditions that could have been preventable, who feel totally abandoned and shit on by the people who put them in harms way.

        There is no way to convey all that is going on, because it is that deep and that messy. Words do not do this situation justice.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:20:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am glad you and I made it through (4+ / 0-)

          I had less of a support system - but I did rely on the few who knew and understood the suffering.  And it is suffering.
          I honor you, GreenMother.

          •  Righ back at you tommyfocus2003 (4+ / 0-)

            I cannot imagine going through all that AND have a missing limb or be burned or otherwise be disfigured on top of all of that.

            I don't know how they do it. And some of them cannot make it on their own at all. we should be able to do better by our veterans, by our entire population for that matter.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:59:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am glad you made it through tommyfocus2003 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommyfocus2003, WakeUpNeo, Vetwife

            Something else I noticed through all of this--when dealing with the injustice of it all--if a vet gets upset, and tries to change the system, others will stand in our way. They will ask us Why we are taking so much on ourselves, and tell us, this is a time for you to take care of you.

            They are clueless. They don't understand. You don't leave a man or woman behind. You were trained in the service not just to avoid obstacles, but to remove them for the sake of the team and the mission. It's grilled into you, no matter what your job is.

            Telling a vet not to care about other vets, even the most hardened and bitter amongst us, is like telling water not to be wet.

            So even when we try to change things, we get undermined by (realtime) concern trolls. It sucks. I am sick of it.

            Thanks tommyfocus--for prompting that memory, it's something worth sharing.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:04:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, you are welcome (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother, WakeUpNeo

              Listen to this.  One of the very best PTSD therapists I ever had in + ten yrs of going to the tampa VA, was told that he was being "too much of an advocate" for his group members (He wrote statements in support of claims, etc.).  He was transferred and left a very good and loyal group behind.  The group soon disbanded.

              They do not understand.

              •  After what people have told me over the years (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WakeUpNeo

                I can believe it.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:34:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  please read GreenMother's comment (0+ / 0-)

          Green Mother, we hear and feel our sister Green Mother's pain and sense of betrayal she has suffered. We want to validate it. We are with you and we are with all our brothers and sisters who are not alone in feelings that the nation that has put you and many of our other brothers and sisters who put you in harm's way has abandoned you to a bureaucratic nightmare of benefits and treatments withheld and delayed by heartless bureaucrats, while too many of us are being stepped over by the well heeled.

          A disabled vet buddy of mine who has been on outdated medications, that he was put on by the American government's doctors and when he got to Europe, his European doctors put him on updated medications which had the effect of immediately ameliorating his symptoms that he had needlessly been suffering under. To be clear it's not the fault of the American government's physicians that the federal government wouldn't pay for updated medications.

          The problem is the political will to provide current gold standard medications isn't there. But members of Congress and their families from the same government doctors always get the gold standard of treatment and medication for themselves and to hell with the American veteran, who has been overlooked and stepped over by the well heeled American population, whose very freedom was defended by the veterans that they are now stepping over with inhuman and indeed callous disregard, in what must be seen as a final act of betrayal.  

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 12:43:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  to tommyfocus2003 - thank you for great post (4+ / 0-)

        It is quite illuminating and of course you are completely correct in your position. Of course please let me say I speak for the majority of the people who recommended this diary, when I say we are with you and thank you again for your service.

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:47:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry tommy and sorry all vets... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, tommyfocus2003

        (((((hugs)))))

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:58:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  to GreenMother - thank you for the great post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, GreenMother

      Thank you also for your service. Everything you have said in your post is true. You're right most civilians have no appreciation for how jacked up the system really is and can't see through civilian government bureaucrats using half baked statistics to try to provide job security for them in the face of their overwhelming ineptitude. They should be fired, but in order to save their jobs they will try to hide behind statistical studies from 21 states, when in fact there is no complete data from the other 29. In doing so try to fool people into thinking they are doing a good job, when in fact they should be fired, because they are doing a terrible job.

      Of course this being the Kos someone is going to get on this diary to troll for mojo. That's part and parcel of the Daily Kos. It's just that when veterans are actually dying because they can't get access to needed mental health treatment, it then seems clear that trolling for mojo becomes particularly troubling and indeed sad.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well let's look at this again and it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        sure explains a lot.. thanks Democrats for standing up..It is a hard road to travel,,but we must journey on...I was told today a lady vet who had a stroke and on a stretcher was dropped from travel..I guess I have to go back on CNBC.  Watch Death and Dishonor.. Crisis at the VA.  I hoped things would get some better when we did the interview.

        http://www.cnbc.com/...

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:11:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The important thing that some civilians need (0+ / 0-)

        to understand is that they need to read the questionnaires sent out to the Military and to Vets. This is just one example

        Way back in the day when the military first started to deal with sexual harassment, I got a questionnaire at my last duty station and it focused on asking people in the military if they had been sexually harassed.

        Civilians say--hey, that's great, the military is asking, we don't need to pay attention to this any more.

        What the civilians didn't know is that the questionnaire focused only on the previous 12 months of service.

        Most people (many of which are women) who go through this, get harassed more than once, throughout their entire service. And the service knew this. The complaints are constant. So by focusing on the previous 12 months you cut the number of complains made by respondents down significantly. By doing this--the results of these surveys points the fact that if there is a problem--it's a very small one. That means funds allocated to handle this problem are affected.

        And there are no fill in the blank questions. You are restricted to answering only via the multiple choice answers you are given. That significantly limits the ability of respondents to describe what is going on, the nature of the problem(s), frequency, severity, etc.,

        So what does this active duty Questionnaire mean to the VA? Well at that time, there were NONE of the following:

        Programs just for female vets concerning Military Sexual Trauma. No inhouse PTSD treatments, nothing to deal with the homelessness issue of female vets who survived MST. Nothing.

        As bad as it all is for all Vets, what services were available were so male oriented, that many women vets couldn't even get a Pap exam.

        Because the military's nonchalance about female service members set the tone, and then reinforced it with their attempts to cover up the problems.

        Now extend that sort of behavior to all vets, in hopes of saving the government money and behold the horror.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:13:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  (((((hugs)))) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:59:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (151)
  • Community (65)
  • Elections (43)
  • Civil Rights (38)
  • Culture (32)
  • 2016 (32)
  • Baltimore (28)
  • Texas (27)
  • Law (27)
  • Economy (27)
  • Bernie Sanders (27)
  • Environment (26)
  • Hillary Clinton (24)
  • Labor (23)
  • Health Care (21)
  • Rescued (21)
  • Barack Obama (20)
  • Republicans (19)
  • International (18)
  • Freddie Gray (17)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site