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As we deconstruct all that has happened at Netroots Nation 2013, I find myself at a loss for words and with a surprisingly strong desire to communicate an idea that I feel so strongly but can't seem to get across on a computer screen. The sad thing is, I can't seem to get it across in real life either. And I'm not the only military community member to feel that way.

You must be wondering where all this going. I'm not really sure. I just know that I have a story to tell and I just don't know how to tell it without breaking down and crying.

This year at Netroots Nation, a veteran I hold near and dear to my heart had a near breakdown right before my eyes. Some of you were there and experienced it with us. I thought he was going to write about the experience so that we could all better learn and understand PTSD, so that we as progressives could be smarter in our big tent approach and make the progressive community a safe place for our vets. But he either won't write or he can't... I'm not sure which. And I'm not even sure exactly what happened. But I can tell you what I know.

A wonderful organization called the Purple Mountain Institute won a free booth at NN'13. I know because I helped edit their proposal. I sold their non-profit as a boon to progressives - an organization that worked with veterans to help manage their PTSD in a holistic manner. They were not an organization that glorified war, they were not an organization that railed about the horror of the medical system, they were not an organization that said, We Need To Organize!, as I often heard again and again and again at this conference.

No, Purple Mountain Institute is an organization that focuses directly on veterans. They don't limit help to post 9/11 vets. They don't limit help to veterans only but offer their program to spouses as well. As a spouse of a veteran, I can't tell you how important that is.

We all expected that PMI would be welcomed with open arms and they did find individuals that were nice and polite. But most people didn't even visit the booth; especially missed were those who could have intentionally driven traffic that way. Sadly, that loss magnified the opinions of the few people that did show up and were often cruel... I don't know exactly what took place but my dear friend used the words babykiller several times to explain how he felt. The reaction of one, two, three, many? political activists to him and his partner took him back to a place in time where our veterans where unwelcome and were vilified for the choices made by our civilian leaders. If it had been a single person, I don't think we would have lost Danang65 here at DailyKos. I think enough of our own members made him feel like shit that he doesn't want to return. He has decided to quietly fade away.

To top it off, as I sat with Danang at the final Keynote, we watched as a young progressive activist, dressed in butterfly wings and professing the importance of art and artists in the movement, flashed images from the Vietnam War on the overhead screen as casually as you and I sip from our coffee cups right now.

Her overall message was important. We know that. But could it have been as strong a message without those images? Did she even know that veterans where in the audience? Did she care? Does it even matter to anyone but those in the military community? So one of our own felt dissed both by Kossacks and by the progressive community at large.

Many of you know that I'm not a Democrat. And after this weekend, I won't be for a very long time, if ever. But if Democrats hope to gain more military family members into the fold, more veterans, more active duty members, they need to understand that dissing our veterans in any way, shape, or form, is not a great way to convince us to join the party. We won't become Republicans but we will remain among that growing number of dissatisfied Independents that will sometimes fight with you and often fight against you.

And I can hear you right now... But I didn't diss a vet!

And many a Republican isn't a racist.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I sent a kosmail to danang65 when I got home (13+ / 0-)

      and he did indicate that he plans to come back and write about it.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:54:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you, smileycreek, that is good to hear /nt (8+ / 0-)
      •  I'm afraid he's changed his mind since then. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, llbear, smileycreek, Vetwife

        Don't expect to see him back. He sounds very certain.

        •  With DaNang the more resolute he sounds (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smileycreek, angelajean, Vetwife

          the deeper he thinks about it. Daily Kos isn't the only blog on the planet that would welcome him. But we may be the only blog that would welcome him back.

          Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

          by llbear on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:05:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sad to hear that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          llbear, angelajean, Vetwife, Actbriniel

          but I know we'll keep our arms open.

          Oh, I used to be disgusted
          Now I try to be amused
          ~~ Elvis Costello

          by smileycreek on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:37:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How am I supposed to respect a fellow vet (0+ / 0-)

          dumb enough to support a Republican war on veterans?

          I respect every soldier who follows the honor code. We all know what it is and we all know what it means to be dishonorable when you are wearing the uniform of the United States. You can't follow the honor code and vote for Republicans because they mislead and lie outright.

          Soldiers can be very supportive of other soldiers who have put everything on the line for their country and at the same time disappointied and disgusted  by those they see as a disgrace to all that sacrifice.

          It wasn't the civilian leaders that people in general and soldiers in particular reacted negatively to in 1968, it was often officers who acted dishonorably in the field.

          Officers  who mislead those under their commands were sometimes fragged in Vietnam.

          I was regular army artillery, trained as a MOS 13E20 (FO) and assigned to a special forces unit 1966-1968.

          I can appreciate that the marines who went to Vietnam in 1965 and served at Danang  are still messed up by the experience all these years later.

          But how can I respect that veterans support of the Republican war on women, and minorities; the obstruction of a congress that needs to function properly to create jobs, protect the poor and elderly, unemployed and disabled, the sick, austerity when what is needed is stimulus.

          Republicans are a disease that America needs to be cured of to deal with climate change before we exterminate everything living on this planet.

          Every person that votes for a Republican is racist because Republican voter suppression is racist.

          I didn't go to NN cause I had other concerns this year, but I can imagine the images the butterfly showed included some atrocities and that there are a lot of vets who think its wrong to make all Vietnam vets responsible for the actions of a few even if the few were rapists, torturers, murderers, literally trophy taking  baby killers.

          Every society has some individuals who lose all their humanity under stress, and there was plenty of stress in that war. Some attempt to justify what they did and some can't and take their own lives to end their pain.

          As for the scandal of Lt Caley and pictures all over the covers of national magazines and tv showing the young girl whose clothes were burned off by napalm running past the ditches where men women and children were lined up and shot by a unit with PTSD that was a horrible shock to people who thought of our troops as heros. That wasn't the sort of thing they expected their heros to be doing.

          I think the people who reacted negatively to that horror by questioning returning troops about what the people who did that were thinking?, what was the justification for that? Was it like that everywhere in the delta? and why were we training young men to kill non combatant women and children? just had their minds blown that American heros could behave like that.

          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

          by rktect on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:49:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Our creed is the higher one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'd say respect your brothers and sisters in arms regardless of their political choices. It's not like the Democrats are clean on the issue of veteran's either.

            By refusing to respect and support a fellow veteran based on their politics you are playing into a party system meant to shape your ideology and thus your world view. That bond of service should never be broken by anything so petty.

            •  You have to have standards (0+ / 0-)

              If you just say you are going to respect everybody equally  it makes respect meaningless. I respect what people do if its positive and lose respect for people including other veterans if they act irresponsibly.

              Respect and support aren't always the same thing. A Democrat can help somebody they have no respect for, somebody with an addiction or bad habits, someone with no respect for themselves, somebody who needs healthcare or social security or education maybe unemployment insurance or a way out of prison, someone who needs a way to change their life and earn respect.

              I consider being a Republican requires selfishness and the stupidity of self delusion, exactly the opposite of service. The suppression of other peoples right to vote is cowardly. The denial of climate change foolish, but its not too late to straighten out and become respectable. We can help you here.

              Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

              by rktect on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:54:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry to hear... (22+ / 0-)

    but don't judge all by the actions of few.  As a fellow veteran I feel for Danang and hope he comes back.

    If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. Albert Einstein

    by kharma on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:44:09 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand why (32+ / 0-)

    some progressives seem to have a hard time separating our military personnel from our military policy. I admire those who serve our country but I often disagree with how our leaders choose to use their service.

    As to the Democratic Party, I think their record on support for military families and personnel has been exponentially better than Republicans. When it comes to electoral politics, the Democrats are clearly the better choice.

    One difference with racism and Republicans and this issue and Democrats is that you don't see Democratic Party leaders endorsing the dissing of our vets the way you see GOP leaders encouraging racism and divisiveness. I think you're comparing apples and oranges, aj.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

    by Dragon5616 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:45:20 AM PDT

    •  I could be. (18+ / 0-)

      I'm still caught up in the emotions of this, a week later. If I would have written this a week ago, it would have been worse.

      But if I'm thinking this now, it means a lot of military folks are thinking it all the time. That's probably more of a concern.

    •  It may be their intent to serve our Country (8+ / 5-)

      but that's not what our Military does.

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck you very much - have a nice day. (3+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        raptavio, sviscusi, Just Bob
        Hidden by:
        AaronInSanDiego, Mokurai
      •  Thanks for being honest with your opinion. (17+ / 0-)

        It helps, in fact, because it shows people here at DailyKos that the opinion exists.

        We defend and protect our military community very well at DailyKos but then we leave and go out in the wider world, we're shocked by progressives that aren't vet friendly.

        •  Was JesseCW's comment unfriendly? n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angelajean, JesseCW, blueoasis, Kevskos

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:45:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What do you mean by "vet friendly"? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, 4kedtongue

          Does being "vet friendly" mean pretending that single action taken by any branch of our military other than the Coast Guard has actually served the welfare of the American People in the last 65 years?

          Do we have to pretend that we were being "served" when a few hundred thousand civilians were murdered in Iraq?

          I do not speak to anyone's intent or motivation. I know from first hand experience that a great many of the men and women who enter our Armed Forces very much wish to serve their country.

          But that's not what our Armed Forces do.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:02:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not what our POLITICAL LEADERSHIP does. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dragon5616, Just Bob, llbear

            There is a difference in that, don't you think. The military is (supposedly, unless you had a coup of sort) the object of the political leadership. It's your darn Congress and your President, who order the military into action, not the other way around.

            I also stumble over the expression "vet friendly". Sounds not right in my ears. Are we "black friendly", are we "Gay friendly", are we "Tea Party friendly", are we "women" friendly. On a personal level every person on its own can decide to whom to be friendly and to whom not. As an attribute to your political affiliation, I think that expression is a bit strange.

          •  Vet-friendly means friendly to the people (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, 4Freedom, OIL GUY, Avilyn, Onomastic, llbear

            not to the policies. As in Support the Troops, not the NeoCons or the worse than useless wars, most notably Iraq. We can debate whether Libya worked as intended, or at all. We can debate how much the Bushies, or for that matter, Carter and Brzezinski and then Reagan before them, messed up Afghanistan. We Progressives cannot debate that those Americans who went to war willingly or unwillingly have earned certain benefits.

            In this case, support and treatment for PTSD. Also disability and the rest of their VA benefits, without having to wait a year just to have the existence of their applications confirmed. Also education. Also suicide and homelessness prevention. Also being willing to hire vets without turning it into knee-jerk pseudo-patriotism.

            I talk to vets coming through Camp Atterbury in Indiana at every chance I get, whether I meet them in the stores, or at the clinic where some go for PTSD in Columbus IN. Maybe I will express a political opinion about the wars, or Rush Limbaugh's presence on Armed Forces Radio, if they are open to it. I always express support for them personally, and disgust at Republican hypocrisy on pretending to support them.

            You can also see how it should be done in The Sandbox, Doonesbury's Milblog, on the Doonesbury comics page at Slate. Trudeau is totally supportive of active-duty servicepeople and vets, and unmatched at flaying warmongers.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:19:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Jesse...damn big difference between the (4+ / 0-)

            warrior and the war.  
            Dammit... I hate this.... It has happened so many times in the past with some of my endeavors and precisely why my vet cannot go into arenas of people who do not understand why we OWE, yes OWE our veterans some peace from the horrors of war.   PBMI is a good program for stress reduction and Kossacks ..friends of DaNang's with a handle like DaNang should know this is a combat Vietnam Vet.   It is my hope that DaNang realizes there are Kossacks who DO care and support his projects.  

            Thanks angleajean.......I appreciate everything all of you do.  

            I repeat again.......THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE WARRIOR AND THE WAR....You do not have to support one to support the other.   Think about it !!!!   I live this stuff everyday and I hate he wars and the propoganda but it is advocates like DaNang and the Purple Mountain Institute who tries to pick up the pieces of weary soldiers who for the most part are honorable.   Like anything else there is some bad stuff but not all soldiers are involved in that and I am so sorry this has happened to one of our own.

            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 Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  the people who are vet friendly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio, sviscusi

          and write those diaries, and raise money and all of it.
          are not what is considered a daily kos progressive.
          they call themselves Liberal Democrats.

          We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

          by Christin on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:16:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Can I just explain my own experience? (25+ / 0-)

        I grew up in a working class family, I am the very first member of my family to go to college. My family just doesn't emphasize education.

        Every single male member of my family, until very recently however, has served in the Military, and some of the female members too. It is something that is just expected of you growing up. It is talked about from the time one is very little. Many families have that kind of attitude towards college.

        I never even considered the possibility of not serving, and my cousin was ridiculed when he chose not to.

        My father had a dream that I was going to the naval academy from the time that I was a very young boy. I failed him on that one, but he was never so proud of me as when he came to my graduation of Marine bootcamp.

        Many of the people I served with were the same way, and many others served as a means to get out of the difficult situations their lives presented (e.g. poor rural and inner city kids), for them it was a way out.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:09:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was this way for my dad... an escape. (19+ / 0-)

          For my husband, it was the desire to serve the public good.

          I hate to believe that either was misguided. Or you either. I don't see it that way.

          It might be wrong that one of the few answers to some young folks is to serve in the military, but maybe if progressives included a better job training program in their agenda, we wouldn't need to rely on the military for that solution. Maybe that's one of the first things we should start including in a progressive platform.

        •  Both my Grandfathers fought in WWII. (7+ / 0-)

          My Great Grandfather returned to Ireland rather be drafted to fight in WWI.  He did fight in the Irish Civil War on the Pro-Treaty side.  

          My father and his brother are Vietnam vets.  All three of my mothers brothers are Vietnam era vets.

          Most of my male cousins have enlisted.  Barring one uncle, none of my family has ever been career and lots of shit gets talked about his status as an officer at family gatherings.

          No one in my family ever went to college until my Fathers generation, and he did it on a GI bill.  My people mined coal on one side and silver on the other from the time they hit these shores until WWII.  College wasn't even on their radar.

          I was in the JROTC and was going to join.  I was quite excited about.  Then my government butchered a bunch of kids in Iraq for no particularly good reason.

          Our military does not serve our interests.  That doesn't mean I have anything in particular against those who join it.

          I am not being sarcastic.  Most people in our military believe they're serving our country.  That's what our military should be doing.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:13:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If that is the case, I wonder why you can't make (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, angelajean, llbear

            the distinction what your political leadership is ordering the military to do in comparison to what the militarydoes and the enlistees have to do, who happen to be the tools and organ to implement those orders from the political leadership to the military leadership. No soldier can go into a war on his own without orders, unless he is a militia man.

            What I think you should be saying it that our Congress and President and Courts should be serving the country and what they do order the military to do, doesn't seem to serve the country's interest to say it politely.

            To not make that difference is imo the reason why your comments are taken as personal insults.

            •  I'm not saying that it is not their desire (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BradyB, Kevskos, 4kedtongue

              to serve our country.

              I am saying that very little if anything they do actually does that, and that much of what they do endangers us.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:41:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, that may be right, but you can't tell (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Just Bob, ER Doc, Onomastic, llbear

                a person, who works his ass off during his deployment, because he has signed the contract with the military to obey their orders, that what he is doing, doesn't serve the country. You know he might actually know this by himself and might suffer greatly under that kind of conflict of his conscience in his mind. It's a normal reaction to be upset if some outsider, who doesn't go through the same shit as he is, to tell him what he is doing is not a service to the country, but something different.

                That's why, if higher-up military leaders actually talk truth to power when it comes to inappropriate usage of the military,  it has tremendous influence and gets all the respect by other service members. It's one of them who speaks up. That is courageous and a self-sacrifice as you very well know.

                I understand from where you are coming from (reading your comment), but as you are not inside the military, you can't influence the minds of those who are. You criticism should go to the political leadership and not to the military. They are an organ and tool in service of the government. So, put the responsibilities where they belong. At least as long military leaders themselves have not violated their own rules. (I don't know in how far some of them have or have not. That's way beyond this diary).

                It reminds me of efforts of German officers in the German Wehrmacht, who tried to fight against Hitler underground. They did that, while they also had to do "shit" during their official service to the Fuehrer. It's not that easy, you know. And who are we to ask for heroism by others (what it would be, if a soldier out of moral conscience is taking actions to express their unwillingness to serve and obey the orders and rules given to him), when oneself isn't demanded that same sort of actions and sacrifices. And if you don't ask for that kind of heroism, you nevertheless have said in your comments that they are "stupid".

                That is imo the only reason why your comments are not welcomed by most people who serve in the military.

                •  I have never said, implied, or suggested (5+ / 0-)

                  that only stupid people are misled, misused, or duped.  I do not believe that to be the case.  I have in fact, in this thread, repeatedly stated the opposite.

                  I do not believe that Gen. Smedley Butler was stupid.  I do not believe that Colonel Andrew Bacevich was stupid.

                  I understand that stating obvious truths can cause people pain.

                  Not stating them gets people killed.  Sometimes by the millions.


                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:27:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Much better (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            Thank you for your story, which is far more helpful than your previous off-topic opinions.

            But you should have at least made clear at the beginning the difference between your opinions about US military policy and about servicepeople.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:24:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was absolutely clear from the beginning. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos, 4kedtongue, Don midwest

              Read the parent comment.

              I said from the start that the intent may well be to serve our country, but that's just not what our military does.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:22:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's why my spouse joined (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Avilyn, Onomastic, Kombema, angelajean

          It was the only way to not be stuck working at Wendy's.

          And deployment changed her from a sweet gentle person to one who was homicidal when she got home.

          We need more treatment for PTSD, and it's really only people like PMI providing it.

          Get 10% off with KATALOGUE2013 at my shop, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

          by LoreleiHI on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:52:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Broad brush, I think. (6+ / 0-)

        "Our Military" is like "The Church" - the phrase means different things to different people, and invites strong opinion, but saying our military doesn't serve our country is, at best, inaccurate.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:52:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unless there is a horrible earthquake (7+ / 0-)

        in Haiti.  Then for a moment all the haters like us just a little bit.  After the crisis is over...return to hate :)

        I think I'm just used to it anymore :)

        I expect it, hell, I even plan for it :)

        It's policy though....obviously

        •  And the worship of the right is just as bad (10+ / 0-)

          Because they think that as long as they worship us, put us on a pedestal, they can kill us for any old reason...Neoconcervative oil dreams....Carlyle's need to plunder the overstocked treasury...just gotta worship us and we should ingest all poisons and lie down like a Jim Jones acolyte.

          Just sux...whaaaaaaaa, good thing I was born tough enough to know my own my mind and my own heart :)

          •  Sux either way... you've got it right. (8+ / 0-)

            Thanks for chiming in Tracy. I can always depend on your support. I know Danang can too.

            •  I am concerned (8+ / 0-)

              Mostly, I'm selfish.  I want him to be strong in his Purple Mtn goal because we (uniformed and their families) need him.  He has a special skill set and a special mindset and we are only at the PTSD beginning, we are going to lose many just getting to where we can save some.

              When I read about Purple Mtn, what goes into my hopper is how do we get a soldier or their spouse on that road if it is what they need?  And I will never forget the Veitnam Vets at Crawford, how they knew what it was like, how they fought for peace while still holding in their arms those serving.  

              •  Purple Mtn goals remain strong. (10+ / 0-)

                Thank you. The Mindful Veterans Project has been providing free education in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to veterans, active duty, and their families for 5 years. DaNang is the Outreach Coordinator and you are right, he has a special skill set and mindset.

                How do people find us? Referrals from the VA, Vet Center, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, U of A Veteran Student Association, and mostly from others who have taken the class.

                Class information and much more at the website.

                (Anybody who may be interested in a similar program in your area, please contact me, Teri Davis, through the PMI website.

                "Not wanting something is as good as possessing it." Donald Horban

                by drnatrl on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:27:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks to you and Danang for your work, drnatrl. (6+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos, OIL GUY, Avilyn, Onomastic, llbear, Vetwife

                  As someone with non-combat PTSD, I recognized Danang's symptoms when I saw them, and was absolutely horrified that NN wasn't a safe environment for him.

                  Peace and blessings to you both, and many thanks to angelajean for this diary. There is so much support here for Danang and his work that I hope he will remain part of the community.

                  But after his experiences at Netroots Nation, those wounds may or may not heal. I appreciate your outreach very much, angelajean, and share your anger. I hope this isn't the end of our communications with Danang. He has very valuable insights and perspectives to share, as do you, angelajean.

                  Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government. ~ Edward Bernays

                  by 4Freedom on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:16:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  At first I was wary of PMI & the Mindful Vets Proj (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  There are a lot of good programs out there including yours. When I first got active in convincing the VA that PTS(d) was real, I was afraid that many, many charlatans would show up with magic solutions, potions, and spells. Some did.

                  But, Veterans are very hard and extremely skeptical on experimental programs. We are finding that what works for one Vet will not work for another. Being able to predict the needs of any given Vet with PTSD is still either impossible or an art form. Too many diagnosticians believe their analysis of a given Vet is accurate, but the Vet just doesn't want to recover.

                  One Vet of Iraq is someone I've helped ever since he was in the service. He just completed a 45 day program at North Chicago's James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. I think he is just as brittle as many are following these programs.

                  Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

                  by llbear on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:49:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  It has nothing to do with hating or liking anyone. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I grew up in a very, very military heavy town.  

          As individuals, those in the services (and I mostly knew Marines and Navy) aren't really any different than a cross section of Americans in the same age cohort.

          The occasional PR move doesn't change the purpose of the modern US military though.

          It exists to make the world safe for capitalism.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:16:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am a Progressive who does not hate the troops (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, Kevskos, Onomastic

          for the actions of political leaders. There are others like me.

          But your notion is not a new one.

          For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
          But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
          An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
          An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool—you bet that Tommy sees!
          Tommy, by Rudyard Kipling

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:37:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's an honest opinion. If this is now hide ratable, then this site does not support even the mildest criticism of the military, which is an extremely conservative posture to take. It is anti-dissent, anti-democracy, and anti-freedom of speech.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:06:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  JesseCW = No Respect /nt (0+ / 0-)

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:57:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your Welcome (0+ / 0-)

        Because our very act of putting on a uniform helps protect your right to say that.

  •  Democrats stand up for veterans. (21+ / 0-)

    Republicans stand for lip service.

    Flags and lapel pins are dandy, but to Republicans I say, stop telling me how much you love veterans, and show me instead.

    Republicans love the military when it involves channeling money to cronies, buying tanks and weapons the Pentagon does not want.  But when it came to vehicle armor and things the troops actually needed, remember "you go to war with the army you have."

    Time and again it has been Pelosi who had to shame the Republicans into doing the right thing, reminding them that if you can't afford to take care of veterans, you can't afford the war in the first place--it's part of the tab.

    Now let's watch what happens now that DOMA is dead. The Pentagon is already asking for domestic partner support for all their members. Wanna bet Republicans fight that?

    And as for not all Republicans being racists, maybe not. But many are. It's the party of "the Southern Strategy."

    And yes, I am a veteran.

    "I wonder why Congress again in a new poll out today--11% approval rating. (It's) because they don't work for us. They work for the sons-of-bitches who pay them." Cenk Uygur

    by Dave in Columbus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:46:13 AM PDT

  •  This breaks my heart Angie (22+ / 0-)

    The military community tends to think progressives are not friendly to them and what happened to DaNang65 reinforces that belief.  We need  to reach out to the military community and demonstrate that our support of the troops is not lip-service but a commitment to keeping the promises made to them.  I hope DaNang comes back.  His voice is important.

  •  I've met Danang65... (26+ / 0-)

    And I can't imagine anyone treating him this way. Granted I was a bit shy at the last meet up, but I enjoyed spending time with him. I don't want him to leave, and hope he returns once things have had time to calm down and cool off a bit, and appropriate apologies are made.

    Too many people don't consider disabilities at all, veteran or non-veteran, even amongst Kossacks and Democrats. We try to raise awareness of PTSD, vision issues, hearing issues, mobility issues, breathing issues and a myriad of other issues, but all too often it falls to the wayside. It's easy not to think of these things when they don't affect you.  "Invisible" disabilities are the easiest for others to dismiss. It's harder to dismiss things you can see. Perhaps we need to raise our collective voices a bit louder, and others need to make sure to keep open minds and open hearts.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:49:45 AM PDT

  •  I'm so glad you did this, Angie. (19+ / 0-)

    And thanks. I generally think much of what vets experience is apathy from the progressive community. Republicans seem to be good for only lip service (at least most of them). That will change significantly when more and more veterans, the victims of multiple re-deployments, need medical services; both psychological and physiological. This is a public health issue and affects all Americans.

    DaNang65's experience at NN13, from what I've heard, was disrespectful and cruel. It's shameful.

  •  I don't follow. (6+ / 0-)
    flashed images from the Vietnam War on the overhead screen as casually as you and I sip from our coffee cups right now.
    Images from Vietnam are part and parcel of our culture.  I don't remember exactly what images were flashed but I don't see why someone shouldn't include them for effect if that's what they want to do.

    Should we not put up the iconic image of Kent State if there are National Guards people in a room?

    Or maybe I'm missing something critical here.  Willing to listen.

    •  Some images are iconic but it doesn't make them (13+ / 0-)

      any less painful or hard for veterans to see...

      I imagine folks that lived through the Vietnam War as citizens of Vietnam would feel the same way. It's sort of like showing the Twin Towers in flames. How and why do we do it? What impact are we trying to have when we do it? What feelings are we trying to evoke?

      Maybe a warning for the vets in the audience?

      Maybe just a conversation about what can be done, if anything at all, to make it easier to include veterans at all levels of the conversation.

      What makes this hard jpmassar is that I'm translating this experience. The vet himself seems unlikely to reconnect with us and explain how it can change. It becomes our job to figure out how to do it without exact instructions. The only way I know how is to try and bring more veterans in at all levels and at the very least, include them in the planning and presentations.

      •  I wasn't there... (6+ / 0-)

        but I think a warning would have been helpful.  It then could prepare anyone who already knows how s/he may be affected from seeing these types of visuals.

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:15:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  To jp..they are triggers to vets (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Actbriniel, angelajean

        who suffer from ptsd.   Graphic warnings should always
        accompany these kind of images.  Images can be as powerful as a gunshot or firecracker.  No one knows what triggers anyone but enough study has been done to know that even smells, images, sounds,  music can trigger a ptsd sufferer.   You have to remember this is part of the education and the very thing that Purple Mountain Institute tries to teach.. The coping of the triggers and for the most part it is very very successful but there is no cure...  

        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 Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 03:52:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because they are triggers. (14+ / 0-)

      The presenter should have at least been aware enough to give that warning before their presentation.

      For someone with PTSD, flashbacks can be triggered by several things, images such as those being presented are one of them.

      Nothing worth noting at the moment.

      by Bonsai66 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:11:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should the presenter have been aware? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        How does someone know ahead of time what might be a trigger for someone in the audience who has had a traumatic experience?

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:38:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The presenter, like everybody, should be (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Avilyn, llbear, kj in missouri, Just Bob

          educated on the effects of war on warriors. This is essential political information. War is just bad for people, whether those caught up in it, or those fighting it, or those suckered into supporting it by lying or deluded politicals.

          We can, of course, discuss the alternatives available when somebody else starts a war against us or against unarmed civilians. Being conquered or permitting genocide can be worse than fighting back. But we should understand the price we are paying.

          As to the war imagery, it is not that anybody should know that a particular trigger will affect a particular person, but that any images of war can affect some people. The question is also being asked whether those images actually reinforced the point the speaker was trying to make.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:55:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wouldn't you think a trigger warning (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Avilyn, llbear, kj in missouri

          for images of sexual assault would be appropriate?

          Because it's the same issue. And really just as obvious, if you pay attention to the news. How many vets commit suicide vs. the general population? When those who serve are a very different 1%?

          Get 10% off with KATALOGUE2013 at my shop, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

          by LoreleiHI on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:00:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

            Depending on how explicit the image is, that may or may not occur to someone. I don't know what images were used in the presentation, so I can't really judge the specific incident. But not everyone has the same level of awareness, sensitivity, education, or judgment on these issues.

            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:20:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  different note, but I think applicable... (14+ / 0-)

      i suffered PTSD having lived through the day in NYC on Sept 11, 2001.

      I still cannot bear to watch moving images of the towers as they burn.  Stills and photos don't seem to affect me the same way, but I can't look at any video, can't watch even a millisecond.  I don't have to see it again through my eyes.  That day is seared in my memory. So seeing anything on TV or on the computer thrusts me back to the day and I just start to cry and my insides go dead cold.

      And this is only one day in my life that I went through something like this.

      I know that my small experience is not even a drop in the bucket for what some war veterans have gone through through.

      I can relate thoroughly to the concern that angelajean brought up specifically in relation to DaNang.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:13:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Treatment is possible for what you are suffering (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, Kevskos, Avilyn, kishik

        I cannot advise you how to get it or what it might cost you, and what help you can get to pay for it, but I know of people who can.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:58:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've gone (0+ / 0-)

          through counseling provided by my workplace immediately upon return to work.  My boss kept the psychologist on payroll for the next 2 years to help anyone who required help have it readily available.

          I still get flashbacks on the visuals, but other things that used to trigger a freeze and falling into an abyss feeling have diminished.

          Thanks.  :)

          All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

          by kishik on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 10:30:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  missing something critical (17+ / 0-)

      PTSD is characterized by 3 major groups of signs/symptoms - re-experiencing, hyperarousal, and avoidance. The trauma piece can be all sorts of things, depending upon the individual and circumstances. It might be childhood violence, rape, domestic violence, car accidents, natural disasters, combat experiences, etc.

      The re-experiencing piece has much to do with how the brain holds and processes traumatic memories. These memories are, for the most part, not very accessible to conscious retrieval - memories of the worst moments of our lives can be triggered but not recalled. And when they are triggered, our minds and bodies are transported as if by magic and the experience comes alive. It is not like remembering a bad day, it is like living it again.

      Those slides of Vietnam might just as well have been slides of battered women, sex slaves, bodies in New Orleans, dying children, abused dogs, starving horses - choose your poison. We all have our wars.

      Why shouldn't certain images be included for effect, you ask. Of greater importance, I think, is to ask just what effect is intended.

      Vietnam vets were treated like shit while the country protested the war. These images were a brutal reminder of all of that. One person's edgy slideshow is another person's ticket to hell.

      "Not wanting something is as good as possessing it." Donald Horban

      by drnatrl on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:27:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  During the Vietnam War, many antiwar... (31+ / 0-)

    ...Americans dissed veterans in various ways although the reporting spitting on veterans as they disembarked upon their return from the war has been debunked. (The real spitting was done by the officials who wouldn't agree that PTSD or Agent Orange were anything to be concerned about and that veterans who said they were big issues were just whiners.)

    One thing several of us war foes in Colorado did was try to find jobs, housing and, when needed, psychological assistance for veterans. We knew they weren't the enemy. It was those who had sent them into combat based on lies. (Tonkin Gulf wasn't the only one.) I chose not to go to fight as a consequence of my politics but also because my best friend (Manny B. Miller, whose name you can find on the Vietnam Memorial Wall) was killed early on there and because of talking to many, many veterans who had actually been in Southeast Asia.

    Please keep up your educational efforts here and elsewhere, angela. We need your voice.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:23:20 AM PDT

    •  Let's just emphasize this: (24+ / 0-)
      The real spitting was done by the officials who wouldn't agree that PTSD or Agent Orange were anything to be concerned about and that veterans who said they were big issues were just whiners.
      jimstaro and I tried unsuccessfully to make the point that spitting on veterans wasn't actually done, but treating us with absolute indifference was the type of spit we experienced.

      Hat's off to all of the Vets my age, and I will include myself among this crowd, who have shown today's new veterans what they have to do, and how they need to act to reclaim their citizenship and humanity following service.

      Take a look at Team Rubicon, The Veterans Green Bus, and VoteVets. All of them are working to help people in need - not just veterans of their own war.

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:47:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish more activists were aware of the (12+ / 0-)

      distinction and I appreciate folks like you that are working to make a difference. I'm beginning to wonder if it is enough. You've worked so hard to get Native American issues a voice at NN'13. That tells me you understand how difficult this is. And you work tirelessly towards the goal of integrating Native American concerns with the broader Democratic Party. I'm not sure I have the same energy you do.

      As people become tired of war, they also become tired of hearing about veterans and the military. Who wants to remember the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan? And if we remember our vets, we have to remember the wars. I have to admit that I am a part of that problem... I'm so thankful when I don't have friends deployed because my focus can change.

      I think the hardest part about working with the veteran community is that so many veterans are hurting and they aren't always capable of being their own advocates. It's not unlike my work to fix education for students in lower income communities... the very people that need the most help are fettered by their circumstances. They can't focus 100% effort on changing their communities because they are often too involved with just holding their personal lives together.

      •  We still have WW II vets (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kj in missouri

        and Korea, Vietnam, and every other war and police action and political raid on foreign soil since. I remember hearing when the last vet of the Spanish-American War died. I was too young to remember the last Civil War vet dying in 1956, but not by much.

        I put most of my efforts into global education for ending poverty, which is even harder than educating poor children in the US.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:56:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's complicated... (6+ / 0-)
    "...Democrats hope to gain more military family members into the fold, more veterans, more active duty members..."
    I suppose so assuming Dems prefer all Americans to be Dems and assuming no predjudice against people in the military or military families. Dems ardently support veterans. Still, there's a natural tension between the the military and the depth and breadth of some (many? most?) Dems beliefs against militarization, DOD funding, support & promotion of the military, certainly opposition to the wars since 1960.

    As a personal example, I know more than a few young Marines because of where I live. In every case so far they answer my questions about why they joined by explaining how they were saw personal opportunities in the Marine corp not otherwise available to them becasue of poverty or where they lived. Privately I wince and see that as a tragic reason to enter the military, a mistake, sometimes a moral failure, and one that hurts the country overall. Do I respect people who "serve"? Sure, like I respect everyone. But, respectfully, I used quotes "service" may not always be the proper term IMHO.

    Within our party, like within churches, it seems to be the nature and I would say duty of all people with good will to navigate such natural tensions with good will, generosity, respect. Value others. It's called cultural diversity.

    On that basis, to you diary, we should be sensitive to the nature of PTSD when addressing overlapping issues like the military, war, crime, rape, racism, child abuse, disease, poverty, etc. Dems seem to have that as a cultural principle, kind of part of our everyday life, no? And part of everyday life of those of us who cope with PTSD, as I do. It doesn't sound to me as if anyone "dissed a vet". I don't expect to be shielded from the consequences of my disorder although my case doesn't present a conflict with core Dem issues like the tension with military issues.

    Personally, I think it's basic self-preservation and protection, to refrain from too many expectations when in public. Especially in large groups like dkos I assume good will on the part of others. I also appreciate your reminder and the education that we're so good at sharing. I've learned from you.

  •  WHoa I'm a Democrat! why do we get blamed 4 this? (8+ / 0-)

    AJ, you know I love you, and you know I'm a veteran but why do the Democrats get blamed for this? Do you think NN13 represents the common thinking and actions of Democrats?!!?

    I mean you yourself were there, a non  Democrat running a booth, DN65, I also assume is also a nonD. Were these people who came up to him notably Democrats? Were there democratic Party booths there?
    NN13 a Democratic Party event?
    Come on aj, give credit where credit is due and vice versa.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:26:32 AM PDT

    •  DailyKos is definitely a Democratic site... (11+ / 0-)

      Democratic politicians speak on the stage.

      Democratic politicians roam the corridors, sit on the panels, and  are interviewed extensively at the events.

      Democracy for America is a large sponsor of many of the activities.

      It's one thing for me to say I attended an apolitical conference where both parties are represented and another thing to say I attended Netroots Nation. To pretend the event isn't really a Democratic event, one intended to push the party towards more progressive politics, would be disingeneous.

      And yes, I want the Democratic Party to own this at the end of the day. Because until they tackle this issue head on they will constantly be referred to as the party that hates the military whether it is true or not.

      I bring this to all of your feet as a progressive and a vocal military wife. I want to make a difference. It doesn't work if I only tell you what you want to hear.

      •  that should be news to a whole lot of people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, chimene, Christin

        That dailykos is Democrat site, a part of the Democratic PArty. It a site that (once was) dedicated to getting more and better Democrats elected but there's a significant bunch here who think the Democrats are attendants to the Great Satan.

        I think this may be a case of blaming the Democrats for something they really have no control over.
        Its definitely not a Democratic PArty sanctioned event, I think most of the Democrats who do go are there because they are liberals. And to blame the problems Damang had had on Democrats??

        I think its no stretch to say that the average person who attends NN13 is not the average Democrat nor do I think the average person who attends NN 13 is in the mainstream of Democratic thinking. I think its a huge leap in credibility to think the kind of person who walks up and starts hassling a veteran is a Democrat. Coming from someone who obviously doesn't think that much of the Democratic PArty, I have to think of your opinion on this as somewhat subjective. And I have to point to Democratic Vets like Tammy Duckworth. I speak as a Democrat and a veteran.

        I sort of don't get the connection between the people who hassled Danang 65 and why the  Democrats. How did you know they were Democrats? By the Angel Wings?

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:00:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NN13 attendees, please help (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, Christin, Kevskos

          I may be wrong here. Did you consider the NN 13 to be a Democratic PArty event? Did you attend NN 13 because you were a loyal Democrat? Because it was a Democratic function and /r you wanted to help the Democratic PArty?
          Would you have given all the money you paid to attend a Democratic event?

          just very curious I wasn't there. I'm surprised to hear people think it was a Democratic event and that Democrats routinely hassle veterans

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:10:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, last time I looked (4+ / 0-)

            NN13 was not a Republican Party event, and as we (unfortunately) have only a two party system in the US and no meaningful third party options, I would say NN13 must have been a Democratic Party event.

            •  So anything not Republican is Democrat? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that's a pretty narrow view of things. Lot of Occupy people aren't gonna like that

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:48:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lots of Democrats vote with Republicans (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angelajean, llbear

                very few Republicans vote with Democrats, the rest, who in fact are not represented in either party, have a tough luck, because your system gives them no meaningful way to represent their political ideas. It's all one big mish-mash and a lot of very bad compromises.

                I learned here today that Markos doesn't want to include participants who would support third party candidates, that would include poeple like Bernie Sanders. I really have to sleep over that one, because I just don't know what Markos really means.

                •  I believe Markos believes that Sanders is an (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  exception... but of course, when he first ran, he wouldn't have been. It tells me that if you can win as an Independent and then operate as a progressive hero, you might be worth supporting on this site.

                  •  Does that mean Markos includes only winners (0+ / 0-)

                    and if they are he doesn't mind much if they are independents or not ? That's nice...

                    I think he should include them independent of them winning but scrutinize them to the fullest as to what they actually stand for. I have never seen a more foggy mish-mash of people, who, out of despair, call themselves independents, because they feel they don't belong to either party.

                •  You are allowed to support third party candidates. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You can donate to them, phonebank for them, doorknock for them, whatever.  The only thing you can't do for them is advocate for them on this website, IF there is a Democrat running in the same race.  If it's your independent vs a Repub, with no Dem in the race, I think you're even given a by on advocating for them in that race - if you make it clear there's no Dem in the race.

        •  Two different issues here. (12+ / 0-)

          DailyKos is a Democratic site. At the DailyKos Caucus, Markos spoke to the small group of Kossacks about upcoming changes to the site. He wants to include more new people, especially younger activists. He was asked if he would be willing to allow open support of third party candidates in order to attract more activists. He said no. This was a Democratic site whose purpose was to push the Democrats toward more progressive policies. I'm usually very circumspect about reminding folks of my Independent status because of this attitude.

          The second issue is whether the Democratic Party or Progressives as a whole own this issue. I'm not sure the distinction is important to many in the military community. Most military folks see them as one and the same. You and I both know that.

          And you are very right, having politicians like Tammy Duckworth helps. As a veteran, she gets it. But what about the members of the party that don't get it? How do we push the limits of understanding? How do we get more veterans to talk openly with liberals and progressives and foster a community that embraces a better understanding? Danang's story might not resonate with you... he's just a single person. I hope Gordon writes about his experience. I wonder where all the other veterans were? Are they like moviemiester76 and don't mention their service so they can avoid the conversation?

          If I've pissed you off, good. It's not good to just assume what the politicians like Tammy are doing is enough. How do we push the envelope exlrrp? How do we make people care about veterans? How do we make them demand accountability? How do I write about sexual assault and rape and war on the one hand, and about caring for our veterans on the other and make people realize that we aren't all hateful people or people to be hated? Because, I hate to tell you, there are people on our side that hate us and what we stand for. They want a world where the military isn't necessary (don't we all) and they want it NOW.

          Yes, I'm asking the impossible. I want our military to be embraced by the progressive community as a whole. Damn it, we embrace just about every community wholeheartedy with no ifs ands and buts (I would say transexuals are having the hardest time with acceptance at the moment.)

          I went to a panel that talked about a progressive defense agenda and they couldn't even come up with what that actually meant.

          We have a serious problem as progressives and we need more veterans voices in the ground game and we need more civilians willing to hear their voices. And IMO it starts with dealing with how we treat a single vet at a progressive/Democratic political convention.

          •  Write on . . . and right on point. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, ranger995, Vatexia, drnatrl

            Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

            by llbear on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:14:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I just get tired of always arguing that side (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean, Onomastic, llbear, Kevskos

            Actually I want to believe what you say but I get too tired of arguing it with people who think dailykos is a good and wonderfull place to bash the Democratic Party. I'd like to think dailykos is a place where veterans are respected----but if they are not so here---and they often are not-- I sure don't blame the Democratic Party for it.

            I think the rubric you need to put around rude people hassling veterans in this case at NN13 is Kossacks, not Democrats. I say that as a Democrat and a veteran AND a Kossack. Youre going to find a whole lot more people rude to veterans here than in  the ranks of the average Democratic party member. I'm real sure of that.


            Yes, I'm asking the impossible. I want our military to be embraced by the progressive community as a whole
            If you're asking it aat NN13, you're not asking it of the progressive community or the Democratic Partyy, you're asking it of people who show up for NN13.
            good luck with that!

            I cold never be mad at you, aj, but I am sad that rude people seem to bring Democrats to your mind. I think the heading should  be Kossacks

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:46:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

              it's those that are the loudest "i'm a progressive" voices here at DK.
              that say things about the military that could be hurtful to the soldiers.
              it's those that call themselves Democrats.
              centrists or moderates.
              that give the most support.

              i'm not sure why to Angelajean, those that hurt her.
              and her friend.
              are now "the Democrats. "

              that's not true. period.

              We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

              by Christin on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:30:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nobody gets respected around here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              automatically, any more than anywhere else, although many other sites are much, much worse. You need a thick skin to wade into the fray. We have Democrats, Progressives, RKBAers, military IGTNT families, Pootists & Woozlers, and many others, and the occasional troll. Would-be Kossacks come in here with all sorts of opinions, information and misinformation, and ignorance. Some are reasonably enclued when they get here, many get straightened out or merely informed on many points, and a few are sufficiently clueless to chase themselves right out again or fall under the banhammer.

              Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

              by Mokurai on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 01:42:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  not going to happen. (0+ / 0-)
            Markos spoke to the small group of Kossacks about upcoming changes to the site. He wants to include more new people, especially younger activists.
            when this was all new. it was exciting.
            posting comments on a blog. debating. arguing. i mean in real time! like a real conversation.
            remember how awesome it all was.
            i remember even back in the day with AOL.
            omg! the money we spent.
            remember they billed by the minute when you went over.

            and you got to talk to people all over the place. who believed in what you did.

            but now it's going on almost 20 years.
            and we see how this is playing out.
            it's just reading and posting and reading and posting on a blog. arguing.
            people won't budge. time slips by.
            wasted. the same names feel one way.
            and nothing changes their mind.
            the same names feel the other way.
            and nothing seems to change their minds.
            we see that with the diaries.
            the HR's. the recs.
            young people don't come here.
            because this all got too boring.
            it's why DK slipped so far down the list of most visited sites in the past few years.

            face book did not help.
            you can only spend so much time hitting keys on your droid, tablet, or laptop.
            and that's why the age group here skewers much older .

            i don't know - this just feels tired now.
            and i don't mean that as a insult against DK.
            it's just what happens.
            the front page continuously  mocks newspapers and magazines as dying.
            they shouldn't.  it's true.
            but they shouldn't laugh so much.

            We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

            by Christin on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:27:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No true Scotsman? (0+ / 0-)

          So the problem lies with non-Democrats who not only hang out on the site, but are willing to spend the money and time to travel to Democratic conventions?

          I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people who think Democrats are Satanic are not among those who went to the trouble to attend Netroots Nation.

      •  ..those people who refer to the Democrats as (6+ / 0-)

        the party that hates the military ... are not the ones we should listen to, because they are ... politically and ideologically motivated.  

        Military service is and should not be dependent on which political affiliation its members or funders belongs to. It's also a service imo every citizen of the US should be demanded to serve in equally for a while.

        All this "hate" for the military wouldn't be present, if ALL people had to serve and not a majority of socially and financially underprivileged people of the US population.  

  •  I've been with DaNang65 through thick & thin . . . (33+ / 0-)

    and I sent out a warning prior to NN2013 to expect hostile treatment towards anything military related. He wasn't the only person to get frosty treatment.

    It is reasonable to expect people to tire of hearing about veterans.  After all, we cost a lot, we want what they don't have themselves, we talk in gibberish, we probably are either perpetually drunk or stoned or both, we beat their wives {wives instead of spouses because all veterans are men}, and now they know we rape while in uniform. Oh, and we actually claim to be nuts.

    That's what the civilian population is hearing. Let's not forget that deep down a bunch of them feel guilty for not having the guts to serve, while another group feels that if nobody would be willing to fight these wars, there would be no war [thanks to our educational system for removing philosophy, ethics, and logic from the curricula for that].

    Before we can tackle the problem, we need to identify it, own it, and be upfront about where we need to change - and what we need to do to coexist with those who can't or won't change. Simple.

    Wisdom comes from being able to see both sides of an issue devoid of the emotions that overcome logic. People who do that are rare - Meteor Blades is one of the few on this site who can rise to that level as long as he has no personal dog in a particular fight.

    DaNang65 - good old Bob - has lived life on an emotional roller coaster fueled at times by all things bad for you. I'm hoping that Teri is there with him right now.  He needs someone to throw him a life-saver of some sort. I hope he gets it.

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:34:34 AM PDT

  •  A big problem in this country (19+ / 0-)

    Far, far too many Americans have never come into contact with a veteran or active duty soldier. On the one hand this situation has created this weird rift where it is at times impossible to criticize military policy without massive backlash. On the other, since so many people in general are unable to empathize with a certain type of person unless they have come into actual contact on a fairly regular basis, this creates a dangerous situation in which soldiers and veterans can become the Other. And this often leads to folks treating these human beings as if they have no emotions or feelings.

    I rarely tell people in real life that I am a veteran, and even less that I am a disabled vet (only time I'm lucky that my disabilities are invisible). Primarily because I have experienced too many times in which someone finds out I am one and acts weird after that. It makes me uncomfortable. I also agree with others in this thread who have pointed out that some Americans have a difficult time separating the soldiers from the policy. This is made even more difficult by the fact that we are all taught about how a lot of Nazis were tried and executed at Nuremberg for "following orders." So a lot of civilians think that soldiers have a choice when it comes to following any order, which is so not the case.

    I do hope Danang 65 is all right and continues to participate in this community. We need people like him. I hope he understands that many of us here understand him and respect him.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

  •  Keeping in mind *whose* stories . . . (18+ / 0-)

    such experiences as these are to tell, and the fact that they deserve to be considered on their own, untethered to other agendas:

    I have to say some things, and by the time I'm done, I have no doubt everyone will be unhappy.

    This is why some of us continually push back on the notion of "progressivism" or "liberalism" or "Democratic Party values" as defined by certain of those involved with Netroots Nation and other endeavors.  It is not a progressive value, nor a liberal value, to heap abuse on people whose experiences one has been privileged never to have to endure.

    How many of those making "babykiller"-like comments have ever served?  How many have ever done what their country told them was required for its defense? Alternatively, how many went willingly to prison for refusing to do so on moral grounds?  How many grew up in impoverished environments with the knowledge that their sole way out was through military service?  How many were wounded, maimed physically and spiritually, by bullets or IEDs or other ordnance, by seeing slaughter on a scale most Americans cannot and won't try to comprehend, by being forced to do that which flayed their very souls or seeing it done by others or having it done to them?  How many live every single day with the sure and certain knowledge that wrong trigger can send one back into that place, with the stench of blood and entrails and the deafening sights and sounds of death?

    DaNang65 is my brother.  We have not [yet] met in person, but he is my brother as surely as if he were blood.  Indeed, he might as well be:  My own blood brother was in-country in VietNam two years later, in 1967; his [mercifully short] tour left burned in his brain things that to this day he doesn't discuss.  But as to DaNang65, I know this man, I know his spirit, I know his essential goodness and humanity, despite this country's best efforts to rob him of both.  And anyone who would deny him that - who would deny him and his brothers and sisters a shot at life in all its fullness, including redemption, if that word suits your opinions of military service - anyone who would do that is not a progressive, not a liberal, and frankly, not a decent person.  No, it's someone who needs to check to see where his/her own humanity got lost, because it's certainly gone.

    I could say much more - too much more.  But I'll close with two things:

    I owe a debt of gratitude to those who were with him, including my sisters at this site who were there to do what I could not be there to do.  You know who you are, and now I do, too.

    To my brother DaNang65:  I do hope that, at some point, this site and the entities associated with it grow and evolve sufficiently that you feel that you can return.  If not, I understand that, and I fully respect your decision.  And I want you to know, in as public a way possible, how many of us here love you and are fully behind you - in this, and in so much else.

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 11:59:12 AM PDT

    •  Aji, (10+ / 0-)

      I would like to share your last paragraph with Danang... if I have your permission. It gives him a reason to return after we have changed sufficiently. It might be enough.

      Thank you. Just thank you.

    •  {{{Aji}}} - I am so grateful for your comment (7+ / 0-)

      you speak my heart. I have not the gift of words you have, So I am so thankful you come to the rescue and I hope your words reach DaNang65's heart.

    •  Thank you. I came to this diary too late to jump (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, llbear, Vetwife, kj in missouri

      in, but I did start a comment or two before I thought better of it.

      Those who would be cruel to a vet have no understanding of your comment. They have never sat and talked to a vet who had tears in his eyes. In that respect there is something lacking in their souls. That isn't their fault. They just haven't been there and therefore they have no right to judge.

      I'm very glad I wasn't at NN13. If I had seen that I'd likely still be in jail.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:09:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tipping with one quibble. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, llbear

      I continue to disagree with the semi-religious notion that one has to suffer personally to attain knowledge or understanding.

      Will I go 'willingly' to jail if I refuse service?  No - to do so would serve no particular purpose, other than for me to be 'punished' by people who believe I should do what they want.  I might indeed wind up in jail, but certainly not 'willingly'.

      On the other hand, I certainly would have no problem serving as a nurse in the military, with the understanding that I would never lift a weapon against another human being, and that I would do what I could to medically help any injured human, whether military, civilian, or 'enemy'.

      I hope DaNang decides to stay or come back.  Anyone making 'babykiller' comments is ignorant in the extreme.

      •  With great difficulty and all due respect... (3+ / 0-)

        I suffer from that guy thing. At times I have trouble wrapping words around strong emotions. That makes this difficult. That leads me to an anger that has a component of frustration at times.

        We're talking about soul rending and existential threatening experiences. I guess that's where the "semi-religious notion" comes in. The soul rending is a shorthand that I think most of us understand. To put it into other terms might require a Ph.D in psychology. The existential threat comes not from an armed enemy but from surviving the external threat while others have not. I think the suicide rate among vets is connected to both.

        As to empathy, I'll allow the possibility that some may be born with such a capacity but I'm not certain that's true in the context of this discussion. The experience doesn't have to be the same but I think those who share a soul rending and existential threat have something in common that others do not. There are some people who will never sit and listen to a vet speak of his experience or his thoughts and emotions that bring tears to his eyes simply because it's highly unlikely the necessary level of trust that would lead to such a discussion would never be established.

        Some of the comments to this diary have been very painful and I have lost all respect for those who have been so judgmental without any knowledge or experience in the matter at hand.

        Damn, I wish I were a wordsmith.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 12:41:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  correction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kj in missouri
          highly unlikely the necessary level of trust that would lead to such a discussion would never be established.
          highly unlikely the necessary level of trust that would lead to such a discussion would ever be established.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 02:14:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think you expressed it well enough, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob

          although in reality, the 'suffering' part of my comment was aimed at the notion of going to jail for refusing to take up arms, not at understanding PTSD or other trauma-related issues.  

          I noticed the same sense being expressed in various 'Snowden' diaries, that unless he would willingly throw himself into the arms of the US 'justice' system, that it somehow diminished the worth of his actions, or made him less credible.  And although I understand that that is a tactic that was used by civil rights crusaders, I'm not sure I agree with the 'willing' part, because that, to me, actually seems to bolster the notion that you're doing something that is wrong, rather than being penalized for trying to do what you feel is right.

          Being willing to risk jail, and even going to jail, to me, is distinct from saying you are 'willingly' going to jail.  I think I would say I am willing to stand up for what I believe, but that even if jailed, I would maintain that it was an injustice that served no purpose other than to punish me for daring to disagree with whatever law was 'broken'.  It would neither undo whatever I had done, nor change my stance on such a law, so it would be purposeless imprisonment.  And as such, I certainly don't see why Snowden, or anyone else, should want go to jail for breaking such laws if other options are open to them.

  •  I'm Breaking the rules Here (22+ / 0-)

    Because i Happen to be in the clinic (again) since middle may for PTSD and Depression and Laptops and Internet is forbidden as it is a distraction.

    But it is saturday evening and i'm looking over this snowden stuff. I saw this and just had to Log in and comment, which is difficult on an iPhone.

    Apparently, my wife joined dkos for the sole purpose of finding someone, anyone, to help as i was getting a Little whack around the holidays and she knew i was a kossack.

    Danang replied to her to help, and he did. That's just the type of stand-up guy he is. So this infuriates me as well as saddens me. Unfortunately he and i never hooked up but i wasn't in the frame of mind to seek help either, until my daughter was born that is.

    I've been here a long time and i can't ever remember anyone doing something like this. But i'm not surprised, not after the fights with kossacks who support gutting our va compensation purchasing power with chained cpi.

    There are a lot of New people here and this place has changed drastically. It's too bad, his voice was important and kind, especially to my wife. Testvet doesn't post around here anymore either.

    Can't say that i blame them. When i go home in a month i'll  probably also limit my commenting and focus on my wife and precious daughter. I think that is really what is important now.

    I'll Log out now cause posting on the Full web Site is really slowing Down my phone, so back to lurking

    Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:06:28 PM PDT

  •  DaNang65 has all the right(s and) reasons (8+ / 0-)

    to decide for himself what made him so "kaputt" as to not wanting to return to dailykos. And before he doesn't voice himself what exactly it was that made him want to leave here online in public, I think nobody should assume that he/she knows and understands what it was or what was going on in his mind. I have some doubts to believe that images of the Vietnam War on the screen were the only trigger. I can imagine what he means by "babykillers", but I wouldn't talk about it, because I could be wrong.

    I hope he has at least one steady person at his side who sticks this out with him and waits til he is back on his feet. I don't know him, I thought his PMI is a great program and sometimes thought of "passing by with my son and get close to the horses" ... would have been so nice. I remember his "Thank You" message to me once. He is a lovely man, I can tell you that out of my guts straight in your face, though I have never met him.

    I think that believing that one can understand what this PTSD is all about is nonsense, no matter how much "research" by well-meaning people goes into it.

    My son gets mad when someone judges anything that gets him upset as being based on him having PTSD, the same way he can get upset that people judge his intelligence on the basis of his spelling.

    The whole categorization of PTSD is not helpful. It's a tool for all people, who don't feel the same way as they see some Veterans feel, to put their non-understanding and non-relating in a comfortable intellectually constructed category and make some smart remarks and analysis about it.

    I know that the democrats, liberals and progressives have hurted (not consciously most often, just out of thoughtlessness or simply not being able to relate) him as much as the Republican's "talk" by just asking him why he was so "dumb" to enlist in the Air Force.

    He was not "dumb", the policies of Pres. Bush were more than "dumb",  as our current President, the Democrats support, seem to think himself. Now he was "smart" enough to leave the military, which others call "cowardice". Would you be the target of such "smart-assed" judgments, wouldn't you get all rantsy, especially considering that sometimes Veterans regret of having given up the "financial" security of a job in the military these days?

    So, you know, before anyone talks PTSD wisdom, how about just watching out what exactly a Veteran needs at the very time you meet him and take actions to guide or help on actual matters of his daily life. Healing in a bed with a roof over your head beats lying drunk and hungry on the banks in public parks. Offer a job in person and not outsourcing it to "the webpages to seek and apply for one", is also helpful. Ok, enough of my rant now.

    So, I really don't think this has anything to do with being Republican or Democrat. But all to do with your personal capability to understand on the personal level what it means for each Veteran (and they are for sure all different and to be looked at not as a group but as individuals) to have been in a war and what it meant in the context of their personal family and professional life.  

    I don't like that this is made into a political issue. On an individual and emotional level I can understand the reasoning of a Republican Veteran, when it comes to military service, as much as I can a Democrat or Progressive or Liberal Veteran.

    You look at the individual and not on the individual's ideological make-up, which can also change in your life several times. Being a Veteran doesn't change, once you are, you are for your life and what you have gone through sticks with you. Your political affiliation changes with the direction from where the wind is blowing for most people.

    When it comes to the policies I certainly take sides and try not to mix the political with the personal experiences every Veteran has gone through.

    I would like just to beg Angelajeans to reconsider her feelings about this.

    With regards to being an Independent, that is fine. But as long as we have a Bernie Sanders and a Rand Paul calling themselves both Independent, I would like to know to which kind of "Independent" an independent belongs, please, before I vote for any of them.

  •  Thank you for a thoughtful, heartfelt diary, (13+ / 0-)

    Angelajean. While I can't speak to what happened at NN13, I'm saddened that DaNang65 has left the site (for now?); he is one of my favorite Kossacks here.

  •  Yes, it happened. (9+ / 0-)

    I would be at least as hurt and angry in the same situation. It was clearly wrong. The comparison to racism is, for once, accurate: you were seeing blind prejudice and hate for its own sake.

    Such people exist, but so do I. I've petitioned for better care for returning veterans and donated tangible cash to a charity that matches shelter dogs with PTSD-afflicted veterans so they can heal each other.

    Others have contributed far more than I have.

    I can't tell you how to weigh those conflicting experiences. I can respectfully ask you, at election time, to make an individual judgment about the Democrat and the Republican in front of you.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:16:09 PM PDT

  •  I am very saddened to know that Danang65 (12+ / 0-)

    won't be around anymore.

    I have never met him, but he treated every veteran here, no matter what political perspective they have, with respect and decency.

    I have to say that I signed up here before I went to Afghanistan, but I didn't start posting until after I came back. In that time I changed quite a bit, and I know that I have had issues here, but I have always appreciated that there are other liberal veterans here. They are the only veterans I interact with anymore, except for a few people that I served with, who have become libertarians.

    Losing Danang65 is a very big loss to this site. I am glad I was not at NN13, I can just imagine how painful it was.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

  •  Oh NO! (10+ / 0-)

    I would have gone if I could have.  Damn damn damn damn, not that that would have turned any tide.  Just more support, one more.

    I would think that Purple Mountain Institute would be huge with liberals.   He discussed some of what he was working on on a more private forum with me, and I found value though my immediate issues were differing.  And though we are losing soldiers right  before our eyes to aggressive PTSD self destruction and more aggressive approaches may be needed for some, Purple Mountain Institute is long term needed so that once you have committed to staying alive you can feel your toes again.

    My husband suffers from milder PTSD symptoms.  He will never sleep normally again.  I would love for someone to teach him how to meditate, it is best taught by someone who is free of your family loop probably.  I can mediatate, but the past years have led to a feeble commitment on my part.  I would be a better mother with a little Purple Mountain time.  My spouse would just be better everything with some.  I'm so sorry Danang65.

  •  Its an all around sad subject (9+ / 0-)

    One is never going to know all of the background of a person and what decisions they made and why. That's why  its important to have a modicum of restraint and compassion when dealing with touchy issues.

    Also trying to come up with a diary title that conveys the subject (especially when upset) is not easy.

    "We're fools to make war on our brothers in arms."
    ~ Mark Knopfler

    As OPOL would say;
    Peace Out

    Aging tired Vietnam Veteran

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:56:59 PM PDT

  •  When I heard what had been said to Danang (8+ / 0-)

    and saw his reaction, I was saddened and horrified. angelajean and I went to dinner with him and Teri right after his response to at all that had happened.

    I had always admired and respected his work and writing. A friend of ours, a former Vietnam chaplain, heads Vermont Veterans for Peace. At Netroots, I stopped by the Purple Mountain Institute's booth, spoke briefly with Danang, and got some brochures for my friend to hand out. I know he will be interested and pursue the lead.

    angelajean and I wanted to have dinner with Danang and Teri to show him support for himself and his work. He is such a bright, intense and caring person that not having him here would be a tremendous loss to the site.

    If there is any way we can reach out to him and help to create a safe space for him to participate, I would like to help such an effort.

    In our conversations over dinner, Danang had some great ideas to help homeless vets at NN14 in Detroit. His perspective on this is invaluable, as this has become a big part of his life's work.

    I think we need his guidance in our outreach to vets next year at Netroots Nation. I really hope this will be possible.

    Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government. ~ Edward Bernays

    by 4Freedom on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:08:50 AM PDT

  •  i am speechless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, angelajean

    after reading this diary and comments.

    please give Danang my best.  i am heartsick.  
    compassion is too long neglected in this world.

    {{{Danang}}}  {{{Veterans}}}
    always and forever peace in my heart for peace in yours.

    i know PSTD.  i am very careful about filters.  i am shocked and sad and angy that yours were not only ignored, but breached.

    just keep doing the work for yourselves and others.   that is all that matters.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:55:39 PM PDT

  •  No. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Her overall message was important. We know that. But could it have been as strong a message without those images?
    No, the power of those images is exactly why you wrote this.  I don't know you and I wasn't there.

    I am glad you expressed how you felt about them. I am sorry that someone had a

    near breakdown

    I know that images of concentration and extermination camps bother me. I get physically ill at the sight. I leave the room.  There is absolutely no reason education and free speech should stop because it upsets someone. I would argue that is exactly why we need free speech.

    There is no right to "not be offended". The freedom of speech is more like a right "to be offended."

    I sure hope people continue to create presentations that make people uncomfortable- because that means they are thinking.

    Just my opinion.

    I am sorry to hear your friend had a problem due to the presentation- I hope he is doing well now. I would certainly suggest he avoid any presentations on the subject, just like I avoid anything remotely related to WW2.

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