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I've spent the day with my wife, supporting her while she buried her father.  

My father in law, Howard Denney, was a WWII veteran.  He fought in the Pacific campaign, fighting in the Philippines and serving in occupied Japan.

Howard didn't like to talk much about his service, but we do know this:  fighting in the Philippines, his whole company was killed and he was the only one to survive.  He finally met up with another soldier, and they made their way through the jungle, trading their underwear for food with the locals.  

His service was honorable and necessary, but he paid a heavy price.  Quoting my wife in her eulogy "War takes a terrible toll, not just in lives lost but in psyches shattered.  My dad could never get over the imagery of the deaths, the blood, the gore, the bodies, the taking of human lives.  Today we know about post traumatic stress disorder, but back then soldiers were left on their own, to get over it.  The way my dad got over it was by drinking".

Due to incomplete knowledge and certain wrongheaded ideas about manhood, the country let many WWII veterans down.   We've made a lot of progress in caring for today's veterans.  Let us honor veterans both past and current by acknowledging the price they have paid, and the debt we owe.  Medical care, both physical and mental is what we owe as a society.  A job with a living wage and the training to get that job seems , at least to me, the minimum we should provide.

Originally posted to StevenD56 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:03 PM PST.

Also republished by IGTNT Advisory Group, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, DKos Military Veterans, and Community Spotlight.

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