Quote from mercyteapot
Deserve everything? What constitutes everything? Decent medical care, programs to help these people who fought for the American dream to actually be able to afford to live the American dream by way of home and education financing programs, and advantages that afford them some priority in obtaining government jobs? I happen to think that they do deserve all that.
I also hate with a passion the fact that so many vets with mental illness developed it in whole or in part as the result of the horrendous things they saw and/or had to do in the name of the service they provided to this country.
I agree that there should be perks for military service, having used my military service to pay for 2 degrees and buy a house at the age of 28. However, what other member of society can rely on four years of their life to supplement the rest of their years? Not too many, nor should there be many.
The services are there for veterans to be a success, however not all of them use it. In fact, its an accepted truth in the military community that if all servicemembers used the GI Bill benefits, the funding would go bankrupt. The people who administer the GI Bill count on most vets not using it. I'm curious how many of these homeless vets used their GI Bill or home loan. How many continued self enriching and how many simply stagnated, resting on the laurels or drowning in the sorrows of their service. At some point, these vets must be accountable for their own actions or inaction.
Unlike the image mass media has cultivated in society, most people join the military for purely selfish reasons, not out of some sense of patriotic duty. With a volunteer force, all servicemembers know the risks when they sign up. This in by no means is an exscuse to toss them aside if they develop medical problems from their service. But there are alot of people who try to ride real or percieved medical issues for the rest of their lives. For instance, there was a soldier in my unit who went to sickcall everyday for 19 days following an attack, complaining of different ailments everyday. Finally the doc asked him what it is the soldier wanted. Turns out, the soldier wanted a purple heart and needed the med paperwork for it. The doc said fine and wrote him the charts to fullfil the claim, just to stop him from wasting valuable time. Now this soldier, who had been assessed 18 different times w/ no notable injuries went around gloating about how he was getting a purple heart and would get all the benifits of it for life. Incidents along these lines are very common, especially when it comes time to be discharged/retire.
I firmly believe that there are very few soldiers who develop mental health problems due solely to their service. In my laymen's opinion, war only exacerbates issues that were already present. For instance, the soldier who drinks heavily before going to war is more prone to rely on alcohol as a form of escapism when he gets back instead of seeking treatment.
Sorry for the excessive rant.