Friday, December 14, 2012

Wounded Times doorway to Archives of Madness

Wounded Times doorway to Archives of Madness
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
December 14, 2012

I am seriously considering changing the name of Wounded Times to Archives of Madness. With over 17,000 posts on this blog, all of them taken from news reports, politicians and reporters must face either telling the truth or facing ridicule. The truth does not change. Facts are facts, suffering is still suffering no matter how hard they try to avoid mentioning what happened last week, month, year or decades ago.

30 years ago this month I became fully invested in research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so while you see this blog from 2007, there were many more blogs and websites and thousands of reports for me to refer back to.

Just because reporters are covering military suicides today, they need to stop pretending they were not happening before they were born.

Chuck Dean wrote about military suicides, divorce, survivor guilt and all the rest a long time ago.
Three times more Vietnam vets have committed suicide since 1975 than were killed in the entire war--that's over 150,000! The divorce rate for Nam vets is in the 90th percentile. Too often secular counseling and VA programs have held out little hope of fully overcoming PTSD. But, writes Chuck Dean, "I know that PTSD is curable! My trauma was brought into 'remission' a few years ago. Now I'm giving my time, strength and resources to help brothers like you find release and final healing for this inner sickness"

What scares the hell out of me the most is all of it, all the research, all the money spent over decades and all the excuses used are being repeated while the results are still deadly.

I was going back to older posts on my blog to work on my new book, The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War, and getting sick to my stomach again. Writing about suicides and the suffering of families drains me emotionally now just as it had when I was putting together the suicide video Death Because They Served but now I am more angry about all of this still happening.

I posted this in October of 2007.
Wounded vets getting run a round and it isn't rosy
Homeless vets play waiting game
Veterans groups maintain that the backlog amounts to official negligence. Since the launch of the Iraq war more than four years ago, the number of people charged with reviewing and approving veterans' disability claims has actually dropped. According to the American Federation of Government Employees, the VA employed 1,392 Veterans Service Representatives in June 2007 compared to 1,516 in January 2003.

In the past 18 months, 148,000 Vietnam veterans have gone to VA centers reporting symptoms of PTSD "30 years after the war," said Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He recently visited El Paso.

I always hear a lot about how outreach work is so imporatant to our veterans. I always hear about how much the veterans of this country are supposed to mean to the people of this country. What I don't hear any of the elected ever say is that it's time for an emergency supplemental spending bill that will actually take care of all our wounded veterans. I never hear Bush say that all the mistakes he made in the past have been like an additional wound to our men and women serving this nation. I never heard any of the GOP who claim to be so much superior morally ask for forgiveness for the deplorable treatment our veterans received when they were in charge. I never once heard Larry Craig apologize for the way he acted toward them or how embarrassed he was over what he tried to do to them and almost got away with. I never once hear the Democrats apologize for not getting up in front of a microphone, starting an email chain about how the GOP betrayed the trust of our veterans when the GOP were in charge.

We heard a lot of talk from all of them over the words they used but we never hear them talk about what they have failed to do. You would think the wounded coming back and feeling as if they were not lucky to come back alive would matter more than words they are upset over.

Yes, you read that right. With two wars on less VA employees were processing claims.

This is one of the reasons I became an Independent voter. Neither party has done the right thing for our veterans and truth, well, that became another casualty of the endless political war in Washington.

The truth didn't change with what political group was in charge. When President Bush was in the White House and the GOP controlled Congress, they had the same responsibility as when the Democrats took control and when control was split. Truth does not change any more than the men and women we send into combat. They serve no matter what political group is controlling their fate.

When Bush was President, Democrats were happy with what I wrote because they viewed posts as a slam against Bush without taking any notice of their own obligation to the troops. With Obama in charge, Republicans are happy because they think the posts are against the Democrats. Again, never noticing their obligation to doing something about all of this.

Reporters today are playing politics with their reporting. Simple as that because few of them will report on what went on before the mess we're in right now. They can report on the suicides today but never once look back at the failures during all these years or how they got so bad. They can write about the backlog of claims today but avoid mention of what happened in 2003. The reports may in fact actually be shocked by what is happening today but just as with the American public, they never noticed their own obligation in all of this for all these years.

If you think this work is important for our veterans and families, then please support it with a financial donation. You get the tax deduction and I get some support to keep doing this work.

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