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Apr-07-2009 13:40printcomments

VA and Battlefield Fatigue Mean Anguish & Disgust for Veterans

There is no adequate or proper care. After we have faithfully served and many of us died, why won’t the congress invest the money to take proper care of us?

Image from the book WWII by James Jones
Image from the book WWII by James Jones

(SALEM, Ore.) - I have been reading Dr. Phil Leveques articles about PTSD and the miserable treatment of these guys by the VA. The same has happened to me in the mid-west.

I’m not going to state where I am for I am a current victim of VA’s questionable treatment and I fully agree with him. I wish we PTSD Vets could do something about it but it appears the drug companies and even the congress are complicit in our miserable care.

There is no adequate or proper care. After we have faithfully served and many of us died, why won’t the congress invest the money to take proper care of us?

I came upon the book WWII by James Jones who also wrote FROM HERE TO ETERNITY about pre-war and the start of WWII. He said it best about what it takes to be an infantryman:

“Every combat soldier must make a compact with himself or with fate that he is lost. Only then can he function as he ought to function under fire. He knows and accepts beforehand that he is dead, although he may still be walking around for awhile. That soldier you have walking around there with this awareness in him is the final end product of the EVOLUTION OF A SOLDIER.”

“Consciously or unconsciously we accept the fact that we can’t survive. Part of this was the reality of the gross privilege accorded their officers and sadistic sergeant overseers, which they were having their noses rubbed in, and you had at least the beginnings, hopefully of a soldier so bitter he would gladly take on both Jap and Nazi simultaneously.”

“When new in camp he wondered if he could hold his panic terrors and his held in check brutalities. Would he do well? Would he die? Could he kill another man? Would he not be able to kill another man? He couldn’t think or talk about those ---. It was taboo!

Finally I went where I was told to go, did what I was told to do but no more. I was scared shitless just about all of the time.”

Jones fought on Guadalcanal, one of the worst, dirtiest, stinkingest, lethal battles of the war. He had a wound to the head and a badly fractured ankle which required severe surgery and to be sent back to the states.

He returned with old veteran Master Sergeants and Chief Petty Officers who had literally worn out with PTSD.

He writes, “When we passed under the great misty pink pants of The Golden Gate Bridge I stood on the upper decks on my crutches and watched grizzled old Master Sergeants and Chief Petty Officers break down and cry. Jones himself had been away for three and a half years.”

Even during the war with returned shot-up veterans none of the at home civilians had a clue what combat was like. They didn’t know and didn’t seem to care. It seems the same way now.

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Bea Gelford April 7, 2009 3:03 pm (Pacific time)

Fascinating images and history on the book. To the person above, it is nice when you stay on topic. God bless those who served.

LRRP's April 7, 2009 2:10 pm (Pacific time)

Patrick you write words that matter.  I am a member of the gay community and while the military was far too big of a thing for me to join, I get on my knees and bow to those of you who have the manliness to serve, and then write about it later.  Thanks for leaving out the rancid comments from the fas-asses like Limbaugh and O'Riley who are even less manly than me!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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