Monday, November 19, 2007

One More Heartache

Today, during my break in my Biology class this morning, as I drank my diet Dr. Pepper in the hallway, Josue, a guy in my class who I've come to like, walked by. He looked upset. I asked how he was. He told me he'd had a rough weekend.

He's a medic in the Army; he served a year in Afghanistan. He told me that a friend, one of the guys he'd served in Afghanistan with, had taken his own life this weekend.

His friend had returned from Afghanistan very troubled. A guy who was easy to get along with and hard-working was suddenly sullen, lethargic and sometimes combative. He was having marital troubles. He had all the clear and classic symptoms of clinical depression-- and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Last week, he checked himself into a VA hospital in Texas, where he lives. He was discharged, and committed suicide two days later.

The New York Times and other news outlets have been reporting on how a lot of the men and women who are returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having trouble getting the medical benefits that they're entitled to. Obviously, this problem remains unabated.

My god, I hate this frickin' administration.


Coaster Punchman said...

Stories like this make my blood boil. I agree, this administration is the most crooked group of hypocrites I've ever heard of. Didn't Kerry get lambasted for saying something like that in the '04 election?

MacGuffin said...

Yeah, what's NOT to hate? The list just goes on and on ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'm sorry for yor friend's friend. And for your friend. It;s goign to be happening a lot more as we get more vets back from that hell hole. The only way to stop it all is to stop the war.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I have been hearing the news stories about the climbing suicide rate as well.

SkylersDad said...

I have heard these stories as well JY. I think GW should have to send the twins over there. Then maybe there would be some serious consideration of getting the fuck out.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that skyersdad.....I've said that from the very beginning!

Natalie said...

It's simply too sad. It's just another one of those things that gets reported on and everyone in power is so sorry but yet nothing is done.

Hot Lemon said...

what? You mean God gave 'em MORE than he could handle??

Sorry, that was low and mean of me to turn this tragedy into a political comment about religion. I really should go back and erase that.

But, aren't MOST administrations like this? Haven't vets been getting the shitty end of the stick for decades?? Mind, I don't know what the answer is, but it's pretty obvious what the PROBLEM is...

Bubs said...

I'm sorry for your friend's loss, and sorry for all of this.

We have to do better.

Erik Donald France said...

I'm sorry too.

I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot more suicides like this, well beyond the current admin.

Grant Miller said...

Ugh. I'd hate it more if it still surprised me. Somehow these guys are so low I've come to expect it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. There is far too much suffering going on because of this insanely stupid war.

Distributorcap said...

i am so sorry to hear this

this administration is so crooked, so insensitive so awful

now they are asking for the signing bonuses back if people GET INJURED fighting for the country

Beth said...

How horrific and sad. Bush and the rest of those bastards have no qualms over sending them to the Middle East — and yet they give a flyin' fuck about these men and women when they return. There is no hell hot enough for those fucking, evil, selfish bastards.

And we have another year-plus with them. Who knows where our country will be next Thanksgiving?

Dr. Zaius said...

Wow... The effect hits home so much much stronger when it you hear about the issue from someone personally.

Johnny Yen said...

The waste of this war is literally sickening-- the thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost; the American soldiers returning horribly wounded physically and emotionally; the monetary waste. I can think of many, many better things a half trillion dollars could have gone to.

I agree, totally. Yet, nearly a quarter of Americans somehow don't see it.

Dr. Monkerstein-
I actually believe we needed and need to be in Afghanistan, where this guy served. However, his care, and the care of every other man and woman who served should be top-notch. We definitely shouldn't be in Iraq, yes, and need to leave.

Suicide is up, yes, and soldiers are voting with their feet in droves. The desertion rate has skyrocketed, and the re-enlistment rate has plummetted.

Skyler's Dad-
My father pointed out years ago that if their had been no exemptions from the draft, the Vietnam War would have ended years before it did. Maybe we need a draft, with no exemptions. This war would never have started if the armchair warriors in suburbia might have their sons (and daughters) sent.


I'm not hopeless. I think that a lot of chickens will come home to roost over the next 15-20 years. They always do.

Hot Lemon-
A lot of people mobilizing against this war are veterans. It's having consequences that they never dreamed of.


The really ridiculous thing about this is that it's clear that this guy will leave the military when he can. An intelligent, trained, motivated guy will leave and will have to be replaced. It's happening in droves right now.

It's affecting tens of thousands of vets. If this were a disease, it would be considered an epidemic. My blood boils when I think that Rumsfeld, Cheney and the other assholes who got us into this get great medical care, and will get to die of old age.

I know-- it's like this race toward diminishing expectations. As I said in a previous post, I don't dare ask how much worse it can get, because it just does keep getting worse.

It's awful and amazing, isn't it? They've done the impossible; things were actually better in Iraq under Saddam Hussein than they are now.

Oh my god, I hadn't heard that! Can you send me the attribution to that? Send it to

A few years ago, a guy I work with lost his college athletic scholarship (soccer) when he was injured. This is like that, except 100 times worse.

I know-- it's like Chinese water torture, knowing that we have hundreds more days for them to fuck up.

Unfortunately, more and more people will have personal experiences with it.