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Sun

25

Oct

2009

VETERANS DAY: Time to Recognize and Honor Efforts of Our Veterans It's also time to meet their needs
Sunday, 25 October 2009 19:19
by Peter Stern

Veterans Day is approaching.  The population of our veterans is increasing steadily.  While we show our respect and hold them in esteem, do we recognize their needs after returning home?
 
Often one of the unspoken truths is that Veterans are hit hard by suicide.
 
The media tells us little regarding suicide unless it occurs to a famous Hollywood personality.  It doesn't seem to mean much to us until it happens within our own family.

The truth is that suicides occur all too frequently within our society. There has been an increase of teenage suicides and among our elderly population, but the most dramatic increase in suicide has occurred with our returning veteran population — but we don’t hear about it on the news.

The media was all too quick to jump on the last year's possible suicide of actor David Carradine when he was found hung in a Thailand hotel. Too quick because authorities now believe it looks like the actor may have been murdered. Unfortunately, no one is notified that many of our veterans are having problems reentering our society after serving our nation.  Many can not cope with reentry.  Many do not fit in.  We should provide better support.


Why aren’t the media writing about the increasing high rate of suicide by our returning veterans? The suicide rate is the highest among the Veteran population than ever before. It’s time we recognize the problem and do something about it.

The increase of suicide by our veteran population is not just a problem for the federal government, it is a local problem as well and state lawmakers should be doing everything possible to provide needed services, including counseling, to help our returning veterans in readjusting to civilian life. As a Disabled Veteran myself, I can tell you that it is not an easy task to acclimate back into our society after being in a war zone for long periods far away from civilization and loved ones. It is a heck of a return journey.

Reentry is especially difficult during these hard economic times, where Veterans especially have a tough time finding employment. Outsourcing, layoffs and cheaper immigrant labor have taken a toll on available, well-paying jobs for Americans. It is no secret that Americans need work and it should not take this long to generate jobs for those who need and want them.

Perhaps the dismal job market is hardest for our returning Veterans because in addition to readjusting to civilian life, there are fewer jobs available for them.  While many return to schools under the GI Bill, many find it difficult to sit still in classroom situations and there is no guarantee of finding work after completing the program.

Isn’t it time we provide our Veterans with the services they need, along with a viable means to follow-up on their reentry into American communities?  Suicide is a painful alternative and it hurts everyone in our community.
 
 
Peter Stern, a former director of information services, university professor and public school administrator, is a disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Driftwood.
 
Peter Stern, PO Box 316, Driftwood, TX 78619, 512-426-4802
 
 
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Project Humanbeingsfirst.org said:

0
Why?
Is it because they have only killed by the thousands under the blaring sound of trumpets?

They could have refused to go to immoral wars and refused to destroy cultures and civilizations, refused to destory habitats and DNA for a 1000 years with depleted Uranium.

So now that they suffer the consequences of being the foot-soldiers of fortune and/or fodder for their rulers, please enlighten us why is it "Time to Recognize and Honor Efforts of Our Veterans" - who are nothing but mass murderers.

And I don't mean that in a small way. I mean that in the statistics for Iraq and Afghanistan, not to forget Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. And of course Pakistan today - my home and my ordinary people, constantly under drone attacks and heavy onslought both directly as well as from the proxy service providers to the American military. Why should I honor America's Veterans? Or any Veterans of immoral aggression?

I apologise if the answer is blatantly obvious to many - like, our mass murderers are heroes, and theirs are terrorists. Or, perhaps, that they all grow up to be terrorists eventually anyway, so this is only pre-emptive self-defense of the 'ubermenschen'.

Thank you.

Zahir Ebrahim
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

P.S. The only veterans I honor are the soldiers of conscience who did not take that step-forward to drop bombs on civilians and destroy entire civilization, but chose instead, to stand firm on their own ground against the tyrants right here at home. I will gladly help them today if I can, whenever I can, and with whatever I can.


 
October 26, 2009 | url
Votes: -1

Ahkim Abdul said:

0
To Zhir and his absurd response...
As founder/member of humanbeingsfirst.com you appear to lack the human quality of compassion for our troops. Are you serious or delirious?

Most of our soldiers volunteer to serve NOT to take part in a blood-bath in some faraway overseas god-for-saken area.

Blame Obama, administration and Congress for continuing the Bushian wars. U.S. soldiers serve, they do not shirk their responsibilities as soldiers. In addition, under the Homeland Security Act active soldiers may be shot for not following orders in a combat zone.

You are nuts to expect soldiers to do this.smilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/cool.gif
 
October 28, 2009
Votes: +1

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