Friday, May 4, 2007

A Mind Wasted: A War Mishandled

When "musical artist" Kanye West was on television in 2005 concerning Hurricane Katrina and the poor response by the government in New Orleans he said that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." He was way off. Our president doesn't care about ALL people. This even goes toward the troops he claims to be supporting in every speech he makes.
A fourteen-member panel created by the Pentagon found that 38% of soldiers and 31% of marines coming back from Iraq have either traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. The figures are 49% in members of the National Guard and all of these numbers are expected to increase over time. These task force members of the Pentagon want more adequate screening processes in the military instead of relying on the soldiers to come forward. This is because soldiers are often afraid of being singled out and having their professional or personal lives negatively affected.
An article by the Associated Press stated, "In recent weeks, several U.S. senators have pointed to problems in the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs' mental health care, citing the Army's Fort Carson in Colorado where some troops have said their pleas for mental health care went unanswered or were met with ridicule."
This follows the Walter Reed scandal and further shows the government's neglect of its own troops who are possibly of no more use in the field. A Veterans Affairs director of education, Jan Kemp, estimated that nearly 1,000 veterans within the system commit suicide every year.
Another quote from an Associated Press article said that, "A recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that just 22 percent of U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who showed signs of PTSD were being referred by Pentagon health care providers for mental health evaluation..."
It is absolutely disgraceful and unacceptable that our troops who are fighting overseas are being neglected of the mental disorders they obtain from the violence they're exposed to. I, as all Americans should be, find this to be appalling and unacceptable that our patriots are faced with such a lack of support from the government that sent them overseas in the first place. Our soldiers, Marines, Airmen, sailors and National Guard members are more than just bodies that fight wars. They are people--regular American citizens--when they return home and should never be considered second class citizens as our government is treating them. Their mental health is as, if not more, important than their physical health and should be treated with concern and care. Though the president may no nothing of post-traumatic stress disorder other than what the photo-ops with grieving families will allow, he certainly has shown that he has the judgement of someone with failing mental capabilities.

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