Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mails from Mom

Today's Mail from Mom actually started back on Friday night with a link Mom sent about the rise in the desertion rate among the active military.

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 16:58:18 -0800
From: Mom
To: Jamee
CC: Subject: Yahoo! News Story - Army desertion rate highest since 1980

Mom has sent you a news article.

Personal message:> > > > Army desertion rate highest since 1980

It was an interesting article and I had heard a news story earlier in the day about it already. Things progressed, however...

Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 12:50:09 -0800
From: Mom
To: Jamee
RE: Yahoo! News Story - Army desertion rate highest since 1980

I was watching C-SPan this AM and heard that the suicide rate of returning vets who can't get proper care is astounding...some 5,000 so far...


This, as they say, is where it all changed. After hearing myriad stories over the weekend myself about the increased suicide rate in the military and then receiving an email from Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) this morning regarding the CBS Report on the subject, I decided it was time to comment.

This is a deeply concerning - in fact, incredibly distressing - issue to me, not just as a citizen but as a minister and as someone who has friends and family in the military. It is absolutely unconscionable to me that we have not made even paltry (let alone effective) efforts to help our veterans physically, psychologically and spiritually as they are engaged in and return home from this war.

Experiencing PTSD and profound despair few of us could possibly comprehend, they have turned to suicide for relief from their pain. My disgust for the shamefully inept VA is no secret but as people like Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), a psychologist during the Vietnam War, have been, for years now, warning and warning and warning us that just this sort of thing would happen I have to ask:

How many of our military will have to take their own lives before we start listening?


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