Because of the widespread opposition to the war, and the strong passions ignited by anti-war activists, our veterans were grossly mistreated when they returned home. They could not wear their uniforms off base for their own safety, they were spit upon in public places, and one of the many epithets hurled at them was "baby killer." Even in the Pentagon, military service members only wore uniforms one day a week.
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· Veterans are more than twice as likely as non-veterans to commit suicide and the “Katz
Suicide Study,” dated February 21, 2008, found that suicide rates among veterans are
approximately 3 times higher than in the general population.
· The VA’s own data indicate that an average of four to five veterans commit suicide each day.
· A document from the VA Inspector General’s Office, dated May 10, 2007, indicates that the
suicide rate among individuals in the VA’s care may be as high as 7.5 times the national
· According to internal VA emails, there are approximately 1,000 suicide attempts per month
among veterans seen in VA medical facilities.
*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2010, young male veterans, ages 18 to 24, who served during the Gulf War II era, including those who have served at any time since September 2001, had an unemployment rate of 21.9 percent (significantly higher than the national average- at nearly double the rate).
*The veterans unemployment rate is on a steady incline and has even risen noticeably since 2010. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of unemployment for military veterans increased from 11.5% in June 2010 to 13.3% in June 2011
*Between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some time during the year.
*On any given night, more than 300,000 veterans are living on the streets or in shelters in the U.S.
*Approx. 33% of homeless males in the U.S. are veterans.
*Veterans are twice as likely as other Americans to become chronically homeless.
*Veterans represent 11% of the adult civilian population, but 26% of the homeless population.
A new study by a Brigham Young University professor has found that combat veterans' first marriages are 62 percent more likely to end in separation or divorce than other men's, a fact he hopes will be considered by defense policy-makers.
"We found that combat experience is an important risk factor for divorce or separation," said Sven Wilson, an assistant professor of political science, whose study is reported in the new issue of the academic journal "Armed Forces & Society." "Traumatic experiences like combat seem to have a persistent impact on the ability of people to form and maintain successful relationships."
The knocker is the worker who stands at the knocking box and shoots each individual animal in the head with a captive bolt steel gun.
Avi: Who else is directly involved in killing each cow?
Timothy: Of over 800 workers on the kill floor, only four are directly involved in the killing of the cattle and less than 20 have a line of sight to the killing.
Avi: Were you able to interview any knockers?
Timothy: I was not able to directly interview the knocker, but I spoke with many other workers about their perceptions of the knocker. There is a kind of collective mythology built up around this particular worker, a mythology that allows for an implicit moral exchange in which the knocker alone performs the work of killing, while the work of the other 800 slaughterhouse workers is morally unrelated to that killing.
It is a fiction, but a convincing one: of all the workers in the slaughterhouse, only the knocker delivers the blow that begins the irreversible process of transforming the live creatures into dead ones. If you listen carefully enough to the hundreds of workers performing the 120 other jobs on the kill floor, this might be the refrain you hear: 'Only the knocker.'
It is simple moral math: the kill floor operates with 120+1 jobs. And as long as the 1 exists, as long as there is some plausible narrative that concentrates the heaviest weight of the dirtiest work on this 1, then the other 120 kill floor workers can say, and believe it, 'I'm not going to take part in this.'
Queasy tribute turns to revilement when the civilian is given a means of seeing the violence. Witness the Vietnam era innovation of broadcasting graphic carnage from the front. As asinine and backward as the backlash was, I think it may have been a good indicator of what can happen when you take the walls down. We start retracting that permission. And not in a productive way.
I wonder how many of these psychos will be going berserk once they head back home.
What goes around comes around.
For example, Boman (1987) provides a broad historical perspective documenting that the stereotyped representation of the dangerous and unpredictable ex-serviceman—as reflected in adverse publicity about the propensity of veterans of the Vietnam conflict to indulge in violent, antisocial, and criminal behaviors—is by no means a modern phenomenon. Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough (1978) and Sigmund Freud in Totem and Taboo (1960) both noted how returning warriors in primitive societies were regarded as dangerous and tainted and often requiring a period of ritual isolation and cleansing before being accepted back into the community. Western civilization since Homeric times has displayed a morbid fascination with the violent (and quite often gruesome) deeds of veterans of the Trojan wars, as amply documented in the Iliad and the Odyssey and retold for Roman audiences in the Aeneid. Several Shakespearean plays refer to acute stress reactions and include particularly adverse characterizations of a “nefarious collection of war veterans,” including Sir John Falstaff, Richard III, Iago, Macbeth, and Cassius.
Michael O’Hanlon: “We have about a million and a half people in uniform in the active force. We have about another million in the national guard and reserve. So that’s two-and-a-half million total.”
Michael O’Hanlon: “Roughly another 3 million who are in defense industry or the contractor workforce…”
Michael O’Hanlon: “And then on top of that of course you have all the people locally who near a military base run a hot dog stand or a sandwich shop…”
So when you add it all up….
Michael O’Hanlon: “You’ve got 10 million jobs that depend on the department of defense in one way or another at this moment.”
Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough (1978) and Sigmund Freud in Totem and Taboo (1960) both noted how returning warriors in primitive societies were regarded as dangerous and tainted and often requiring a period of ritual isolation and cleansing before being accepted back into the community.
In ancient Rome, legionnaires were encouraged to settle in rural areas after their wars, to “decompress” gradually in the serenity of isolation from the city's activity. Japanese lore tells of samurai warriors who retired to tend the “perfect garden,” away from other people and the stresses of warfare .
This is our country's great unstaunched wound, and mending can only come through understanding. Why the profound civilian disconnect? Enter the Knocker.
And why do humans appraoch killing in this schizoid and compartmentalized manner?
That's right, "we". We put up the walls in the slaughterhouse, and we put on the blinders when it comes to warfare. While a soldier takes orders from another soldier, they are given their first permission to kill by the People. By you and me.
I think blood taboos (ritual cleansings, shunning, etc) and triumphs are a way to mediate the discomfort caused by bloodshed. I think that the citizenry, unless personally impacted by warfare, was just as insulated from the actual killing as we are in this day and age.
Queasy tribute turns to revilement when the civilian is given a means of seeing the violence. Witness the Vietnam era innovation of broadcasting graphic carnage from the front. As asinine and backward as the backlash was, I think it may have been a good indicator of what can happen when you take the walls down.
We start retracting that permission. And not in a productive way.
What has trickled about the suspect is that he was 38, on his fourth combat deployment in 10 years, the first three in Iraq. He was on his first tour in Afghanistan, where he'd been since December.
An official told ABC News that the soldier has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past, either from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident. He went through the advanced TBI treatment at Fort Lewis and was deemed to be fine.
When the soldier returned from his last deployment in Iraq he had difficulty reintegrating, including marital problems, the source told ABC News, .
Sutton based her estimate upon military health-screening programs showing that 10% to 20% of returning troops have suffered at least a mild concussion. Among them are 3% to 5% with persistent symptoms that require specialists such as an ophthalmologist to deal with vision problems.
Sutton's estimate is similar to a RAND Corp. study last year that said 320,000 may have suffered a brain injury. Following direction from Congress, the U.S. military began to screen all troops returning from the war zones for brain injury last year.
Persistent symptoms can range from headaches and sleep disorders to memory, balance and vision difficulties, said Lt. Col. Lynne Lowe, the Army's program manager for traumatic brain injury.