My thoughts, filtered.

Posted: March 22, 2008 in Life
      There are things that make your blood  boil.  Then there are things that should have made your blood boil, but didn’t.  I will give you few examples, but first let me preface these examples by telling you that I am a former Vietnam veteran, a Sgt in the Marine Corps at the time, I served for over two tours. I am proud to have served, but the reasons are mixed, and have changed over the years. Simply put, and appropriate for subject matter I intend to discuss, is I fought to keep those I fought with alive, and even more so to make sure I survived.  I probably did not spend more than a minute worrying about Communism or it’s spread through out the world. This was the political cause, but had next to nothing to do with anyone actively competing to survive.
     The first thing I should make clear is my disappointment in a military that asks me to serve, risk my life, and to always act with integrity while I do it. An honorable request to be sure.  And let me be quite clear here, I will not be saying we should not have been in Nam, or Afganistan, or Iraq. The reasons for our participation in these various indeavors is complex and cannot be explained by me in a short blog. What I will be discussing is a few things in which our military historically has failed its fighting men, time , and time again.
     In WWI, WWII, they called it shell shock, and to be fair, they, the military, did admit of its existence, however treatment was basically, man up buddy, it’s over!
     In Nam we were let down in a miriad of ways.. Our heroes were not given the medals they had earned in a public forum, but in small pricate functions so as not to be shoving it in the face of a public who was not supportive of the war. The V.A. hospitals were a nightmare for any wounded vet. To say that the care was sub-standard did not begin to describe the squalor and lack of care I would see every time I visited.
     Then we really embarassed ourselves, Agent Orange, never heard of it. Oh yeah, that stuff we sprayed all over Vietnam. But it’s only harmful to plants. Did we spray it on humans, absolutely not, oh you have pictures, well it didn’t hurt them, I mean we sprayed it on some rats a couple months ago, they didn’t die. Of course they broke out in big red rashes and did not seem to be acting like healthy rats, but they didn’t die!  The gov’t continued on with this foolishness that fooled no one, however it was not a popular war, so no one cared! Thousands of veterans had reactions that would sicken you to list, never mind the experience from their exposure to Agent Orange. They never were treated properly, most were listed by the V.A. as melingerers or hypochondriacs, anything except lets see how we can help you.
    Now we get to our first encounter with Iraq and their attempted take over of the oil fields in Kuwait.  A huge number of military personnel came back complaining of various but serious health issues. The one thing they had in common, they had all been in the same combat areas of that military deployment. Did the military help them, well if you call, man up it’s over, or this is stress, but stress you had bifore we sent you to fight in a war, nothing we are responsible for.  What a load of crap!
     Today we have the current war. One of our present medical emergencies is head trauma. The method the enemy uses to harass our troops leaves a lot of limbs blown off or damaged, but also an increase in head trauma, brain damage caused by the extreme explosive pressure that had been released near the combatants head. The gov’t could not deny that the damage was the direct result of combat, but what can we do, they said, the brain is a complex organ and we don’t know how to treat it. The families had to embarrass the V.A. hospitals by pulling out their loved ones and at extreme personal expense and hardship proving that great improvements could be made if the proper medical people were involved.  So some improvements have been made at our gov’t sponsored levels, but only a little, and they still will not pay for care that has been proven to help!
     So let me paraphrase, I do not have a problem with military service, I do not question that sometimes what we are doing is necessary, but when our men and women are put in harms way, only the best medical services available on the planet should be the medical services attending to the people you asked to die for you, because that is what you did.  There should be no excuses made, just how may we help you, and yes we will find a way to make it happen.
Thank you,
Sgt John Love
                     P.S.          My dad , Sgt Charles Love, misdiagnosed with dental problems for a couple of years, then found to have cancerous brain tumor which he died of when I was six years old. Not much was known of cancer and it’s cure so Dad would have probably not survived no matter what the diagnosis, it just goes to the point that the sharpest tools in the box are not going to be found in a military hospital.
Sgt John Love
  1. Elise D says:

    Thhis was great to read

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