Tuesday, January 22, 2008

But You May Feel A Little Sick

Sadly, this didn't make the main Not News page at Fark, and was instead relegated to the Politics Tab.

War is hell. Let there be no two ways around it: Even this Atheist will conceed that, if there were such a thing as hell at all, the closest possible real-life incarnation of that concept is War. War changes you. War fucks with you. War takes you, breaks you, and sometimes, it takes a hell of alot to piece you back together.

Sometimes, though, cracks emerge, and soldiers slip through them.

A generation ago, a few years before I was born, there was a conflict in Vietnam. We were there, trying like hell to route the spread of the "scourge" of Communism (a scourge that became all but dormant two decades later). It was an unpopular war. It was protested like no other war before or since.

That time, the soldiers coming home were treated unfairly, like a backsurge from the septic tank. Despite these men only having done the job they were ordered to do, right or wrong, and nothing more, they were treated as though they were ultimately responsible. They were shunned, spat on, some even had baggies of vomit thrown on them. In a nutshell, they were blackballed.

And they got the shit end of the stick, while the ones who deserved that treatment got off relatively scott free.

Since, America would like to think it has learned its lesson. Vietnam was a hard lesson to learn, and there are still veterans of that war who have never really managed to reintergrate into society. But apparently, only a few lessons were learned in the 30 years since the end of America's first big loss, because those homeless Vietnam Vets are being joined by a new generation, fueled by another unpopular war, another seemingly untouchable puppet master at the controls, and a new era of strategy from an ancient enemy.

Yahoo News is running this article (Fark Thread), which goes more in-depth into this sadly growing phenomenon, profiling one homeless Iraq Vet and finding out what exactly led him down the path to where he is now. Even as the American people have learned to not place blame on the sodliers fighting the war (a generation too late, sadly) while they disapprove of it, we've still managed to allow our men and women to slip through cracks we were supposed to have patched in the last 20 years.

While everyone who reads this knows that I'm not a big fan of either the war or our inept leader, at no time during this conflict have I ever NOT supported our men and women in uniform. They are literally my family and my friends. My own grandfather was part of the "Greatest Generation," and fought in World War II. Whether the wars they fought had good causes or shady underpinnings, they fought so that we can be free to do what we do. They should be thanked at every possible chance, and shown the love and support they deserve.

It's a problem that we can try to start fixing, but America still has yet to get its head all the way out of its collective ass...

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