10 March 2010

A good read from an Iraq vet

Apologize for the long hiatus -- work's been killing me. Here's a good read from CNN.

Back from Iraq war, and alone - CNN.com

Highlights the fact that we now have another generation of combat vets in the ranks of the population, and underscores some of the common issues many returning vets face: issues that the public-at-large remains largely ignorant of (and sometimes insensitive to).

Are people aware that returning vets might have problems? Yeah, sure: common knowledge, standard data. But most aren't tuned in to the (sometimes substantial) depths of these problems. We saw the ripple effects for years after Vietnam: vets in jail, vets that were homeless, vets that were jobless, vets that were killing themselves. I think we're starting to see a little bit more of the iceberg now, and the waterline will continue to recede and reveal the ugly monster even more in the years to come.

I think right now, common opinion in the ranks is that the Army and our society is not doing a good job in helping a lot of these guys out. Anyone familiar with the process when a soldier separates from the Army (under normal, honorable discharge circumstances) knows it's a joke: PowerPoint briefings acting as a substitute for quality career/life/health/financial/mental counseling.