Feature: Our veterans – the elephant in the room?
May 7, 2013
Apart from when the occasional veteran makes the headlines and is arrested (perhaps for carrying out a training run fully kitted up and armed; or by posting borderline material on facebook and being detained and sectioned under Section 922(g)(4) of the US Code) once our marines have stepped down from active duty, very little is heard of them and that seems to be the way the government likes it.
They must be feeling uneasy to say the least at the growing movement of veterans who are standing up and voicing their concerns about the way in which our country is governed and the Constitution being undermined by successive rafts of legislation, some of which is pushed through without adequate consultation or proper procedure. The government would have us believe that these few “voices in the wilderness” belong to misfits, miscreants and malcontents – that most veterans are happily adjusted to everyday society and living out their lives in the bosom of their family as productive citizens.
Myth versus reality
Truth is there is a huge gulf between the myth foisted upon us by the government and the reality. Many of these veterans start out their career in the US forces with high ideals and a vision of serving their country and protecting their family and others like it; young men and women with a clear conscience, a deep sense of moral duty and strong loyalty to their government. By the time they have done a tour or three they come back as different people with a totally changed perspective. We are fed images and news reports by the media of spouses and little children welcoming back the homecoming heroes and heroines, smiling faces, happy tears and a good helping of the American dream, complete with cream and sugar. We aren’t shown the rows of flag draped coffins; we aren’t told about the conditioning imposed on these service men and women to psychologically prepare them for the battlefront or about the drugs which are forced on them to make sure they remain emotionally stable during their tour of duty. In 2012 more active-duty soldiers killed themselves than died in the war zone. In fact, 6,500 veterans killed themselves that year alone – that equates to 1 every hour and 20 minutes.
The harsh reality is that these men and women come home, having seen things they won’t talk of to anyone other than another veteran, tired, disillusioned, often traumatized and diagnosed with PTSD, unable to easily step back into their old lives. It is no wonder that so many isolate themselves from others in the community, very often becoming reliant on alcohol or drugs (prescription or illegal) to make it through each day. It is telling that the US government has stepped up their Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program, providing support for former service members at an ever growing number of drug and alcohol detox centers across the States. For drug and alcohol detox in Massachusetts, as an example, there are centers in almost every town and city across the state – something like 64 all in all. Those that make it through the transition back into civilian life and survive or avoid addiction have gone on to become some of the harshest critics of our government.
People like Adam Khokesh, who served in the US Marine Corps Reserves in Iraq, have become vocal opponents of the very government they swore to obey when they joined the forces. They have seen through the illusion that government and media have fed to communities everywhere and are joining together to voice their opposition to today’s politics specifically and to war across the board. These highly trained personnel of yesterday have become today’s conscience of the nation, highlighting injustice, false flag events and illegal or immoral activities, including wars against other sovereign states. Groups like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans against the War now actively oppose government and governmental policy, standing against the very things they previously stood for before the veil was torn from their eyes. The treatment many of them receive only serves to underline the government’s self interest and it is telling that the government considers veterans to be a danger, with Homeland Security classifying returning US veterans as a potential terrorist threat.
With something like 20 states wanting to secede from the United States, it may be that those same veterans who no longer support the corrupt political structure will be the vanguard of our changing world. When a country as large as the United States, with the influences it has across the globe, undergoes radical change it will surely impact us all.
-Written & submitted for The People’s Record by Evelyn Roberts
Lovely submission from Evelyn Roberts. Thank you so much. Veterans are part of the story, and they are, complicated victims of the system in their own way. Of course, the communities they are trained & instructed to destroy are also a big part of the conversation – they are victims of the system and are subjected to a whole different kind of horror because it. We would be remiss to not feature stories about both.
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