Many War Veterans Homeless And Alcoholic In America

‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’:  Stop All Wars.

President Obama today said: “Sending young Americans to bleed, and die, in the dirt, is something we do only when it is absolutely necessary.” 8th January, 2013. 

But how do you justify a war?  Most men, after killing others with their own hands, and watching men die, will say that men are not made to kill other men at all.  Most will agree that men who kill have their souls changed forever, for the worse.  On-going guilt for having killed people must surely be a terrible thing to live with.

On the Tragic Consequences of War, Apart From Death:

Disfigurement, Suicide,  Homelessness, Mental Disturbance, Depression, Alcoholism, and Social Malfunction are conditions which are commonly experienced by the soldiers who return from war.  It makes no difference where or why the war is fought. They come back from war with their lives ruined, in many cases.

Many of the survivors of  WW I and WW II came back to their home countries mentally disturbed in some way.  Alcoholism amongst these men was rife, and homelessness, or an inability to fit into society, was also common.  Drinking alcohol on a regular basis became a way to deal with the emotional difficulties these men experienced, and the large-scale drinking done in returned servicemen clubs has, over the years, helped to normalize a drinking culture which is now prevalent in New Zealand, and probably in America too.

Many Viet-Nam war veterans returned to New Zealand, suffering post-traumatic stress disorder in the same way as the WW veterans had done,  as well as suffering the effects of ‘Agent Orange’ poisoning, similar to 2,4,5T, or Dieldrin, which they were instructed to use in Viet-Nam to defoliate the bushlands, and probably ruin the agricultural land as well.

The use of ‘Agent Orange’ was really a type of chemical warfare which devastated the native population, ruined the land, and caused sickness and deformities in many of the children born to the people who were exposed to the stuff.  The result has been casualties, both in Viet-Nam, and for the American military who were fighting there.  Many of those veterans have died of cancer and/or have had children whose health has been severely impaired.

War has become all-too-common:  These soldiers, fighting for the American cause in Viet-Nam, were not even recognized as war-heroes, after coming home to New Zealand.  For many years they were not elligible to join the ranks of those who had fought in the Second World War, and they were not allowed to become members of the esteemed ‘Returned Services Association’ in New Zealand.  They were ignored and shunned.  I think the same thing has happened to the American war veterans. We have heard reports about how the American families of men who died were not even properly informed of their deaths, nor the dead men honoured for their sacrifice of life.

But the Viet-Nam war veterans, and now the Afghanistan soldiers, have suffered just as much as the WW II people, perhaps even worse.  There has been no economic help, such as the government loans which were offered to WW II veterans so that they could buy some land and set up a small farm, or an orchard after the war ended.  And there has been no psychological help for these men, in any wars, who have seen such dreadful things and who have suffered both mentally and physically.

TV1 in New Zealand, 6th January 2013, gave us an insight into the after-effects of war upon soldiers, and other war workers, on ‘Attitude’, a programme funded by ‘Air New Zealand’.  This programme revealed the tragic results of the modern day wars, giving us insight into the difficulties which soldiers have experienced after fighting in Afghanistan.

It has been estimated that almost half the homeless people in America are either war veterans, or people who have lost family members through war.

Alcoholism or drug addiction, to either legal or prescription drugs, is a problem for many of the men and women who survived being at war.

Suicides are very common in soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.  Suicide has always been a big factor in war, but we just haven’t had the statistics being publicized so readily as they are now.  Remember the song from the Viet-Nam war comedy MASH:  ‘Suicide is dangerous – It brings on many changes..’

The statistics from Afghanistan so far – That the total suicide deaths of Afghanistan soldiers outnumbers the amount of soldiers who have been killed in battles there.  More people die of suicide than of ‘fighting’ in Afghanistan.

Epidemic Of Suicide Expected:  It was estimated by a researcher speaking on the ‘Attitude’ programme that, because all the soldiers and service-people are returning home from Afghanistan, an epidemic of suicides is about to happen in America.  Being home after the trauma of war, and trying to fit into society again, as if nothing has happened,  is when life will become very difficult for these people.



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