Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another Catch 22*



I listened to a special report on NPR the other night on the combat Army forces in Iraq who were injured mentally because of what they went through. Some saw their buddies blown to pieces, others got their arms blown off, and of course even seeing the enemy killed is no picnic either…. It all has a mental cross to bare.

War is Heck. – Linus of Peanuts or Alvin of Lil’ Lulu said that, I forgot which.

The report was of ex-soldiers they interviewed – mental casualties of the war. Not only are they living in hell, but they are getting no help from Uncle Sam. No therapy sessions or anything else.

Here is the loophole. Doing what war mental casualties do is unbecoming a soldier – In almost the same instant they are declared they need professional help and they are misfits, thus they are kicked out of the service with a less-than-honorable discharge. So, medical help to ex-soldiers is only available to those who were discharged honorably.

The Army send the men to war, and if they get “messed up” in the mind they get rid of them and fix it legally so that they don’t have to treat the poor guys or gals.

There were 28,000 Army personnel discharged that way in these times. That is heap of savings for us tax payers.

This reminds me, in a way, of my distant relative-in-law Moses Harshaw of Hancock County, Georgia.

Moses was a ruthless slave owner. When a slave got too old, sickly, or lame to be productive he took them to nearby Lynch Mountain and had them accidentally fall off the steep edge to a certain death. Evidently, he believed when a slave became a liability it was time for the poor slave to go.

At that time, Moses Harshaw was considered the meanest man in Georgia by some.

* If you have not read CATCH 22 by Joseph Heller you might enjoy it – it is about ironies in the Army too.

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5 Comments:

Blogger janie said...

I have learned over time to pay no attention whatsoever to the garbage NPR hands out. I lump them together with PBS, and call them both unreliable.

PBS does have 'Sesame Street' and a few painting, gardening, or woodworking shows going for it. Lately, however, Sesame Street has come under fire for being 'Too violent'.

I am not saying that none of this goes on, or does not, but I certainly would not repeat it just because NPR said it.

Life is full of 'catches'.

7:30 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Janie,
I think we differ on PBS. I never heard of them being accused of reporting unreliable stuff and proved it point by point.

But again, truth might lie in the eyes of the beholder.

12:25 PM  
Blogger George Goddard said...

I agree with Janie.

2:37 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I still believe what I believe, which makes this country great - we all are free to believe what we believe and I don't even try to change people's minds, because I don't have that right.

3:41 PM  
Blogger janie said...

I am sorry, I did not mean to seem so confrontational. Everybody does indeed have the right to believe as they please.

I believe that PBS has a liberal leaning agenda every bit as pronounced as NPR. That is why I get so irritated about them. If they were CBS, ABC, NBC, OR CNN and did not get government funding, I would not pay any attention to them. But it is our tax dollars that go to support them, and as far as I am concderned, I don't want my grand kids listening to all the junk they air. "Tommie has 2 Daddy's" is more than I want 5 year olds to know about.

I grew up in a military family, and I have searched my memory, and I don't remember anybody ever being turned away for 'problems' such as you describe. In particular, I remember young GIs who kind of went off the deep end while stationed on Matagorda Island, in Texas. The little town had a nasty lawman, who didn't like the young GIs. More than once, he beat them if he caught them in town. So, they stayed on base, 12 miles from dry land. Every once in a while, one would try to swim to the mainland.

None of these boys were dealt with in that manner. I know it for a fact. My Dad was the one who had to deal with them.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and all the good times and fancy trimmings that come with it, and a wonderful and healthy New Year.

4:59 PM  

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