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.