Bring Them Home-Bruce Springsteen 2007
The USA should bring back the draft but reconfigured so that the kids of the rich and powerful and the kids of elected officials who support war should be the #1 candidates for serving in the military and by this I mean serving in actual combat and not sitting in an air conditioned office in the Green Zone or its equivalent elsewhere. In other words those who so easily decide to go to war should be made to shoulder the responsibility of either going into combat themselves or sending their own children into combat.
If the Elites and the hyper-patriots want war then they or their children should be first in line for combat. Would they then think twice about going into war.
But as long as they or their kids are not forced to take part in combat they will continue to send other peoples kids into combat. According to these elites they and their children are too valuable to the nation to be sent into actual combat.
As for the lower classes in the USA they and their children being of no real worth are expendable in combat.
Survivors of military suicide victims come together to grieve By Rebecca Ruiz at MSNBC US News, May 28, 2012
For the family and friends of service members who died by suicide, Memorial Day can be not only a solemn day, but also a painful reminder that military suicides are not treated the same as combat deaths.
Kim Ruocco, the national director of suicide education and outreach at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, has experienced this isolating grief firsthand. This weekend, she is bringing together about 100 suicide survivors at TAPS' annual Memorial Day weekend National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors.
"[Suicide survivors] are surrounded by people whose loved ones were killed in action," Ruocco said. "There's a real sense that their loved one's death was not an honorable death."
Ruocco's husband, Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco, killed himself seven years ago. He was a Cobra helicopter pilot who ran 75 combat missions during a five-month deployment in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. He had struggled with depression in the past, particularly after a training accident in the 1990s when two Cobras collided in midair, and he lost four friends.
In February 2005, while living temporarily in a hotel room near Camp Pendleton in California, awaiting a redeployment to Iraq and considering mental health counseling, John Ruocco hanged himself.
"He was so ashamed of being depressed and not being able to do his job," Kim Ruocco, 49, said. He was going to seek treatment, but she believes that "when he sat there and thought about what it meant to get help, how people would see you, how young Marines viewed him, how his peers viewed him ... he thought the problem was him."
Kim Ruocco, who has a master's degree in social work, provides counseling resources to suicide survivors, helps family members secure benefits and facilitates support groups. TAPS also tries to change procedures and policies that can be hurtful to suicide survivors, such as the exclusion of service members who died by suicide from state memorials and the distribution to suicide survivors of different Gold Star pins than the ones given to families when a service member dies in action.
This weekend's four-day event for survivors is expected to draw more than 2,000 participants. It will feature panels and peer support groups on dealing with grief, sessions on spirituality and meditation, and events for children.
In 2011, 301 active-duty service members died by suicide, according to the Department of Defense. More than half of those deaths occurred in the Army, where the suicide rate last year was projected at 24.1 per 100,000, outpacing the national rate adjusted for the comparison of 18.6 people per 100,000. A study released earlier this year by the U.S. Army Public Health Command found that the number of active-duty soldiers who committed suicide increased 80 percent between 2004 and 2008.
Soldiers killed in combat are honored while those who return to the USA suffering from head trauma or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or who commit suicide are still ignored by US military, the Mainstream Media and the US government.
Soldiers suffering from PTSD and other psychological problems or those who commit suicide are still treated as if they were malingerers and whiners who have in one way or another are seen as dishonoring the US military.
President Obama and other officials take part in Memorial Day services and act so serious and concerned meanwhile sending troops to be wounded or killed in unnecessary questionable wars as in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
If President Obama and others in positions of power and authority were so concerned over the troops they would bring them all home. Instead of reducing deployment they are increasing deployment while refusing to substantially increase salaries and benefits for their soldiers or spending what they should on soldiers who have been wounded or suffer from head trauma or PTSD (shell-shocked). It sometimes seems that soldiers suffering from PTSD or related psychological disorders as a result of being in combat are still treated as whiners, malingerers and cowards as they were in WWI and in WWII . The infamous General Patton treated PTSD victims as malingerers and cowards.
More US soldiers have died from suicide than were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
It is also hypocritical of those in the Congress and Senate and their wealthy contributors to shed tears on Memorial Day over those killed in combat while they refuse to send their own children off to war.
If you won't go yourself into combat and refuse to allow your children to take part in combat then you should be ashamed and should be ridiculed for sending other people's children into combat especially when it comes to wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan which are really Wars of Aggression and have nothing to do with defending the American Homeland.
Robert Bales and the Cost of Fighting Wars With Other People’s Kids Ken Allard at the Daily Beast , March 21, 2012
Ken Allard on the divide between American society and the soldiers sworn to defend it with their lives.
The staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians, Robert Bales, will surely be held accountable both as an individual and an American soldier. He will be tried and, if convicted, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the death penalty is a possibility. But it’s too simple to blame Bales alone. His actions are the toll of more than a decade of fighting wars with Other People’s Kids.
Bales was serving in Afghanistan on his fourth combat tour, in a sense filling in for three other Americans missing from military service, AWOL in the country that once produced "the Greatest Generation." After 9/11, we never asked the American people for blood, sweat, and sacrifice, but instead sent them back to their usual lives. Instead, America fought the war against terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and lesser-known hellholes with OPK, a term I coined in my 2006 book, Warheads.
The armed forces were downsized when the Cold War ended, with the active-duty army shrinking by more than a third, or a quarter-million soldiers in just five years as President George W. Bush pledged that a smaller army of less than half a million soldiers would be able to hold the fort until the nation mobilized to meet any future emergency. But when the U.S. went to war after 2001, that pledge was simply forgotten, leaving a force small enough that many of its members undergo multiple deployments as our wars have dragged on for more than a decade.
Reading the memoirs of George H.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld, there seems to have been no thought given to mobilizing the country or sharing the burden of national sacrifice. Instead, the administration banked on the mostly less-than-upwardly-mobile soldiers already in uniform, including people like Bales.