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Use, abuse and discard

Use, abuse and discard

Veterans, almost a sacred term denoting service, sacrifice and duty ... an easy term to cavalierly use and abuse. We often use them politically to show our “patriotism” by recognizing their heroism and sacrifice. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we all know that not all of them were heroic, nor did all of them do it, primarily, out of a sense of duty to the country.

I am not denigrating that, only pointing out a reality. We usually use the heroic image for some political purpose, to justify military action and war (whether or not it was good policy), to support more money for the military budget (mostly going directly into corporate pockets), or to deflect from some other political issue we would rather not deal with.

We abuse those ordinary military personnel with low pay ... often with high risk ... with repeated tours of duty and with the effects of combat. To understand this I would suggest a book by a war correspondent, Chris Hedges, “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning,” which documents the psychological effects of combat.

Then, after they have served our political purposes, we discard them to the grim realities of the current job market, to deal with their psychological and adjustment issues pretty much on their own, to homelessness and life on the streets and often to suicide.

We bring them in as healthy human beings, abuse them psychologically with combat and then discard them, often with the physical and psychological damage that combat carries with it. We subjected them to a traumatic reality and they are entitled to our continued care and commitment with realprograms that actually help them.

If we damaged them we are obligated to help with their healing and recovery.

Bob Passi


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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