Soldiers as heroes or victims

A retired Army psychiatrist:

For all the pomp and ceremony, it might be more meaningful to implement policies giving veterans guaranteed jobs when they come home. Healthy or injured, we will find you work. That simple promise would make all the political grandstanding and media-fest at least tolerable.

And health care, for the effects of being in a war. Doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?

3 thoughts on “Soldiers as heroes or victims

  1. Until you can guarantee jobs for everyone else, I don’t agree with that. Health care, yes, absolutely. Jobs? Not so much.

    I know we’re supposed to glorify soldiers for “serving their country”, but considering they act as nothing more than paid muscle for big business, and that the US military hasn’t actually defended the US in a war in over fifty years, I don’t see why they are owed jobs or any of this glorification. Whatever the motive, there is nothing patriotic about the military. It’s an arm of the oil companies at this point, and works to destroy equipment in order to keep the defense industry going.

  2. A large number of the men/women who served MULTIPLE tours in the Middle East were really National Guard members who gave up jobs when called for duty. Even though they knew they could potentially called up for active duty, they deserve to get a job when they return. (And I’ve been unemployed for 2+ years now.) Their previous jobs should have been saved for them, but we know companies aren’t going to hold something open for extended, and open-ended periods of time.

  3. We seem to have had some kind of national stroke or dementia that wiped out the memory of everything we learned dealing with the depression of the 1930’s (to differentiate it from the current one). The Bonus March was a fairly large social movement of unemployed veterans of WW I who descended on Washington DC, stayed there for months, surrounded the Capitol with picket lines and damn near provoked a popular uprising that was finally dispersed by armed troops.

    To avoid something like that happening after WW II, President Truman (who was a WW I veteran himself) designed the GI Bill to provide education grants and home loans for anybody coming home from the army. My Dad benefited from both. It provided him with a trade and a home. It was the real basis for the success of the so-called “Greatest Generation” – big government intervention, not personal virtues.

    Truman knew that without serious government efforts, there might have been a real revolution if the “Greatest Generation” had been used and betrayed like their fathers had been. Maybe there will be a real revolution this time when the soldiers come home and realize what has been done to them.

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