Monday, January 14, 2008

New York Times War Torn Series

While Michele Bachmann pays lip service to our Veterans, the New York Times publishes a hard hitting story about Veterans who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other post deployment issues.

It's not a rosy picture.
The Times used the same methods to research homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans for the six years before and after the present wartime period began with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

This showed an 89 percent increase during the present wartime period, to 349 cases from 184, about three-quarters of which involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. The increase occurred even though there have been fewer troops stationed in the United States in the last six years and the American homicide rate has been, on average, lower.

Increased suicide rates...increased homicides...increased sexual assaults...increased time waiting for access to Veterans benefits...

The NY Times piece is a long read but well worth the time. I am looking forward to the pieces in the series!

*Update* Al at deadissue is covering the story as well.

2 comments:

Shanester said...

Another hit-piece by the NYT. If you check the crime figures, these vets are MUCH LESS likely to commit murders. Just google it... several blogs have already run the math and found out that returning vets are less than 1/4 as likely to murder.

Perhaps military service PREVENTS murders!

But again, the NYT (and blogs like this) do not tell you the whole story and make our military look bad. The usual.

Blue man said...

Thanks Shanester from your fake blogger account!

You fail to see the point.

It's not about 121 murders and whether a Veteran is more or less likely to commit a murder.

The issue is that the Bush Administration, in their frantic ramp up to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, failed to properly plan for the return of our Veterans.

Mental health screenings for all returning members is necessary. Simply filling out a form that asks ridiculous questions in order to "check the block" fails our Veterans.

We have to rid the VA system of the red tape that allows so many Veterans to fall through the cracks. Even if the NYT Times piece is erroneous, disprove the significant increase in Veterans suicides and the sexual assaults!

Its a serious issue and if you can't see the issues through this story perhaps you ought read more blogs like mine, that actually talk about Veterans issues and don't simply gloss over them.