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10 July 2011

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Russ Wagenfeld

Pat, thanks for posting this. Not a dry eye in our house.
Russ

John Minnerath

You got that right sir.
I can remember being turned down for a job in 65 because I was an ex GI.
"We don't hire your kind" !

The Twisted Genius

A very moving presentation. The video's creator beautifully portrays the shared humanity of soldiers and calls for compassion and respect rather than veneration. I've always been very uncomfortable with the idea of veneration of those in the military.

Tom - Chicago

Agreed.

The youtube video skewed a little bit too "caucasian" for me, though. May reflect its audience, but not the commitment of our country in these wars.

Patrick Lang

Tom inChicago

In the interest of objectivity, the combat arms at least in the Army are now predominately "Caucasian" as you put it... There are African-Americans of course but most of the KIA that you see were either killed by an IED while riding in a vehiche or are Navy medical corpsmen with the marines. pl

Bobo

Poignant

I look at the positive change in America's view of it's military and their service to the country as one of growth in its people. But you are right in pointing out past views as you know this positive time can change on a dime. Your prior service and the disgusting way you were treated in prior wars by your fellow citizens is a historical point that needs to be remembered by our citizens so we do not turn our backs on those who serve or give their lives for our country.

What is most striking in the Afghanistan war is that more than 50 percent of the fatalities are due to IED's.

Will Reks

"In the interest of objectivity, the combat arms at least in the Army are now predominately "Caucasian" as you put it... There are African-Americans of course but most of the KIA that you see were either killed by an IED while riding in a vehiche or are Navy medical corpsmen with the marines."

I think you might be making a separate, but still interesting, point here. Obviously, there are plenty of woman in that clip and yet none of them are combat arms.

I am a non-white minority on the intel side which is predominantly caucasian.

mbrenner

Has the medical care provided to veterans improved or deteriorated? We seem to be witnessing revelation of scandal after scandal that include penny-pinching, callous indifference and cover-ups through the highest levels of command - right up to the White House.

Mj

You know who treated me shamefully when I came home? Conservatives, WWII vets who thought we were pussies because we didn't just kick Charlie's ass.

bth

It was my experience that the Vietnam era vets made a visceral decision that it should not happen to another generation and because of them it didn't. They deserve a great deal of credit.

As to improvements to equipment I would look at the national guard families who were on balance older and less willing to take some BS answer from the military or the politicians. All congressional districts had guard units and reps that wanted re-election.

Now we are into long term medical care. PTSD, TBI are expensive long term costs and are going to bump up against the costs of a retiring Vietnam era. VA budgets are going to conflict. So are DOD retirement costs against medical costs, equipment, etc. I'd watch for politicians (military and elected) that will try to now play off one generation against another in budgeting.

Patrick Lang

bth

I don't know what the NG reference is here. There were few NG units or people in VN. An artillery group of three bns from NH. A few other small units. pl

Mj

I was spent the second half of my tour in the 107th Signal Co, RI National Guard. http://www.107thsignalcompany.com/

The 2nd Bn, 138th FA from Bardstown KY lost 9 KIA when their firebase was overrun on June 19th 1968.

http://kynghistory.ky.gov/In+Progress/KYNG+in+Vietnam.htm

bth

Sorry, I was referring to the current decade of conflict. The Vietnam era vets were quite insistent and vocal, especially around 2003-6 about making sure this generation of soldiers were treated better than they were when the mood of the country went sour on the war. And in this decade the national guard families were instrumental on equipment issues which became a new constituency group on the political landscape because they have been so actively employed (unlike in Vietnam). My concern going forward is that the political environment of scarcity will be used by politicians to play Vietnam eras vets against Iraq/Afghan veterans within the VA/DOD.

R Whitman

mbrenner:

You obviously never walked into the maim lobby of a VA hospital or other VA medical facility. They are so overwhelmed with patients that doubling the size of the facility would not accomodate all the patients.

Many veterans go to the VA instead of going on Medicaid. Others signed up many years ago to get low cost pharmeceuticals(program now closed to all but low income veterans).

The real problem is not the quality of medical care but the ability to expand fast enough to accomodate all eligible veterans.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I was one of those “Losers”. The elites hated us so much they ended the draft and privatized my MOS along with busting Unions and Outsourcing Jobs. Now they can fight forever wars and cash in without anyone noticing.

I started to re-watch “American Graffiti” the other night. I could not get past “Rock around the Clock” and the opening scene at Mel’s Diner. I’ve seen what’s happened to those young men in the movie.

The human tragedy is that life keeps repeating the same themes without learning. Life is infested with ideologies that ignore the past and promise a fictitious future; “Cutting government spending creates jobs”.

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