Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.

My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.

Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.

I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.

I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.


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Sign the Petition for Operation Recovery – STOP deploying injured troops!

Iraq Veterans Against the War [IVAW] is launching their first strategic campaign to stop the deployment of troops suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma.

They will publicly announce the campaign, Operation Recovery, to the media on October 7, the anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, and they need the support of like minded people behind them when they do.

I am also asking that Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), Veterans for PEACE (VFP), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) members, and all like-minded Veterans Today readers to get behind IVAW on this.

Frankly, when it comes to deployment, redeployment, and multiple deployments of injured troops this is a issue that ANY Veterans Service Organization (VSO) should have a handle on.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, GS-14, U.S. Civil Service-Retired, Veterans Issues Editor, Veterans Today News Network.

Veterans Today Readers,

On Thursday, October 7, the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will announce their first-ever strategic campaign, Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops.

IVAW recognizes that we, as a nation, must stop the deployment of all troops in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, IVAW sees the deployment of troops diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous.

Furthermore, we know that without the repeated use of traumatized soldiers on the battlefield, the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan could not continue.  This is how we will end these wars, by winning Our Troops – Right to Heal. There is not better way to SUPPORT OUR WOUNDED WARRIORS.

IVAW is reaching out to you, our loyal supporters, and potential supporters, before we make the campaign announcement public.

In building up to the announcement IVAW needs us to help inform others about this issue and get people to pledge their support for the campaign. Sign the Pledge of Support today.

SIGNING THE PLEDGE OF SUPPORT IS A PETITION, IT DOES NOT SOLICIT DONATIONS, HOWEVER IF YOU CAN AFFORD A FEW BUCKS TO HELP SUSTAIN THIS HUMANE EFFORT BY ALL MEANS!

  • Help IVAW tell the story of the announcement of Operation Recovery by spreading the word about this campaign to your friends, co-workers, and family;
  • Write letters-to-the-editor of your local paper about the issues affecting troops who suffer from military trauma;
  • Help identify those responsible for deploying traumatized troops in your local area;

We need you to help make this happen. Make a pledge of support now.

Thank you for your support,

The IVAW Campaign Team

Ethan McCord’s Story: Help inform your community

Ethan McCord seen in the WikiLeak Collateral Murder video

US Army specialist Ethan McCord was one of the first on the scene when a group of suspected insurgents was blown up on a Baghdad street in 2007, hit by 30-mm bursts from an Apache Helicopter. “The top of one guy’s head was completely off,” he recalls. “Another guy was ripped open from groin to neck. A third had lost a leg… Their insides were out and exposed. I’d never seen anything like this before.” Then McCord heard a child crying from a black minivan caught in the barrage. Inside, he found a frightened and wounded girl, perhaps 4. Next to her was a boy of 7 or so, soaked in blood. Their father, McCord says, “was slumped over on his side, like he was trying to protect the children, but he was just destroyed. McCord couldn’t look away from the kids. “I started seeing images of my own two children back home in Kansas.”

Mark Thompson, Invisible Wounds: Mental Health and the Military, TIME Magazine 2010.

After this tragic incident Ethan sought out help and was denied. Mr. Thompson continues, That night, he told his staff sergeant he needed help. “Get the sand out of your vagina,” McCord says his sergeant responded. “He told me I was being a homo and needed to suck it up.” This was a violation of Ethan’s Right to Heal: a right that he and other IVAW members are fighting for. October 7th Ethan will be bring his testimony to DC along with other Veterans and GIs to announce Operation Recovery: A Campaign to Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops.

Help us inform others about this issue

Read and share the TIME magazine article, Invisible Wounds: Mental Health and the Military which features IVAW member Ethan McCord and directly relates to our emerging campaign Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are continuing through the use of exhausted troops who have been on multiple tours of duty and suffer deeply from the trauma of war.  It is cruel and inhumane to deploy soldiers who are medically unfit for combat. In a 2008 TIME article America’s Medicated Army, Mark Thompson writes, Data contained in the Army’s fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicated that, according to an anonymous survey of US troops taken last fall, 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. By winning our Right to Heal we will be withdrawing this 12 to 17 percent from the fighting force, crippling the military’s ability to continue the occupations.

Veterans Today Editorial Comment: Minus THE DRAFT of course. If the Pentagon cannot rely on continued exploitation of the Guard and Reserves to sustain that 12 to 17 percent, it could potentially force the Generals and Admirals left from the Bush administration to pressure the Obama administration and Congress to initiate Selective Service to make up for those 12 to 17 percent of Wounded Warriors. Once American citizens are asked to make a no shit commitment in blood and tears to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, once WE THE PEOPLE are asked to put skin in the game, the game is OVER!

Join the IVAW campaign now by making a Pledge of Support.

Help spread the word

If you have already made a pledge, please spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues who may want to join you in pledging to support this campaign. Spread the word about the campaign.

Iraq Veterans Against the War is a 501(c)(3) charity,
and welcomes your tax deductible contributions

Related Stories added by Veterans Today:

Too many admitted into Warrior Transition Units Nov 4, 2008

When Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek took over the Warrior Transition Units over two years ago, he said that up to half of the soldiers enrolled in Wounded Warrior Transition Units in 2008 “don’t have injuries serious enough to be there.”

According to interviews and data provided to the AP, the number of patients admitted to the 36 Warrior Transition Units and nine other community-based units jumped from about 5,000 in June 2007, when they began, to a peak of nearly 12,500 in June 2008.

General Cheek an Artillery Officer by MOS, NOT a Medical Doctor, was brought in during the Bush administration to review and tighten up screening of war fighters to cut down the percentage of troops who didn’t need to be in WTUs.

Just 12 percent of the soldiers in the units had battlefield injuries while thousands of others had minor problems that did not require the complex new network of case managers, nurses and doctors, according to Brig. Gen. Gary H. Cheek, the director of the Army’s warrior care office.

The overcrowding was a “self-inflicted wound,” said Cheek, who also is an assistant surgeon general (despite not being an MD). “We’re dedicating this kind of oversight and management where, truthfully, only half of those soldiers really needed this.”

We understand General Cheek has moved on in his career and no longer with the WTUs.

Army surgeon general notes concern about drugs prescribed to wounded soldiers April 27, 2010

The Army set up 35 warrior transition units in 2007 in the wake of a controversy about the quality of care for wounded soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. At the time, Army officials and others voiced concern that the exodus of skilled personnel and the rising workload at the facility were putting patients at risk. Warrior transition units were designed to provide managed care for soldiers as they recovered from their injuries and awaited processing to determine whether they would stay in the Army or be discharged. Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, the Army surgeon general, told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday that he had concerns about the panoply of prescription painkillers prescribed to wounded soldiers and the possibility of overmedication. Schoomaker and Brig. Gen. Gary H. Cheek, assistant surgeon general for warrior care and transition, did not answer reporters’ questions about addiction to prescribed or illegal drugs. But Schoomaker acknowledged he had concerns about recreational use of prescription drugs.

Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units April 24, 2010

Created in the wake of the scandal in 2007 over serious shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to duty or gently process out of the Army. There are currently about 7,200 soldiers at 32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson’s unit.

But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson’s transition unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest that the units are far from being restful sanctuaries. For many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers. Because of their wounds, soldiers in Warrior Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to depression and addiction, but many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their treatment there has made their suffering worse.

Army Examines Units Treating Injured Soldiers

Soldiers interviewed by The Times described waiting for months to be medically processed out of the Army. Others told of being treated with prescription drugs in lieu of therapy, and described drug addiction in the unit, including heroin abuse. Some said noncommissioned officers dealt with troubled soldiers too harshly.

Army officials have since defended the Warrior Transition program, pointing out that more than 80 percent of soldiers who pass through the units have reported being satisfied with their care. That number is even higher at Fort Carson, Army officials noted, and some soldiers at Monday’s news conference spoke positively about their experience there.

Veterans Today Editorial Comment:

Given this backdrop of controversy since the Walter Reed fiasco, WE at Veterans Today that Our Troops Right to Heal continues to be violated in lieu of the pressure by field commanders for bodies, especially with combat experience. We further believe that enough troops have fallen through the cracks at warrior transition units to warrant Operation Recovery. When the Army places a career Artillery Officer into a Surgeon General’s billet (job) that may be only the tip of the iceberg. (wink)

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Posted by on September 24, 2010, With 274 Reads Filed under Charities, Giving & Foundations, Peace, Causes & Activism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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11 Responses to "Sign the Petition for Operation Recovery – STOP deploying injured troops!"

  1. vinnie  September 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I am so tired of this IMPERIALIST GOVERNMENT getting into ( TWO WORTHLESS WARS ) the populace here in America never wake’s up.

    I blame the people of America for all this CRAP.

    Most intelligent people in America, know that 9/11 was set up by the Bush Administration. the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAS INVOLVED ALONG WITH THE ZIONIST GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

    Both Democrats and Republicans have blood on their hands. Americas blood and Iraqis and Afghanistan peoples blood.

    These THUGS in Washington will not stop until they start WORLD WAR III.

    What is needed is the military to rebel say they have had enough of this bull crap. I am talking about all the military.

    America needs to find a way to jail all the politicians in Washington for war crimes against HUMANITY. ALL THESE BASTARD BELONG IN JAILS including George Bush and Dick (HEAD) CHENEY.

    Veterans Today Editorial Response:

    Though we may not agree on all your points here Vinnie, a few caught my eye.

    1. I blame the people of America for all this CRAP.

    I believe there is more to the above than we know Vinnie. First off the American people as a whole are not committed to these wars. OK-They remain silent or easily distracted by the economy when they can’t connect the dots to the billions wasted on the wars contributing to an American economic meltdown. Add to that the vast majority of Americans not only do not have Skin in the Game (Iraq or Afghanistan skin being love ones) but they DON’T VOTE. Yep, there can be lame excuses for not voting, hell I for one am dead tired of always voting for the least EVIL candidate!!!

    I’ve been first a Democrat when I was old enough to vote that latest about four years. Then, I switched to Republican from 1980 to 2000 when I became an Independent thus my internet handle “indythinker.” However, I registered Democrat again. This voting season (wink) I’m registered Socialist. Damn, come 2012, I have no clue what political color I will be. FRUSTRATION at and all time high, and WE are not alone.

    2. Both Democrats and Republicans have blood on their hands. Americas blood and Iraqis and Afghanistan peoples blood.

    How TRUE that statement is Vinnie. However, I believe the Democrats are going to take most of the heat for blood on their hands. Mind you, yep Bush and the Republicans started these wars along with Democrat collaboration (guilt by association). But, Obama and the Dems ran on almost a Peace ticket circa 2006-2008. The Dems managed to not only rally their liberal base, but to also pull in anti-war voters that would normally have gone to Ralph Nader or stay home. Simply put the Dems turned to swing, independent, and younger voters to score wins in Congress and the White House.

    Now the Dems have pissed off their liberal base, the anti-war vote, swing, independent, and even younger voters were fired up idealistically with the first black and YOUNG President to come along since JFK. Lord only knows what the youth vote will do but they are not going to vote for career politicians of either party in significant numbers that will mean anything.

    3. What is needed is the military to rebel say they have had enough of this bull crap. I am talking about all the military.

    Sorry but as a Retired Officer (during the Gulf War), and one time NCO (during Vietnam), I not only cannot go along with anyone preaching a military coup to overthrow our government. In fact, it is just not realistic to happen – the stars are just not aligned in that direction.

    In fact, if they were, it is the Generals and Admirals in the Pentagon and in the Field who would call the shots on such a military coup NOT senior NCOs and low ranking enlisted people. If there were to be a military coup (God Forbid), WE would not enjoy the right-wing direction it would go.

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major
    Veterans Today News

  2. Robin (Rusty) Rustan  September 26, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I applaud your efforts to bring exposure to the troops that are being sent into warfare not physically or mentally, or both, ready for action.

    I was ordered from Darnell Army Hospital Fort Hood Texas a few days after breaking my neck in a tank to Vietnam with a broken neck from a Hospital Bed and Veterans Today.com told the story by Terry Richards one of your staff writers. re: Victims of the Feres Doctrine.

    Victims of the “Feres Doctrine” Part 2, Chapter 1 – Vietnam Veteran sent to War with a Broken Neck

    Victims of the “Feres Doctrine” Part 2, Chapter 2 – Vietnam Veteran sent to War with a Broken Neck

    Victims of the Feres Doctrine Part 2, Chapter 3 – Vietnam Veteran sent to War with a Broken Neck

    Victims of the “Feres Doctrine” Part 2, Chapter 4 – Vietnam Veteran sent to War with a Broken Neck

    Victims of the “Feres Doctrine” Part 2, Chapter 5, Final Chapter – Vietnam Veteran sent to War with a Broken Neck

    To even suggest that the draft is a possiblity to keep the war effort in check is insane when you have FERES Doctrine blocking Combat Veterans from the right to redress gross criminal negligence. The very same rights that we all risk life and limb for we in uniform are left behind once injured.

    Recruiters need to inform those that want to serve that the FERES Doctrine will block their rights to protect themselves from the right to redress gross criminal negligence.

    Physical injuries and PTSD are a real lifetime nightmare and to ignore these injuries is a crime in itself.

    Give us back our rights to the U.S. Constitution and make it clear that those in charge for abuses and gross criminal negligence will face charges and be put in jail if they send troops to war injured and that in itself will wake up America to the fact that those that serve need to be protected by the U.S. Constitution to make clear that we do have the right to redress once FERES Doctrine is abolished.

    As long as the FERES Doctrine is endorsed by Congress we have no rights when we put it all on the line to protect and serve this Country of ours?

    Congressman Bob Filner has my request to abolish Feres Doctrine and I hope Armed Services Committee takes action on Abolishing Feres Doctrine so we have checks and balances in Armed Forces.

    Concerned Disabled Vietnam Veteran,
    Robin (Rusty) Rustan

    Veterans Today Editorial Response:

    Rusty,

    You are right Terry Richards did extensive coverage on the FERES Doctrine, and I edited in the links to that series. I also have to agree with you (and a growing number of others) that our rights under the Constitution should trump anything the Pentagon or Congress comes up with to restrict or curtail those rights.

    However, I also believe that most of our readers, hell most of the public, has no clue what the FERES doctrine is, even most of our troops on active duty today have no clue. If is only the minority of Veterans and Military Retirees who come to understand the FERES doctrine when we have to challenge it or FERES challenges us.

    Here are a few other related links on FERES, but I also agree with you that if those currently volunteering to return on multiple deployments were aware that they could not sue the Pentagon should they experience medical malpractice for instance, maybe an increasing number of our troops would STOP VOLUNTEERING for multiple deployments.

    Impact of the Feres Doctrine in Military Medical Malpractice – an civilian attorney’s point of view

    “>The Feres Doctrine Horror Show

  3. SMaj  September 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I saw during the Vietnam war, as a senior enlisted individual, many young men sent back into combat that were no able to deal with same either physically or mentally. I remember a number of time tell my command they were not capable. I number of them them asked if I had MD training and at that point I knew it was senseless to say anything further.

    There were a number of times I told the 1st Sgt to get them to sickcall and often times the MDs there had sense enough to keep them.

    I hate to think of the number of men that were sent into combat that should not have been.

  4. Robert L. Hanafin  September 26, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Veterans Today Editorial Response,

    Korea remains the forgotten war SEEVIEW, even most younger Vets of the Vietnam, Gulf War to today’s wars know this. In fact, despite rhetoric and writing to the contrary neither Vietnam nor the Global War on Terror are our longest wars YET. The Korean War remains AMERICAS LONGEST WAR, just ask those North Korean, South Korean, and U.S. troops today who guard the DMZ and have been doing so for how long now from 1950 to 2010 (wo, that’s about 60 year or how young I will be my next birthday. I was born when the Korean War started.

    However, I also know that their are Korean War Veterans Service Organizations and groups out there (in the minority) who consistently try to remind the public and other Vets of all wars that the Korean War not only is not over, but many a Vet of that war continues to pay both a physical and mental price today.

    We believe that the mainstream Veterans groups need to do a better job in focusing on the Veterans of America’s longest war THE KOREAN WAR!

  5. steve marion  September 26, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I have a problem with DVA nothing a bunch of AHOLES, I have been told by the same Dr. twice that I am dying which we all are, and we all know that.

    The DVA still drags their feet about granting benefits to the Blue Water Navy, I have become bitter at this government as days go by because I know soon I will pass and have to leave my family early and short of some things that I was not planning on.

    Veterans Today Editorial Response:

    Thanks for your input Steve,

    As the Veterans Issue Editor at Veterans Today this is a sore and frustration subject for me.

    That said, I would not consider everyone at DVA to be all AHOLES just middle and upper management, especially those who operate our VA Regional Offices, the folks who make the final decision on VA Claims (and I do mean final for far too many Veterans).

    Our understanding at Veterans Today is that there is a relative strong Blue Water Navy effort getting organized to the point of being able to lobby Congress to expand coverage for Agent Orange to more naval units that came too close to the shores of Vietnam for comfort.

    However that does not mean I am not sensitive to the frustration being felt by Vietnam Vets who served in areas outside of Vietnam (such as Guam, Thailand, Korea, Okinawa, and elsewhere who claim to have used or been exposed to the spraying of toxins such as Agent Orange).

    A few months ago, I began an effort via Freedom of Information to get the Pentagon, and services to clearly confirm where and when Agent Orange and the Rainbow of other colored agents were transported, stored, and used OUTSIDE Vietnam proper. The documented responses I got from the Pentagon is a non-committal response that DoD can neither confirm or deny Agent Orange exposure outside of Vietnam.

    VA claims examiners use this vague response from the Pentagon to deny claims for Agent Orange in places like Guam for instance.

    What also has me shacking my head is that some of the same Veterans who claim exposure to Agent Orange outside Vietnam still strongly support a Pentagon and war effort today as the Pentagon craps on them – DAH!!!

    The way I personally look at it, not having been exposed to Agent Orange – I think??? Is that today the Pentagon is fighting two wars in which the American people are not committed either way. The last thing the Pentagon, Army, Navy, or Marine recruiters needs is for a growing number of Veterans telling young people that (1) our government cannot be trusted, (2) Military Recruiters are going to lie to you, or (3) The Pentagon, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine corps is going to collaborate with the VA in helping deny your VA claims should you get wounded.

    To bring up old sores like Agent Orange, hell even PTSD, is like the Pentagon trying to convince the public, Congress, and their Commander-In-Chief to go along with THE DRAFT today. It crimps the war effort by the few who benefit, few who do the burden sharing, and precious few who pay the ultimate price.

    What is ultimately frustrating is something that will be long after you and I are gone. 30 to 60 years from now someone who served in occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan will be articulating how frustrating it is for older Iraq and Afghanistan Vets to get justice on their VA Claims as yet another generation of young Americans take on the inequitable burden sharing in whichever wars American commits one percent of our population to come the mid to late 21st century.

    Bobby Hanafin
    Veterans Issue Editor
    Veterans Today News

  6. Erica Stuart  September 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Fix your donation section keeps saying “enter right number” that is the number for AMEX

    • Robert L. Hanafin  September 26, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Veterans Today Editorial Response:

      Thanks for your input Erica,

      Frankly some nitwit editor failed to check all the links to ensure they worked prior to posting the article (guess who that was?)

      Anyway, your concern reminded me to check all the links, and they all should be working fine NOW!

      Bobby Hanafin
      Veterans Issues Editor

  7. Gray  September 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hello Felow LOYAL Americans,
    In virtually every Internet Forum I know. it’s clear that America is infested with either Traitorous Americans for “Israel First” or Hasbara Trained “Dual” Citizens deployed by Israel to suck America Dry of Blood and Resources; “Topix” for example, is one such Forum infested by “Jonathan Pollard style Vets”, Zionist Propagandists etc

    While We’re Signing Petitions etc we may want to forward this article to our AIPAC owned and Operated “Representative” along with the Following Quote:

    Howard Kohr: ‘QUIETLY LOBBYING CONGRESS TO APPROVE THE USE OF FORCE IN IRAQ WAS ONE OF AIPAC’S SUCCESSES OVER THE PAST YEAR.” N.Y. SUN JAN. ’03

    I know this is no secret but America’s Ruling Zionists have Big Plans For America, its Citizens and its rank and file G.I.s

    Like the tics on my dog, America’s parasitic Zionists will not leave willingly.

    The next time a Brainwashed American parrots nonsense about “Evil Muslim Terrorists”, the following quote would be most appropriate.

    “There was not a single act of Arab terrorism against Americans before 1968, when the U.S. became the chief supplier of military equipment and economic aid to Israel.”

    Best Wishes for a LIBERATED AMERICA,
    Gray

    • Robert L. Hanafin  September 26, 2010 at 8:44 am

      Veterans Today Editorial Comment,

      Thanks for your input Gray,

      “While We’re Signing Petitions etc we may want to forward this article to our AIPAC owned and Operated “Representative” along with the Following Quote…”

      I am the Veterans Issues Editor and Vice-Chair of the Editorial Board, however my focus is Veterans Issues, and since the young men and women on active duty today will eventually be VETERANS (heck some on active duty now already are VETERANS per se), military readiness or lack thereof for ANY REASON to me is a relative Veterans Issue for when the Pentagon is done with, fed up with, or can not longer exploit a combat troops body, they become the VA’s and societies problem.

      That said I am not smart, in fact I’m relatively dumb when it comes to foreign policy issues like the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan or how bloated our defense budget is or is not, because they are not pure Veterans Issues per se no more than burning the Koran, or the Flag Amendment are.

      Simply put although I truly believe that AIPAC has too much undue influence over our government (all politcal parties) and America’s foreign policy, I also believe that blaming Israel for everything is not going to stop our government from deploying and redeploying damaged troops.

      Regardless, I respect your input and thank you for it, at least you read the article, and hopefully signed the petition?

  8. Lawrence A Dickerson  September 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I honor the Iraq Veterans Against the War [IVAW] for spearheading such a well needed campaign to cease further harming our young men and women who suffer the psychological and physical wounds experienced as a result of combat and all it’s ramifications.

    It is not uncommon to come across military members who have served six tours in the combat zones. We are already experiencing the results in the civilian communities with crimes, child abuse, spousal abuse and suicide not to mention drug and alcohol abuse and mental debilities.

    Couple that with the degrading effects upon unit readiness and accomplishment of the mission. We should never have engaged in warfare without first reinstating the draft to insure a ready supply of military members. Our country will experience the ravages of their combat for many years to come and their families will continue that psychological abuse into their own lives.

    I stand behind you 100% and I will do my best to help disseminate this program far and wide once you formally announce it to the country. I am honored to be able to sign the petition and asked my friends to do the same.

    Veterans Today Editorial Response:

    Very well written, and thought out comment Lawrence.

    “We should never have engaged in warfare without first reinstating the draft to insure a ready supply of military members.”

    That is about the brightest thing anyone has said about the Global War on Terror or whatever the politicos are calling it today.

    However, reinstating the draft would have required our government and Pentagon leaders to do something they preferred not to do. Ask the American people to make a commitment to the Global War on Terror. Instead they were told to go on shopping, and we have!!!

    It is not that the idea of THE DRAFT was not debated, it is that it was never seriously debated except as a political ploy or distraction. One aspect of this we cannot understand at Veterans Today is given the many strong points about NOT implementing the draft that comes from across the political spectrum why even pay taxes to support another government bureaucracy that really doe NOTHING???

    Why do we allow the Selective Service System to continue to exist on taxpayer dollars, to continue collecting useless personal data on America’s sons that will never be used again given the strong arguments from all sides that THE DRAFT IS NOT NEEDED!!!

    Lastly, those in control of our government and foreign policy be they Democrats, Republicans, Zionists or a combo of all, ONE LESSON (well maybe a few lessons) learned from Vietnam, and the lack of national commitment to Vietnam, and a strong Vietnam Anti-War movement was

    (1) Never again ask, demand, or persuade the American people to make personal sacrifices for war IF we can get enough volunteers to exploit and abuse.

    (2) Never again implement THE DRAFT, for it was the fuel that fired the Vietnam anti-war movement, and today the Pro-PEACE movement lacks any fuel.

    (3) Keep the Selective Service System in place JUST IN CASE!!!

    Reality is the no one in a position of authority to implement the draft is going to do so minus another 911 type attack. Frankly, if the Bush administration had implemented THE DRAFT in the surge of patriotic zeal in the weeks following 911, that was the patriotic window to do it in.

    Anyone with half their brain tied behind their back knows that patriotism today is nothing but political in nature and shear bullshit.

    In fact, if my military family no shit believed that the entire American people were committed to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan SO WOULD WE!!!

    To place the burden upon less than one percent of our population regardless if they are bright enough to see they are being exploited or not is down right SINFUL and EVIL.

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major

  9. Robert L. Mason  September 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    They did this during the Vietnam War too, I had a P-3 profile with almost all of the restrictions you could have and at the bottom in extras large type, this after such restrictions as no lifting and carrying to include weapons, FIT FOR DUTY IN VIETNAM, in 1968 they tried to send me back and I set out to prove I wasn’t fit I tried to re-enlist and failed the physical…with this I then went to the medical doctors and said can you fix the profile and me or I’m going home. I was sent home…

    Veterans Today Editorial Comment:

    Thanks for your input Bob,

    As both a Vietnam and Gulf War Vet, I’d have to say that sending Wounded Warriors to Vietnam was most likely EASIER back in the day than it is today. PTSD during Vietnam was unheard of as such. The Pentagon and right wing groups (the mainstream Vet Service Organizations of the 60s and early 70s) went out of their way to challenge the existence of PTSD.

    As an enlisted man in the Army before I got smart and joined the Air Force (wink), I can recall that it was also easier to challenge fraudulent enlistments. Example: If a military recruiter lied to a recruit and was caught, let’s say promising a Soldier a certain non-combat MOS then the troop ends up in the Infantry. GIs could challenge enlistments and in most cases get out before attitude and administrative discharges kicked in or the troop got into trouble for attitude.

    Lastly, I believe the biggest difference that places more pressure on the Pentagon and politicians in Congress, and even fellow warriors to keep as much skin in the game is THE DRAFT. Today we have no draft and most likely never will again. This forces at least the Ground Forces to hold onto as many bodies as possible.

    That said, I’ve also read research over this past summer that highlights just how many boots on the ground ARE NOT fit for combat duty and being kept in holding areas stateside until the military decides what to do with them. I’m doing deeper research on this myself to connect the dots and do another story related to this one.

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major
    Veterans Issues Editor
    Veterans Today News

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