Definitely Pissed Off This Time

I have a huge affinity for our troops and our vets. A HUGE affinity. I’m always the first person to go up to someone in uniform and thank them for their service. Hell, I almost got into a fight on my college campus once while verbally defending a few guys in uniform after some jerk make a rude comment.

When I was about 10 or 11 my mom brought home a book about the Vietnam Memorial after a trip to D.C. I remember pouring over that book. I was obsessed with it for quite some time and I remember feeling profoundly sad, to the point of tears, when looking at some of the images. I guess my affinity started there.

Then it grew when my little brother enlisted. And now it’s grown even more through spending time with a new friend who’s a vet.

Here’s what I’ve come to know, a person’s service and sacrifice does not end when they are no longer enlisted. Their service and sacrifice lasts their entire lifetime – for some more than others. And just because a person comes home “in one piece” does not mean they aren’t fractured in a million little ways inside.

We’ve all heard of PTSD. It’s no joke. And some of us are aware of the fact that more of our military personnel have taken their own lives than lost them in our most recent war. Stop and think about that for a second. These men and women are killing themselves at an alarming rate and little is being done about it.

But here’s what we don’t hear because no one is talking about it, the media isn’t covering it, our government won’t acknowledge it – some of our service people, those who have put their lives on the line for the rest of us, have been poisoned. Depleted uranium poisoning being just one example.

Here’s what I know about that (I’m learning more as I can find information, which is scant) – depleted uranium is a part of the missiles fired off of tanks used by our military. That substance then coats everything around it, entering the body via the skin, inhalation, and ingestion. It is toxic, deadly, and causes lovely things like:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Neurological signs or symptoms
  • Signs or symptoms involving upper or lower respiratory system
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Kidney problems
  • Joint issues
  • Increase incidence of cancer
  • Chronic vomiting and diarrhea
  • Birth defects (what ever you do, don’t Google this and click images unless you feel the need to vomit)

These are lifelong problems as this poison enters the bloodstream and alters the DNA. This poisoning can also be passed to others by sharing bodily fluids.

The half-life of this stuff is 4.5 billion years. FOUR. POINT. FIVE. BILLION. YEARS. So, basically, we’re turning areas like Afghanistan and Iraq (as well as military training facilities and shooting ranges around the U.S. and other countries) into nuclear waste sites. It’s effecting the native peoples in those areas, not just our own soldiers.

These people volunteer for service and are repaid by shitty wages, possible death, likely long-term injuries/illness, a nation that (largely) doesn’t appreciate them, and a life time of crappy care at the hand of the under-staffed and under-funded VA.

Yeah, I’m pissed. Did you pick up on that yet?

For a long time I’ve wanted to volunteer, but I hadn’t found a calling. The more and more I become aware of the shitty ways in which our service people and vets are treated, the more and more I believe I might have found that calling. Now I need to figure out how to get involved. Making others aware of this shituation (that’s not a typo) seems like a good place to start.

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2 Comments

  1. Ma

     /  April 12, 2013

    Well said!

    Reply

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