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By Kevin Stoda, lifelong American Educator and Patriot


I came across this recent article and relevant year-beginning topic on how the U.S. government, the USA military leadership, and Americans in general continue to neglect American veterans--while failing to educate its populace about the real costs of wars.  

The articles was in Stars and Stripes and on several NPR news programs.   It is entitled, "Brain Wars:   How America's Military is Failing its Wounded". It was written/compiled by ProPublica's   T. Christian Miller.

A few years back, I wrote a lengthy blog on how the USA always fails its youthful soldiers and then asks the future, current, and older generations to keep paying the costs--over and over.   That article was called, " SOME PARENTS OF VETERANS COMING HOME FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN ARE HAVING TO GIVE UP RETIREMENT TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR BRAVE OFFSPRING ."

My piece was originally a four part piece that I spliced together to create a sense of connectedness--where I, as a lifelong educator--have found society, media, and schools--and even America's AARP--failing to connect issues properly as costs and burdens of war incapacitate my homeland.

As part of the run-up-to the annual FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS (December 28), I will reprint the 4 parts in more bite-size pieces.   Then I will ask you if things have improved or gotten worse over the past 2 1/2 years, America!

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If you do not know what Childermas or the Feast of the Holy Innocents is, just recall that at the time of Jesus' birth day--as these legends and the Bible note--there were killed 2000-plus children and babies by one King Herod and his military lackeys in and around the town of Bethlehem in Judea.  

The day of December 28 is when the mass is under taken and it is a good day to march around military bases and ask soldiers and their family to rethink their life choices.   As Americans are part of a tribal family, we need to reflect and educate ourselves to think differently.

This becomes more-and-more pertinent as there has been a war on good educators for the last few decades.   (I reveal part of this story in my own biography, but it will revealed in coming weeks as school districts lay off teachers to pay for our war-economy again in 2011.)


In one 2008 from American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) on the burdens that veteran victims of war are importing home to their families, the author, Barry Yeoman, notes that it is "estimated 10,000 recent veterans of these conflicts now depend on their parents for their care. Working unheralded, these parents have quit jobs, shelved retirement plans, and relocated so they can be with their injured sons and daughters. Many have become warriors themselves, fighting to make sure this new wave of injured veterans gets the medical care and rehabilitation it needs."

In this main human interest tale--which introduced the topic of war burdens falling back on the older generations of America--the AARP author shares the frustrating tale of a women name Cynthia and her son.

In the AARP piece,   it was noted that the main character's son had entered the military only because in the two years prior this signing-up, the economy in her family's region of the USA was doing so poorly, i.e. jobs were lacking, the young man had little choice.

I understand this.

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My own brother joined the navy during the Reagan recessions of the 1980s.

On the other, I came to understand decades ago how many American young unemployed (or underemployed young Americans) will be coming   home from America's endless wars injured -"and often injured for the long-term.

I also wonder how many of those still entering national military service in 2010-2011 will feel that between (1) joblessness, (2) entering the U.S. military or (3) joining its private military contractor, signing the recruiter's paperwork is a no-brainer?

In short, acceptance of a bad American economic system seems to be teaching American youth that they have no option but to die or suffer, like the infamous Lt. Dan in the movie FORREST GUMP.


The AARP article (mentioned above) stated, the "Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq, has [or had] a 96 percent chance of survival. He or she can sometimes be stateside within 36 hours of the injury. As a result, there are just 6 deaths for every 100 injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared with 28 deaths per 100 in Vietnam, and 38 in World War II, according to Linda Bilmes, a researcher at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government."

This means that many more vets will be making it home alive-albeit in bad condition in the hot wars America has volunteered to send its sons and daughters into this decade-and for decades to come according to Republican leadership in the White House and in Sen. John McCain's camp.

A lot of American and international press have shown interest in recent weeks as to the topic of how many mental and brain related injuries Americans will have suffered since   2001, i.e.   till all the troops come home, i.e. after all the   Wars on Terror end in Afghanistan or wherever. In April 2008, the RAND corporation put out a monograph on psychological problems cause by armed conflict. One recent document was entitled Invisible Wounds of War," Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research, 2008.

That RAND monograph declared, "Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of these deployments - many involving prolonged exposure to combat-related stress over multiple rotations - may be disproportionately high compared with the physical injuries of combat. In the face of mounting public concern over post-deployment health care issues confronting OEF/OIF veterans, several task forces, independent review groups, and a Presidential Commission have been convened to examine the care of the war wounded and make recommendations. Concerns have been most recently centered on two combat-related injuries in particular: post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. With the increasing incidence of suicide and suicide attempts among returning veterans, concern about depression is also on the rise."

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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