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3 Bumps

Homeless vets: Does anyone care?

The costs of war aren't always obvious or immediate. A few months after I got back from a trip to Afghanistan, I got a call from one of the Marines with whom we were embedded. He couldn't sleep; he was drinking heavily; was afraid he was going to kill his dog and couldn't stop arguing with his girlfriend; he'd moved out on her and was living in the barracks. Already on what they call "a bag o'meds," a pharmaceutical cocktail prescribed by a Navy doctor, he was clearly suffering from PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder. He didn't want to ask anyone at his base for help because he thought it would count against him. I urged him, pleaded with him, to get help.

Watch Scott Pelley's report.

I know how this Marine's story can end. I had heard similar stories dozens of times from others who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. While most troops coming home are able to adjust, many suffer from PTSD or (TBI) traumatic brain injury. And they get caught in a downward spiral that can involve alcoholism, domestic violence and ultimately either suicide or homelessness. I heard it from soldiers at Fort Carson who had served in Iraq; I heard it from redeployed Marines while in Afghanistan. I met young homeless veterans in New York City and Sacramento; spoke to a former sailor who was bedding down for the night on Skid Row in Los Angeles while he nonchalantly shot up heroin.

Just got me thinking, about vets and how they get forgotten after they have served their country...

Answer Question

Asked by mrssundin at 9:56 PM on Jul. 13, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (6,722 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I care :-)... I am so grateful for those who have served for us ( one of my sons' is serving now) . I am all for helping to get an awareness or support for those who suffer to save our freedom. Without them we couldn't be living the lives we have.... I guess the logic is What can we do to help ? One person CAN change the world..........

    Answer by LeJane at 10:00 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • It's sad, but doesn't surprise me. The mentality of most branches of the military are Mission First. If you are performing your mission, they don't care about anything else going on in your life; until you fail in your mission, then you get your @$$ chewed out.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 10:01 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I care by serving them at the soup kitchen a few times a year when it's my churches turn.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 10:09 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • The thing that pisses me off is they are property of the USA to beat up, throw in horrible situations and train to kill. When they come home very few are taken care of when they "retire". They gave their lives to serve, the USA could at least give them the means to get back to normal.

    Answer by sugamama3 at 10:12 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • As much as I care about anyone who is homeless

    Answer by adnilm at 10:14 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Then on top of having 'mental issues' and being homeless they have to fight tooth and nail for their healthcare when they retire. I care but feel helpless to do anything about it.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 10:28 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • People live free in America. If you travel to other places where women have no rights and life isn't as free, you can appreciate the USA so much more. Many people don't know what it's like to not have freedom. My Dad was in the Navy and my father in law is an Army Colonel with two tours in Vietnam. I care and I appreciate our vets and wish there were more resources for them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:43 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I care. My ex DH was a Vet--served a year in SE Asia. We were friends with guys who had been POW's in Viet Nam. They suffered.
    The VA needs to step up and help these homeless Vets.They are not helping them enough.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 11:32 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • My husband was med discharged out of the military and its been such a bumpy ride for us.............we cant get help from anyone for anything.My husband has ptsd that no one has helped with his nighty terrors of wakeing up and screaming or looking for his gun....theses kind of things are so very important but the military doies not do thier job of looking out for thier slodiers whoi fight for thier country.But what they dont realize is what happens when these men and women go home to thier families.Homeless soldiers brakes my hearts because i think as a ex army wife that they deserve the same respect and care as any soldier.Teir should be homes for the wounded or the homelss when they are discharged from the military.i think there should be events or companys that support what they have done and what they are going thorugh..i dont know why the government is so stengy with theses kinds of actons .

    Answer by skysthelimit777 at 11:36 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • My dad came home from Vietnam and was spit on by war protesters. They called him vile names and threw stuff at the troops. My younger brother experienced the same thing when he came home from Iraq. It did affect both mentally. The fortunately were not too stubborn to get help but many are. There is a stigma in this country when it comes to mental illness. People will look down on them and make fun of them which makes it very hard to ever seek treatment.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:13 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

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