The American People Just Don't Get It
by James Glaser
June 15, 2012
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Poll: Civilians believe veterans are valuable,
but lack education and suffer PTSD

By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: June 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — Civilians see Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as "valuable civic assets" but also believe that most are poorly educated and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, according a report released Wednesday.

I don't believe most Americans understand what our war veterans give up, nor do they understand what our veterans suffer with to serve in our armed forces.

The vast majority of young men and women joining our armed forces have not gone to college. They either put off their education, or they had no desire to continue on with their education.

Some wounds heal, but a lost arm or leg never grows back. Once you are blinded in combat, you are blind for life, and the same is true for the loss of hearing.

While serving, thousands suffer wounds, thousands more traumatic brain injuries, and hundreds of thousands suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress.

Those suffering from PTSD are not given a pill to take care of it. Some will do better than others, but every veteran suffering from Combat Stress will have to deal with that stress for the rest of their lives. Some vets are better at that than others, but the VA still has therapy sessions for WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans. PTSD does not go away.

So maybe those polled have their numbers wrong, but not by that much. Washington will claim we have won in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the truth is that we will have at least a half million veterans dealing with their time in the combat zone for the rest of their lives. Washington can call that winning, but I don't.

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