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Old 3rd June 2019, 09:39 AM   #41
The Don
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
???? Other than Trump what politicians have disrespected veterans? They might not be good at accomplishing change but this seems to be more a myth than fact.
The comparative lack of resources for Veterans is nothing new and the PTSD stories are a common thread. Mrs Don's Vietnam veteran uncle has suffered badly for decades. This situation did not develop overnight.

Politicians, particularly those of a conservative hue, make a big deal of praising veterans, but seem to do comparatively little when it comes round to actually delivering the services they need.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 09:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
???? Other than Trump what politicians have disrespected veterans? They might not be good at accomplishing change but this seems to be more a myth than fact.
My experience, while in the Air Force, of politicians has not been of active disrespect, but rather a sort of passive contempt. Pretty much the only time we'd see politicians was when we were being used as props for photo shoots. I was at Pope AFB, which was close enough the Washington DC for day trippers, and provided great backgrounds. We had C-130s, A-10s, F-16s (all with Shark's Teeth), Combat Controllers, and, from across the fence, 82d Paratroopers, Rangers, and Special Forces.

I hated being in campaign ads.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 10:02 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The comparative lack of resources for Veterans is nothing new and the PTSD stories are a common thread. Mrs Don's Vietnam veteran uncle has suffered badly for decades. This situation did not develop overnight.

Politicians, particularly those of a conservative hue, make a big deal of praising veterans, but seem to do comparatively little when it comes round to actually delivering the services they need.
But was it better for WWII or WWI veterans? I doubt it and so it was never good and should be fixed but it doesn't seem to be getting worse.

And as for better well they seem to have maybe reformed the mental health of at least active service personnel for the better.

https://www.npr.org/templates/transc...toryId=6576505
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Old 3rd June 2019, 11:21 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
That seems like unnecessarily cruel victim-blaming considering the vast overwhelming majority of the complaints in the Twitter thread reference not getting help for PTSD and depression post-combat, rather than lifestyle-preventable maladies. Perhaps you are working off of preconceived notions of what kinds of things people complain about rather than what the posters are actually posting.
Call it what you will, but that's [referring to my own statement] not a blanket condemnation. But quite frankly, the twitter response is a self-selecting sample of people who have a problem with the military; those who feel they were wronged somehow. That doesn't mean they weren't, but it does mean that a twitter thread isn't very useful in determining scope or extent of any problem that might still be going on.

There are NUMEROUS resources, civilian and military. In my experience competent help has been readily available since ~2008/2009. Those who's service was before that time are likely having problems; there were issues before many of the newer programs were started. Since that time a lot has been done to correct it.

And my comment was not meant to dismiss those with problems, but sometimes when you're told your depression and PTSD-like symptoms aren't because of your military service, it's the truth. And some in the military will try to claim any and everything under the sun, whether military-related or not. Without something to make a determination, there's really nothing in a twitter feed that's indicative of anything, or even suggests the precise nature or scope of the issue.

It should be looked into, definitely, but I'm not assuming there's any sort of massive ongoing problem or any degraded service provided considering my experience form the inside suggests the opposite, and everything I've seen has been pushing for more accessible and competent professional assistance for deploying and returning soldiers.

In short: Things are definitely getting better, but there are still many that suffered before those fixes were in place. In any case, a twitter feed provides no real basis to make any determination of the reality...no more so than rumors.

ETA: Edited for a bit of clarity. I'm a vet myself, with ~5 years in combat zones. I wasn't trying to imply "everyone was faking it", but trying to get any injury or illness listed as service-connected is a common thing in the military, whether it is or not. With nothing but a twitter feed, we can't determine which complaints are valid and which are not. Not to mention the "stolen valor" concept; on a twitter feed some people who want to be thought of as veterans can simply lie. I am not unsympathetic at all, and I'd like to see more and better programs for veterans, as many were failed in the past and some (I'm sure) still are. But it IS getting better.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 11:28 AM   #45
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The lip service paid to veterans goes waaay back in American history and probably the history of most nations. It is absolutely required by social convention that everyone, not only politicians, publicly praise veterans; IMO this properly recognizes what we as a nation have asked of these individuals and the consequences on their lives. Saying, "Thank you for your service!" or holding Veterans Day celebrations are easy, free or very cheap. But when it comes to spending substantial money on them - then the budget knifes come out and the needs of the veterans are waylaid aside.

Even the army spoken to by Henry V in the Shakespeare St Crispin's Day speech were only promised good bragging rights; they could show their scars to their mates (maybe get a free ale at the pub?) but no one was talking about long term medical care for their injuries or financial support for those unable to work.

I am not certain this is unique to veterans, however. Society as a whole, and government in specific tends to ask "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately, as in since this morning..."
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Old 3rd June 2019, 01:50 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
Our last big war was fifty years ago now, with a peak establishment of over 3.5 million. Current force is just over a million.
Which makes the US Army around 0.31% of the population, whereas other English-speaking nations are:

* Australia 0.19%
* United Kingdom 0.16%
* New Zealand 0.12%
* Canada 0.11%

So, yeah, it's not just that the United States has a bigger army because it has a bigger population, but it's clearly bigger in relation to population.

I actually have to think really hard to think of people I know who were in the army outside of National Service: my sister and her husband, my cousin's husband, an old mate from clubbing days, a couple of ex-work colleagues. That's about it.

I think one thing that sets things apart is that I noticed QuickBooks advert that was repurposed for the UK market from the States (rather badly), in its original form had the subject character, a construction worker, described in captions as a "veteran." That would be literally unheard of here.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 3rd June 2019 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 01:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I have heard from one guy that ended up in Vietnam that way. He wanted to join the Navy and be a cook, but got convinced by the recruiter to become a Corpsman instead without being told that Navy Corpsmen were actually medics for the Marines.
If one is stupid enough to talk with and trust a recruiter he/she should not be allowed into the military due to having a very low IQ.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 02:03 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Reading some of these posts, and those on that Twitter thread, has made me once again realize how very fortunate I was with my Army "service", 1971-72.
1968/69 Ft. Campbell KY/Ft. Detrick, Frederick MD/ 9th Med Lab Binh Hoa base. Back in Nashville summer '69.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 02:09 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
.

I actually have to think really hard to think of people I know who were in the army outside of National Service: my sister and her husband, my cousin's husband, an old mate from clubbing days, an ex-work colleague. That's about it.
With the change to an all volunteer force, most Americans these days would also be hard pressed to name contemporaries who had seen service. Service members today come largely from military families. My own family includes: wife, brother, parents (all USAF), nieces (one USAF, one Navy), grandparents (two Navy, one Army, one FBI), grandfathers and a slew of great uncles (Army in various wars), other ancestors going back to the Norman invasion that we have documentation of.

By contrast, the average American has no service members in their family since WW-II.

This has resulted in a better adapted military force, that is increasingly isolated from the civilian community.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 02:31 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
If one is stupid enough to talk with and trust a recruiter he/she should not be allowed into the military due to having a very low IQ.
I get the satire. But of course this is what recruiters do for a living and they are very good at selling to even fairly smart people. Recruiters are very trained and experienced;' the "buyer" starts naive. Just like buying a new car -I think I am smart but I know a car dealer can take advantage of me without breathing hard. I refuse to go to time share presentations for the same reason lest I get talked into a 2-week perpetual time share in coastal Somalia.

So, as you suggest the best idea is to make up one's mind first and never even talk to a recruiter unless you already know you wish to join the military. However high schools set up meetings with military recruiters, there are recruiter offices in many towns and cities, and most teenagers probably think - "Oh, I am unsure. Certainly the recruiter is the best person to honestly help me with the facts." They are wrong.

Recruiters also can simply lie (with the real truth buried in the written contract, which I believe has an over-reaching Catch 22 proviso that they have a right to do anything they want with you no matter what the rest of the contract says, if it is required for the good of the military and the national interest. They can even keep you longer than you signed up for if they invoke this provision, and I believe they have done so. Isn't this the Stop-Loss provision?).

I just found a good site that discusses what really can be promised in an enlistment and what is not.
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/wh...ld-you-3332715

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Old 3rd June 2019, 05:26 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
If one is stupid enough to talk with and trust a recruiter he/she should not be allowed into the military due to having a very low IQ.
In the U.S. it is far more sinister than that. Kids learn from a very young age that they too can be a hero just by signing up for military service. It is reinforced in schools, at every sporting event, civic holidays, etc., etc., and everytime they see some moron thank an uncomfortable veteran for their service.

That type of crazy has been seeping across the border into Canada where I see Northern morons thanking Canadian service personel for their service.

The responses to the U.S. Army P.R. Tweet should be required reading for every teenager in America.
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Old 5th June 2019, 05:35 AM   #52
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I’m a vet also (Marines 2000-04).
I personally don’t understand all the complaining. Sure you can get wrecked in service (you signed up to potentially fight wars, not be coddled) but benefits are largely better than what you’ll find in the private sector. I wish everyone could have access to similar healthcare and retirement options.

I do sympathize with people who have chronic service related problems, but don’t see how they’re all that different from those experienced by police or power linemen or others who face dangerous working conditions.

I used the military to escape poverty and get training and an education. It is a great vehicle for those without other means to do so.
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Old 5th June 2019, 06:08 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Iím a vet also (Marines 2000-04).
I personally donít understand all the complaining. Sure you can get wrecked in service (you signed up to potentially fight wars, not be coddled) but benefits are largely better than what youíll find in the private sector. I wish everyone could have access to similar healthcare and retirement options.

I do sympathize with people who have chronic service related problems, but donít see how theyíre all that different from those experienced by police or power linemen or others who face dangerous working conditions.

I used the military to escape poverty and get training and an education. It is a great vehicle for those without other means to do so.
To be fair, there have been problems...a lot of problems. Things that have been mentioned have happened in the past: military psychiatrists/psychologists insisting you don't really have PTSD or it's not service-connected; Soldiers coming back from long deployments and being dropped directly back to civilian life, long wait times at VA care centers, etc. While on paper the benefits are great, in practice you don't always get to take advantage of them.

That being said, it IS getting better, and those types of things are becoming the exception, not the rule.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:19 PM   #54
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While I have not served, my father served three tours, he's told me since I was young that he'll promptly kick my ass if I join the military. I truly don't believe that the reason matters, be it national pride or attempting to take advantage of the G. I. Bill, getting free college. However, the thing with expectation. From what I've been able to piece together over many years is that the military makes a lot of promises, from promising your ability to get certain jobs (Such as those that would not involve combat.) to guaranteeing certain support systems during and after your service. However, as much as these promises are contractually guaranteed, as soon as we start a new war, or operation all of a sudden, a crane operator is needed as a tank crewman, or a truck driver needs to join infantry. These justifications are used for breaking contract with soldiers. Further, as soon as a politician promises to cut military funding, copious amounts of the aforementioned support is withdrawn. This happened a lot during the Obama administration. What really seals this terrible deal though, is that as soon as you sign your first contract of service, you lose the ability to sue the government, so there is no way to seek retribution for these breaks of contract. So as much as many of us can look in and say "What did you expect". Unfortunately, these men and women are deceived into destruction.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:23 PM   #55
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You got lucky my friend, you got out in time. During the Bush administration military benefits were well executed. However, starting in 2009 VA funding was gutted, The Gi Bill was constricted, the simple fact is that a lot of service members got cheated out of what they deserved because they didn't get out in time.
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Old 8th June 2019, 08:30 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by SocioThoth View Post
You got lucky my friend, you got out in time. During the Bush administration military benefits were well executed. However, starting in 2009 VA funding was gutted, The Gi Bill was constricted, the simple fact is that a lot of service members got cheated out of what they deserved because they didn't get out in time.
To be fair there were other, bigger issues, than an administration change. The economic crash, paying for two wars being fought on credit, etc.

I know a lot of people in the U.S. military (Marines and Army) from the Vietnam era forward and the complaints are pretty much the same regardless of which party the president belongs to. Some have an easy time accessing services, some a tough time, and it seems to rotate tgrough them almost like tgeir access to benefits is at the whim on local people and not some national policy.
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