For GI’s, best cure is prevention
By Doug Zachary / The Rag Blog
[Rag Blogger Doug Zachary of Veterans for Peace originally posted the followinig as a comment to Vets Getting Shaft from Veterans Affairs by Maya Schenwar and Matt Renner, posted earlier today on The Rag Blog.]
Working class youth across the country have been conned into participating in this war, and they are being systematically cast aside upon their return home. There is nothing new about this behavior on the part of the government. From the so-called Revolutionary War on, veterans have been consistently denied their “rights”.
Veterans For Peace has been receiving a barrage of information of this sort for a couple of weeks now. Just in the past two days, Ms. Perez at Waco has been nailed as responsible for issuing “orders” to under-diagnose PTSD. Before she came to light, and throughout this war and occupation, we have seen several ways in which the Pentagon and the VA were working separately and together to deny soldiers their deserved care.
Sadly, even when a “proper” diagnosis is made, the quality of the care rendered at most VA facilities is lacking. The solutions used are usually drugs, drugs, and more drugs; nothing in the way of discernment or consciousness-building regarding the experiences of the soldiers. Just drug them and shut them the fuck up! This helps to ensure that future generations of young people can be fooled into acting against the interests of their own social class and persuaded to give up body, mind, and spirit to serve the Ultra-rich.
Some people in VFP make this their primary issue; Bill Perry in Philly comes to mind as the best among us in getting the Iraq vet through the maze at the VA. MY efforts are aimed at awakening the veterans and guiding them to the Iraq Veterans Against the War and to other peace groups. From my 39 years among Peace Veterans, I have learned that the best, and perhaps only, cure for PTSD, is a life dedicated to righting the wrongs by working for peace and justice. We are talking about a wound of the Mind and heart; it is about consciousness.
Frankly, my concern is for all the victims of the war and occupation, especially the Iraqi citizens who are suffering at the hands of these soldiers. The absolutely best “cure” is prevention. That is why Austin VFP is at the gates of Fort Hood and in the cafes and bars in Killeen, “armed” with information (including the likelihood that, if wounded, they will be under-treated) trying to open the minds and hearts of these vets before they deploy, or re-deploy, or re-re-deploy. Other members of Austin VFP are deployed in the schools in our city, along with non-veteran members of Nonmilitary options for Youth, working, preventitively, to reduce the incidence of PTSD.
The Rag Blog