Monday, May 30, 2005

A Debt Not Fully Paid

The following is via

Remember the Wounded

We should recognize and honor all sacrifices for America.
By John Wheeler
Monday, May 30, 2005; Page A21


Thanks to forward surgical teams, in mini-hospitals close to battle, the ratio of wounded to killed is 8 to 1 in Iraq, up from 5 to 1 in Vietnam. Surgeon Atul Gawande wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine about one Iraq case, "Injuries like his were unsurvivable in previous wars. The cost, however, can be high. The airman lost one leg above the knee, the other in a hip disarticulation, his right hand, and part of his face. How he and others like him will be able to live and function remains an open question."


Unfortunately, no Memorial Day ceremony or war memorial that I have seen has explicitly honored the wounded. In fact, under House Concurrent Resolution 587 of Feb. 10, 1966, Memorial Day is simply for paying "tribute to those who gave their lives."
This oversight needs correction. We need to honor the wounded as well as those who died. Their numbers are growing, and society needs to both acknowledge their sacrifice and understand their situation. And it needs, through this tribute, to give support and encouragement to the families of the wounded -- families that bear great anguish, time devoted to care and economic loss.

Some wounds are not as visible as others. The Purple Heart excludes post-traumatic stress disorder as well as infections and disease that often become evident after a veteran has left the war zone. The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported, concerning Afghanistan and Iraq, that these new wars "will produce a new generation of veterans at risk for the chronic mental health problems that result, in part, from exposure to the stress, adversity, and trauma of war-zone experiences. . . . [I]t is important to . . . raise the awareness of civilians back home, to prepare loved ones for soldiers' return."

The nation and its government need to give some thought to ways to honor the wounded and to recognize the full range of impairments suffered by those who have served and sacrificed for their country. Topics for discussion could include officially expanding the purpose of Memorial Day, establishing medals for cases excluded from the Purple Heart (severe illness in the war zone or later, and death in battlefield accidents), and mentioning the wounded, veterans who suffer illnesses and their families in war memorials. This is a good day to start.

(My Comments)

America has borrowed the lives of her young men and women to fight her battles in distant places. When the time comes to give those young men and women their lives back, shouldn’t they be given back in full with a sense of gratitude for the deep sacrifices made in the name of “Patriotism”?

I contend that a grateful country should sacrifice equally to show our returning warriors how much we value them and the efforts they have made on our behalf. They absolutely deserve:
Free heath care for life.
Free education for themselves and their immediate family members.
A lifetime exemption from all Federal taxes. (States do not declare war).
One interest free Federal loan to purchase a house and land.
A lifetime pass to all publics lands and monuments.
A $500.00 monthly allowance for the remainder of their lives.

We could do more, but these things are a reasonable beginning. Anyone able to argue with this line of thought should immediately sign up for a tour of duty in Iraq.


Mr. Natural said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your idea of benefits for returnees from hot zones. During VietNam, I didn't go overseas so I don't think that I should be privvy to all of it, but am very glad to have gotten G-I bill (there are some interesting stories!). I think if the BUSH GANG can give tax breaks to big shots, they could SURELY give military returnees these simple benefits in THIS, the supposedly richest (and arguably the stingiest) country in the world....

dailyread said...

You may not have been called to go into the most hazardous area back then...but you put yourself in a position to go had you been so ordered. You and I both know that Coast Guardsmen did a lot of the minesweeping duty in Viet Nam, so don't sell yourself short regarding the duty you ended up pulling. We all went where we were ordered to go.
My proposal is for anyone signing up to wear the uniform.

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Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root, is a native plant of arctic Siberia. For centuries it has been used by eastern European and Asian cultures for physical endurance, work productivity, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders.

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The effects of Rhodiola Rosea have also been tested on stress and anxiety from both physical and emotional sources. A report by the American Botanical Council states that "Most users find that it improves their mood, energy level, and mental clarity." They also report on a study that indicated Rhodiola Rosea could increase stress tolerance while at the same time protecting the brain and heart from the physical affects of stress.

This report included details of studies which highlight the overall health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

The generally recommended dose is 200-600mg/day. The active properties should be a minimum 0.8 percent salidroside and 3 percent rosavin.

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