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"I Didn't Serve, I Was Used": How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home


#1

"I Didn't Serve, I Was Used": How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home

Ann Jones

A friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, told me about a veteran of the Iraq War who, when some civilian said, “Thank you for your service,” replied: “I didn’t serve, I was used.” That got me thinking about the many ways today’s veterans are used, conned, and exploited by big gamers right here at home.

Near the end of his invaluable book cataloguing the long, slow disaster of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, historian Andrew Bacevich writes:


#3

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind." Einstein, 1934.


#4

Was there a draft?


#5

"I didn't serve, I was used..."

Did they not understand, after all that has been revealed, what the consequences of joining the U.S. military was and is?


#6

Ann, Thank you for this muckraking exposure of the greedy and subversive forces we face, trying to reap the most from our disastrous militarized foreign and domestic policies. One can tell from your tone, and the kind of research you appear to have done, that you care about both the vets, their families, and us as citizens, all paying for policies that are subverted at every turn by "Pay to Play" (and profit big-time).
I think it was Tom Paine that said "Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty."? (I am sure someone here will correct me if that was not the source). I will put in my 2 cents to our current U.S. Senators, hoping to make a difference; hope the veterans themselves will have a voice to thwart these machinations.


#7

Why would anybody in their right mind join the military?


#8

Have you ever heard of the "Economic Draft"? It's happening now, happened in 2005, when someone from my community, a young woman, signed up with a recruiter just before graduating high school, because she was promised they would send her to nursing school, right away. She died a short time later, in Iraq. 18 years old. Even during the Vietnam era, this happened; people from really low income backgrounds (esp. people of color) heard that the military offered 3 meals a day, was a place where someone could move up in life, and could give you a college education you could not afford otherwise. Even back in Europe, in all those wars in the 1200's-1800's, poor guys form one country where they could not eat, or feed their families would join mercenary armies, which enabled the Euro monarchies to wage war on each other. It's horrible, but a fact of history.


#10

Excellent report by Ms. Jones (even if she did give credit to Andrew Bacevich for what's obvious).

Tying the Koch Brothers' funding of everything odious to their latest inroads into privatizing Veterans' health care is so important.

Today's military-surveillance state TRULY regards the world (and that means just about every civilian within it) as a potential theater of war.

Adding to Big Pharma's pushing of painkiller drugs from the opium family, I think it's worth mentioning that the Zika madness is another piece of the puzzle.

Readers would be wise to listen to this. The speaker ties a LOT of dots together:


#11

To those who have not been initiated, the following negates the meme pushed by this site's regular message shaping team--that blames citizens/voters for U.S. foreign policy. And you NEVER hear this group speak about the Koch Brothers or the purchase of our nation's would-be Democratic Republic:

"This is what we have yet to take in: today, the U.S. is the most unequal country in the developed world, and the wealth of the plutocrats on top is now so great that, when they invest it in politics, it’s likely that no elected government can stop them or the lucrative wars and “free markets” they exploit."


#13

There was a draft made of no future prospects, no education, and profound cultural ignorance and myopia. These "volunteers" were not much more than children when they joined in response to the fast talking, ruthless recruiters who infest our failing high schools thick as cockroaches.


#19

Thanks, Ann Jones, this piece is very informative, and as a Vet. a Vietnam draftee and Vietnam War protester, who uses the VA system, I appreciate your dedication to the soldiers and their welfare. I'm not going to repeat what I said on a different thread today, other than to mention that a draft is a necessity, professional armies have no place in this "representative democracy." Furthermore, it is naive to think that if everyone decided not to join the military, militaries will disappear, nothing could be further from the truth, to the contrary, that tact is a sure fire path to what I think is necessary, a draft.

"The root cause of militarism is war, and so long as we have the one we will be menaced by the other. The best defense against militarism is peace; the next best thing is the vigorous practice of democracy. The dissent against our government's actions in Southeast Asia, the opposition to the ABM and MIRV, and the increased willingness of many in the Congress to do something about the hitherto sacrosanct military budget are all encouraging signs of democracy being practiced. But there is much in American polity these days that is discouraging.

There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the "volunteer army" idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic." "The Pentagon Propaganda Machine" 1972... J. William Fulbright.

So I ended up repeating, so it goes.


#20

Thanks redravensounds, and remember that nice lady that helped take such good care of Marina Oswald? Guess where her husband worked; Bell Helicopter, but that's all conspiratorial speculation. Right?

Link here: http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKpaine.htm


#21

Excellent Piece.

"By 2010, a third of the Army’s soldiers were on prescription medications -- and nearly half of them, 76,500, were on prescription opioids -- which proved to be highly addictive...."

The mind will no longer be able to encompass the horror of war as it continues to evolve.
Awareness is on the increase, the images forced into our comprehension.

PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
It is a biological repulsion by the body, the same as vomiting out a poison.

So again we employ drugging the soldier so that they may dull their Trauma.
Make no mistake Pharma is developing a new enabler.

No pictures of the returning caskets, the inside of VA hospitals, the sociological wounds,
the carnage left behind.

Trying to hide from what we all know, but few acknowledge.


#22

An armed populace is a danger to the oligarchy. They want to own a police and military conditioned to not think for themselves, but to follow their orders without question even if it means killing your own people.

As Kipling said: "Yours is not to reason why, yours is but to do or die".


#23

And even our most Ivy-oriented schools. Though it was 20 years ago, when my child graduated from such a school, disregarded by counselors and administrators because they were not Ivy bound, they were pursued relentlessly by a recruiter, right up to a cold call to our front door. Fortunately, that was a screened porch, and Chris was able to slide the bolt. After allowing a brochure just halfway through the door got the recruiter to leave, Chris mailed a thick packet of their poetry, and we never heard from the recruiter again.


#24

for work most of the time.


#25

it's slow but it's moving. but understand that many of the enlisted brothers and sisters are trying to support their families and/or get the money to go to college to "better" themselves.
This is seductive when other opportunities are scarce. I know, I did it, too.

Soldiers are often a cynical lot, so they know their place on the chessboard better than anyone.


#26

Of course the recruiters make sure that kids know that they will be hired to kill and maim and destroy for corporate profit rather than fighting for things like freedom or their country, right?


#27

No.

That is a wonderful question. The answer is "No."


#28

Things go bitter with Koch

With an assist from everyone's favorite "socialist"