As we head into the Memorial Day weekend and the struggles of VA clinics around the country to meet the demand for services in a timely matter is front page news, I thought I would take a moment in this space to urge you to support better treatment for our men and women who return from military service damaged in some way. Many people think about the physical trauma that is suffered and that is certainly a very important and very visible problem to be dealt with. But for many returning vets the problems are non-physical and that is a harder nut to crack. Harder to treat and harder to recognize. I have a good friend who's son struggled with PTSD in his return from Iraq and later died. I've seen his mom struggle with the grief and can only imagine the daily battle to come to terms with a loss like that. The idea that we, as a country, spend tons of money on frivilous things every day and yet the mental and physical needs of our veterans are not being met is grating to me. We owe it to not only the veterans themselves, but to their families, to deal with this problem in a timely manner. You can do two things. Urge your government representatives to stop making this a political issue and focus on finding the funding to get every veteran the physical and mental health care they need. And two, support organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) or your local American Legion Post and help them do the work that is necessary. This is not a situation that is going to go away anytime soon. We cannot ignore it. We shouldn't brush it aside as we hurry through our daily life. Until every damaged veteran gets the treatment he needs...and we fulfill our responsibilities to those who have given their limbs...and their psyches...and their lives... to allow us and others around the planet to live free.
That's all I feel like writing today...have an excellent weekend...and remember those who served and passed on
Songs of the Day
Goodnight Saigon-Billy Joel (1982) his tribute to Viet Nam vets from "The Nylon Curtain
Sam Stone-John Prine (1971) the war was still raging when Prine released this devastating song about a heroin addicted returning vet...from Prine's debut album which is loaded with amazing songs...