Where Are Our Younger Vets?

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Mike from California asks the question:

“I am an Air Force vet (four years) and I am 68 years old. I use the VA for my health care, as I qualify for this service. I use the VA facilities in Santa Rosa, California.

Here’s my question: Whenever I visit the facility I see, perhaps, 15 to 20 people waiting for services. None are under 50 years of age. Why is this? Okay, older people need more care, I suppose, but with IEDs, depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorous, Hellfires and a civilian-to-combatant kill ratio of something like 70 to 1 in Afghanistan, I just know that there are tens of thousands of GIs who are mentally/emotionally damaged. Where are they? Do they not request help? Do they get dumped as far as benefits are concerned? Are there no outreach programs? Where are they?

If what’s said is true, that PTS is widespread (and I don’t doubt this for a moment), then what’s going on? Modern warfare is incredibly damaging to friend and foe. I know it’s all hidden. No images, nor real reporting. Everyone who is embedded is vetted, etc., but something horrible is going on. These are our children.”

Mike, I don’t know the answer. We have heard about high suicide rates among active duty and vets, returnee “accidents,” and death-by-cop scenarios. We know Washington has every incentive to hide the cost of war and prevent open and honest discussion about anything it does, from making war, printing and loaning money, or managing healthcare.

8:39 pm on January 9, 2010