Out of Iraq




 
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October 23rd, 2011  
lvcabbie
 
 

Topic: Out of Iraq


[I'm sharing this as I think it's important to all of us who have served.]

by Garrett Phillip Anderson
Out of Iraq by the New Year. The sand will blow over the carcasses of our blown out vehicles like it does for the old Russian tanks in Afghanistan. I will live a life and so will all who survived the country and somewhere out there will be the metal and fabric skeletons that we used for our war. For the Veterans of this war, we will have to begin to make a shift in care as these wars come to an end. We will journey the transition from current news to a distant memory most likely similar to that of our Korean War. There was a war in Korea…I know! It ran from 1950 to 1953 and blew US Vietnam killed in action statistics out of the water in comparing these two wars for loss of life per day. The statistics of loss of life for the war on terror is infinitesimal compared to other American wars. The Korean War had been overshadowed by the hype of the end of the Second World War and minimized after no clear victory in that war had been achieved.

My hypothesis is that our connection to society as Veterans will be disconnected as soon as the war plug is pulled. Average Americans were not concerned about this war because it did not affect them, with no draft and no personal obligation to service for most Americans these wars were a television show that ran long in seasons and had been the same story since season four. This of course has happened before and to our brother and sister Veterans from Vietnam. Our problem is going to be in representation because it takes so few troops to conduct a war we are a true minority and will always have few numbers to voice our needs and concerns. A society will not suddenly care for a cause it had no previous interest in.

I hope that all of the Veterans of this war come together and organize to make sure that we continue to advance the level of care that we received because we earned it.
I hope our Vietnam Veterans who have been through this before guide us, and that America suddenly sees for the first time since WWII that Veterans are their friends and should be respected for risking their lives bravely for policies that they had no control over. I hope that when I fart it smells like fresh cut flowers. If we took one month out of what we had spent for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we could provide ample Veteran assistance for years to come, imagine if we took one year of that budget as a debt of gratitude from a nation to its Veterans as payment for a decade of service? Like we just pretended that the war was still going on for one more year, like the war Veterans who come home are faced to fight is really a war. I call this the one for ten for service plan.
From Iraq/Afghanistan and More Blog

October 23rd, 2011  
LeEnfield
 
 
In the UK we have been in constant action every year apart from one and that was 1968 to date when we did not lose a single member of the armed forces due to enemy action. There have been dozens of little conflicts all around the globe which have taken there toll and most of the people that I talk to can't even remember there names. With the passing of time and with each new generation these conflicts are soon forgotten by all except the ones who where in them or by the relatives of the men that died there. Like me you will soon become a forgotten in the dusty pages of history.

A good site to see these conflicts is http://www.britains-smallwars.com/main/index1.html
October 24th, 2011  
lvcabbie
 
 
Uh, how about your little "conflict" with Argentina over the Maldives?
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October 25th, 2011  
Spartan613
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvcabbie
Uh, how about your little "conflict" with Argentina over the Maldives?
The Falklands. Not Malvinas, and certainly not the Maldives.
October 25th, 2011  
42RM
 
The average American is able to comfortably watch the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with the knowledge that their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives will most likely not be affected. However, whether they appreciate it or not, the burdens borne by the warrior class and their families are very real. It’s been said more than once that there is a civil-military divide. The establishment of an all volunteer military has resulted in one of the most professional and motivated military forces in recent history. However, the military, and those who serve, are more isolated from their fellow Americans than they’ve ever been. During the Vietnam War the draft made the conflict real to American families, but today’s wars are fought by professionals who are often removed from American society at large.

For many vets, the transition back to the “real world” is harder than the transition to the battlefield. People hear that you were in Iraq or Afghanistan, and ask “What was it like?”. Then they want a Twitter-length answer, when an encyclopedia-length answer would barely be an introduction. So you bury it. This is nothing new: I remember many WWII vets who would either talk about their experiences at great length or not at all. Mostly not at all. Why share experiences with those who have no way to understand it? They don’t want to hear those “Army stories about getting shot”. And history repeats itself. Therefore; Old soldiers just fade away.
October 25th, 2011  
eTe
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
Why share experiences with those who have no way to understand it? They don’t want to hear those “Army stories about getting shot”. And history repeats itself. Therefore; Old soldiers just fade away.
Not all. Some do. I for one love those stories. Because when I hear a story in great depth, I can close my eyes and picture myself there. Of course it would be nothing like it, the smell, sounds, tension in the air...
I love old war stories but don't really know anybody who fought in any major ones. Or any at all really.
October 25th, 2011  
Amanda
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
The average American is able to comfortably watch the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with the knowledge that their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives will most likely not be affected.
Not really. Every American surely knows that terrorists are capable of coming here and attacking them and their family members, and that all of you fighting the terrorists over there are in one way or another protecting every American. As for anyone being able to "comfortably" watch any war, I certainly hope not
October 25th, 2011  
lvcabbie
 
 

I strongly agree about the divide between military and civilians due to the ending of the draft.
IMHO, Universal Service should be a part of our American society. Everybody should provide at least 2 years service to this country as part of being a citizen.
What kind of service doesn't have to be military. We still have the Peace Corps and other programs designed to help this nation.
October 25th, 2011  
42RM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eTe
Not all. Some do. I for one love those stories. Because when I hear a story in great depth, I can close my eyes and picture myself there. Of course it would be nothing like it, the smell, sounds, tension in the air...
I love old war stories but don't really know anybody who fought in any major ones. Or any at all really.
Watch out, or you will easily begin to romanticize war.

Don’t take it personally if a veteran doesn’t want to talk to you. Part of it is because you are not a combat veteran. It is crucial to remember that the vast majority of war veterans feel that no one but other combat veterans could possibly understand. The main problem for many war veterans is not what they went through. Their problem is that very few people have the emotional strength to listen to them talk about what they went through. Vets will usually talk with a good listener who will take time to hear the whole story.

Don't ask about a person's experiences unless you can handle honest answers. Don't open someone up and then "chicken out" when the story gets too rough.When a veteran is willing to talk to you, it is important to allow him or her plenty of time to talk. Don't interrupt to state your feelings about the war or whatever situation they experienced. Do not say, “I understand,” or “I know you feel.” No, you don’t. If you were not in war, you don’t understand. Period. And never never ask; “Did you kill anybody?” Or, “How did it feel to kill someone?” If the vet wants to share this, the vet will share it. Otherwise, this is perceived as an invasive and unwanted demand for the most extremely personal of information.

Plan to listen for hours. Be an active listener. Ask for details.Ask questions when you feel puzzled about facts or incidents but remain quiet if he or she starts crying. It may help to touch or hold the person if it feels right to both of you. Leave his or her thoughts and feelings alone. Your quiet presence is more useful than anything else you can do. Listen with empathy, but minimize sympathy. It is easier for a vet to reveal what they went through if they don't have to put up with sympathy like "What a horrible experience! You poor man!" Control your imagination and resist letting their feelings become your feelings. Don't make the veteran have to handle your emotional reactions as well as his or her own. If you need emotional support, seek it elsewhere.
October 25th, 2011  
A Can of Man
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvcabbie
I strongly agree about the divide between military and civilians due to the ending of the draft.
IMHO, Universal Service should be a part of our American society. Everybody should provide at least 2 years service to this country as part of being a citizen.
What kind of service doesn't have to be military. We still have the Peace Corps and other programs designed to help this nation.
I don't think the US could ever afford a universal draft where everyone is required to serve.
 


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