Soldiers not being treated properly

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By Thomas Elam

Here I am having to put in my two cents' worth about another issue of our country. This time, I'm talking about how too many soldiers, one is too many, who upon returning home from war with certain problems, are being told a bunch of lies about those problems so somebody else can save a buck elsewhere.

There's more evidence that this great nation of ours is heading for a downfall of which the likes we have never seen before. It's not enough our working class people are being done wrong, now those in charge of this land won't even take care of those who fight for us.

These soldiers I'm talking about are involved in a questionable conflict that should never had been started in the first place and are returning home with their own demons of war - demons that plague their emotions and sanity. They seek to understand these demons, to deal with them, and perhaps to exorcise them with the proper help.

Then that "proper help" decides to come up with the excuse that what emotional and mental disorders these soldiers now carry around with them were there before the war, only brought to the surface by the experiences of combat. It's quite obvious that a monetary gain of saving bucks to treat these fine soldiers is in play, costs that must be routed elsewhere to yet more devious methods of use.

And why are our soldiers returning home with these demons of war? Well, for one thing, people in uniforms of many third world countries would think nothing of pointing a machine gun and blasting away at an enemy soldier, or even an entire family. War and conflict is a way of life to them.

But our soldiers are of a different breed. Our soldiers greatly maintain, through much difficulty, their sense of humanity. Our soldiers care a great deal about life, even those enemy lives they must interrupt during conflict. So most of those who come back are troubled by their war experiences, of what they were a part of and what they have seen.

And that does not make them any less of a warrior class. Our soldiers have proven much that they will rise to the deadly occasion of war. They will answer the call to arms without hesitancy, no matter the cost to their lives or sanity. And yet they are not afraid to reveal their fears, to show their tears.

And if, during these attempts to battle those demons of war, a soldier should end his or her own life or, heaven forbid, the lives of others in a breakdown, then the blood should be on the hands of those higher-ups who make these lame decisions of dismissing the welfare of our soldiers.

Those decision makers should be held accountable and answer for it. Or they should carry the cost of treating the wounds of our soldiers, even if those wounds are of the mind, heart and soul.

Decision makers, get with the program. Our soldiers are not robots to simply discard in a trash heap once the circuits have gone bad inside. Our soldiers are people, human beings, members of families, fellow Americans, who have fought for those exact reasons. Instead of a "thank you for serving our country" you give them a "thanks for nothing, now get lost."

Do you worship George Washington so much that you have forgotten what that means?

Thomas W. Elam

Pikeville, Ky.