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  • "What're you in for?"

    "Litterin'."

    And they all moved away from me.

    "What'd you do in the war?"

    "Dropped bombs from drones onto Afghans while sitting in Arlington, Va."

    And they all moved away from me.
  • In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.
  • Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.


    Well, that and you had to do something heroic to be a hero. Not just enlist.
  • Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.


    True, but we're still not doing the best job we could be of tending to the emotional/psychiatric needs of our veterans.
  • Drinking away his PTSD and taking it out on his family who grew to hate him was good enough for my grandpa, dammit, so it should be good enough for these snivelling little punks.
  • revrendjim: True, but we're still not doing the best job we could be of tending to the emotional/psychiatric needs of our veterans.


    THIS THIS THIS.

    Anyhow- each generation has had it easier. I know it gets cold in Afghanistan, but read some accounts of the battle of the bulge, or just consider d day- we were basically throwing waves in hopes that numbers would work.thankfully we no longer employ that tactic.

    vpb: Well, that and you had to do something heroic to be a hero. Not just enlist.

    Also true.
  • *throwing waves of men . oops
  • Well, that perfectly describes my day at work.

    revrendjim: True, but we're still not doing the best job we could be of tending to the emotional/psychiatric needs of our veterans.


    They are working to improve that, I assure you. If I didn't see that they were, I'd be the first person to raise the alarm. They are increasing funding, but the vets still have to want the help. They have to seek it out. So, that's the first challenge.

    I had a good conversation with Senator Whitehouse about 5 years ago. I explained to him that returning soldiers are given a questionnaire about their mental state. I explained that every soldier filling out that form knew that if they marked anything that would raise a flag, they were out of the unit and probably out of the Army. It's a fine line. We want well-trained killing machines, but we don't want them to go psycho in the process.

    This is a field that we have gotten better with over the decades, but the conflicting nature of what we expect these soldiers to do, and what that does to them will always pose a challenge.

    I will say thins, though... The newer generation is much more likely to use the VA system than their older counterparts. The fact that they can navigate the very Byzantine nature of the VA better than the old folks, seems to really piss them off. The VA does try to help, but it's almost like teaching your Grandpa how to use MS paint.

    Everyone who has ever gone through basic has heard the line "It was tougher when we did it." Always. Without fail. It was always harder when someone else did it. In some ways it was, but it is all a gigantic pile of suck.
  • revrendjim: Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.

    True, but we're still not doing the best job we could be of tending to the emotional/psychiatric needs of our veterans.


    Oh, I agree 100% with that, but we're still doing more than was done back when my dad was in the army.
  • Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.


    My Uncle George was station at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack. He never spoke about his time...except once. And he only said one thing.

    "All we could do was stack the bodies"

    Each War has its own set of difficulties. I can tell you that the WWI and Civil War probably had the worse experience with war.
  • I remember reading that had we had the medical technology of the Vietnam era today during the Iraq War we probably would have had almost as many casualties as the Vietnam War. However, because we can keep soldiers from dying, they end up with brain injuries never seen before, thus a multitude of post-war issues (particularly considering the relatively new forms of weaponry like IEDs). I don't think it's fair at all to say veterans who have served in Iraq have not had it as bad as earlier soldiers. Also, the bonus of fighting an insurgency where you don't know who is a soldier, who isn't. That's a different war from WWII, Korea, etc.
  • NewportBarGuy: Well, that perfectly describes my day at work.

    revrendjim: True, but we're still not doing the best job we could be of tending to the emotional/psychiatric needs of our veterans.

    They are working to improve that, I assure you. If I didn't see that they were, I'd be the first person to raise the alarm. They are increasing funding, but the vets still have to want the help. They have to seek it out. So, that's the first challenge.

    I had a good conversation with Senator Whitehouse about 5 years ago. I explained to him that returning soldiers are given a questionnaire about their mental state. I explained that every soldier filling out that form knew that if they marked anything that would raise a flag, they were out of the unit and probably out of the Army. It's a fine line. We want well-trained killing machines, but we don't want them to go psycho in the process.

    This is a field that we have gotten better with over the decades, but the conflicting nature of what we expect these soldiers to do, and what that does to them will always pose a challenge.

    I will say thins, though... The newer generation is much more likely to use the VA system than their older counterparts. The fact that they can navigate the very Byzantine nature of the VA better than the old folks, seems to really piss them off. The VA does try to help, but it's almost like teaching your Grandpa how to use MS paint.

    Everyone who has ever gone through basic has heard the line "It was tougher when we did it." Always. Without fail. It was always harder when someone else did it. In some ways it was, but it is all a gigantic pile of suck.


    Yes we're getting better, and we need to keep at it. I served in the Army but never saw combat. I have a BIL who was a helicopter gunner in Vietnam. He has never talked about it with anyone, not even his closest family. Yes, he has issues with anger and depression. We should have helped him cope with that.
  • Darth_Lukecash: Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.

    My Uncle George was station at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack. He never spoke about his time...except once. And he only said one thing.

    "All we could do was stack the bodies"

    Each War has its own set of difficulties. I can tell you that the WWI and Civil War probably had the worse experience with war.


    Most likely Civil War, since there was a chance you would have to kill your own family.

    Still, war is hell.
  • My dad had serious PTSD after he came home from Vietnam. The VA gave him a big bottle of Valium and told him to work it out on his own.
  • And those older war vets probably don't want to mention that to ex-Soviet vets from pretty much any war, or ex-NVA or Chinese troops.

    Actually a far bigger story would be if we had gone 40-50 years WITHOUT improving the equipment, weapons, food, and overall working conditions for the troops. It's supposed to work that way, you know, we're supposed to get better at stuff as we go along.
  • I think it is interesting that incidences of PTSD are so widely varying for American soldiers returning from the Iraq War and British soldiers returning from the same war (with PTSD levels much higher for Americans). I'm not sure if there were seeing the same type of combat but it does perhaps indicate our willingness to find trauma in every nook and cranny.
  • GGracie: My dad had serious PTSD after he came home from Vietnam. The VA gave him a big bottle of Valium and told him to work it out on his own.


    Did he?
  • I am in no position to judge "who had it worse." I haven't seen the homeless or mental problems in today's vets that I saw in the 70s, 80s and 90s from Vietnam. Maybe it's better or maybe suicide rates have increased. I don't know, but I thank all the vets, and hope they get the support from the nation they deserve.

    I do want to say that post 2009 FARKers are pussies. No one had it as rough as the FARK class of 2005. We often went 30, 40, 50 links before getting a green, only to be shot down with cries of repeat. But 2010, 2011, 2012 FARKers? Total pussies with their 6 hours to be able to post and their broadband and their co-ed rec rooms, and 15 average link greenlighting ratios. And I see no reason to think 2013 FARKers are going to feel any less arrogant and entitled.
  • Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.


    I think that was pretty much the point of the article. With a hint of insinuating that older vets think they were tougher than today's vets. But the old vets that I know wish they knew then what they know now, they don't begrudge today's soldiers advances in medicine and technology.
  • Darth_Lukecash: Bathia_Mapes: In some ways I think the older vets had it harder. For example...little understanding of the effects of P'TSD.

    My dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was a 19-year old farm boy and he saw his best buddy killed during the attack. Nowadays he could received counseling to deal with that. Back then he was expected to cope as best he could.

    My Uncle George was station at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack. He never spoke about his time...except once. And he only said one thing.

    "All we could do was stack the bodies"

    Each War has its own set of difficulties. I can tell you that the WWI and Civil War probably had the worse experience with war.


    Except for one occasion when my dad told his mother (my paternal grandma, obviously) his Pearl Harbor experiences, he never spoke of it again. Before his WWII experiences he was an avid hunter. When he got home he never used a firearm again for the rest of his life. I learned of his experiences second hand through grandma.
  • "We just came home, put our heads down and got to work - without any whining."

    ...to a grateful nation which praised you endlessly and a booming economy with tons of jobs...

    Thank you for your service, but STFU
  • coco ebert: GGracie: My dad had serious PTSD after he came home from Vietnam. The VA gave him a big bottle of Valium and told him to work it out on his own.

    Did he?


    He took the Valium for a short while and then threw it out. His generation didn't sit around waiting for things to get better, they went out and made them better. He has a few quirks from the war, like not eating any kind of Asian food after being a POW. He's also kind of a prick. Maybe some time with a therapist wouldn't have been such a bad idea.
  • Bathia_Mapes:
    Before his WWII experiences he was an avid hunter. When he got home he never used a firearm again for the rest of his life. I learned of his experiences second hand through grandma.


    I don't think any vet who's involved in combat in forest/jungle area would feel comfortable going out in the field with a gun.

    Hell, while filming two of his Vietnam Movies, Oliver Stone had to stop filming so he and his fellow film makers who were there, could settle down to continue working.
  • Of course older veterans had it more difficult. They didn't get to train in sneakers to protect their joints (as the do today), they didn't get hot days off (as they do today), they ate slop instead of nutritionally balanced meals, their health care was at times questionable and depending on how far back you go they didn't get to retire with a pay check for the rest of their lives as early as age 38.

    In the past, wars were fought from the perspective of attrition, throwing massive amounts of troops towards a standing army hoping to wear them down. Today we use technology to keep causalities to an absolute minimum.

    In the past, there was no after care for veterans. If you had psychological problems as a result of war trauma, you were a 'weakling' and a 'pussy'. Today we spend billions on psychological care.

    In the distant past if you were injured in a war, you were on your own today not only is healthcare provided, it's proved for your entire family. Our founding fathers didn't believe our nation should take care of our war injured.

    So yes, today's veterans have it much, much better.
  • taking a life is not easy to deal with when you were taught from childhood that killing was wrong.

    the type of combat doesn't matter when you life is at stake.
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