Sunday, November 30, 2008

Phil Hare proposes increased help for soldier's families

Here in the Quad Cities, those of us who have Mediacom cable tv see 5 minute interviews with local newsmakers which are shown every hour or so on the CNN channels. I just saw an interview with our congressman Phil Hare. I was very pleased to hear him talking about a bill he is sponsoring to greatly increase the amount of psychological counseling and other support for our soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

In my opinion one of biggest under-reported scandals of the Bush Administration is how little support they have provided to our returning military people who have suffered physical and psychological damage in war. Those of us who were around in the 1970s and 1980s remember the thousands of homeless Vietnam War veterans who were unable to productively return to peacetime society because they had been psychologically damaged by their wartime experiences.

There are reasons to believe that there are greater levels of damage being inflicted on our soldiers in Iraq than occured in Vietnam. Very few soldiers served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam and those who did return for a second tour volunteered to do so. Most of the soldiers being sent to Iraq are serving multiple tours, creating unprecedented levels of psychological pressure on the soldiers and their families. The Bush Administration has allocated far too few resources to healing the damage they have caused, exacerbating the problems we will face in the future.

As a society we will be paying for years to come for this misguided "war of choice." I am glad to hear that Phil Hare is on the case, trying to get the help they need to our soldiers and their families.

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