HATE THE WAR, HONOR THE WARRIOR!
My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth. - George Washington
I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy. - James Longstreet
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
“It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils.” - Thomas Stonewall Jackson
What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. Duty is ours; consequences are God's. All I am and all I have is at the service of my country. - Thomas Stonewall Jackson
"Well, it is all over now. The battle is lost, and many of us are prisoners, many are dead, many wounded, bleeding and dying. Your Soldier lives and mourns and but for you, my darling, he would rather, a million times rather, be back there with his dead, to sleep for all time in an unknown grave." - Major General George Pickett, CSA, to his fiancée, July 4, 1863
What a cruel thing war is... to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors. - Robert E. Lee
"But out of that silence rose new sounds more appalling still; a strange ventriloquism, of which you could not locate the source, a smothered moan, as if a thousand discords were flowing together into a key-note weird, unearthly, terrible to hear and bear, yet startling with its nearness; the writhing concord broken by cries for help, some begging for a drop of water, some calling on God for pity; and some on friendly hands to finish what the enemy had so horribly begun; some with delirious, dreamy voices murmuring loved names, as if the dearest were bending over them; and underneath, all the time, the deep bass note from closed lips too hopeless, or too heroic to articulate their agony...It seemed best to bestow myself between two dead men among the many left there by earlier assaults, and to draw another crosswise for a pillow out of the trampled, blood-soaked sod, pulling the flap of his coat over my face to fend off the chilling winds, and still more chilling, the deep, many voiced moan that overspread the field." - Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: 20th Maine,
The men of the two armies fraternized as if they had been fighting for the same cause. When they passed out of the works they had so long and so gallantly defended, between the lines of their late antagonists, not a cheer went up, not a remark was made that would give pain. I believe there was a feeling of sadness among the Union soldiers at seeing the dejection of their late antagonists." -
Ulysses S. Grant, Chapter 38: Surrender of Vicksburg
18 veterans commit suicide each day. Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.
Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don’t succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months. The numbers, which come at a time when VA is strengthening its suicide prevention programs, show about 18 veteran suicides a day, about five by veterans who are receiving VA care. Access to care appears to be a key factor, officials said, noting that once a veteran is inside the VA care program, screening programs are in place to identify those with problems, and special efforts are made to track those considered at high risk, such as monitoring whether they are keeping appointments. A key part of the new data shows the suicide rate is lower for veterans aged 18 to 29 who are using VA health care services than those who are not. That leads VA officials to believe that about 250 lives have been saved each year as a result of VA treatment. VA’s suicide hotline has been receiving about 10,000 calls a month from current and former service members. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Service members and veterans should push 1 for veterans’ services.
http://veteranscrisisline.net/ Welcome to the Veterans Crisis Line Website The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advis...807254324.aspx Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK) Provides Vital Help to More Than 55,000 Callers in Its First Year
First-of-a-kind hotline launched by two government agencies proves successful in providing specialized help to thousands of veterans in crisis.
The Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), has provided immediate, often life-saving, help to tens of thousands of veterans and their loved ones during the year since its inception. Over 22,000 calls have come directly from veterans, with the remainder coming from others seeking help for veterans who are family members or friends. The hotline was launched last summer as a collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to meet the special needs of veterans who are in personal crisis. The hotline has proven to be a particularly valuable resource not only for veterans at risk of suicide, but also for family members and friends who are trying to help them. Indeed, many of the calls into the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline over the past year have been from family members and friends who are concerned about the welfare of a veteran they love.
http://vsf-usa.org/homeless.html The West Haven site for the Veterans Support Foundation/Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund Homeless Veterans housing Program continues to work hand in hand with the partnership of the VA Connecticut Health Care System in providing both permanent and temporary housing for veterans who are actively engaged in outpatient treatment. The goal is to assist the veteran to find stable and permanent housing in the community. The housing program offers 36 beds, 12 for permanent residence and 18 beds for veterans who are attempting to make positive changes in their lives
Garry Trudeau: 'Hate the war, honor the warrior'
CARTOON WITH A CONSCIENCE
In the banquet room were men who were blind, men with burns, men with gouges, men missing an arm, men missing a leg, men missing an arm and a leg, men missing an arm and both legs, men missing parts of their faces, and a cartoonist from the funny pages.
We were at a steakhouse just a few blocks from the White House. The restaurant was hosting a night out for casualties of the current war, visiting from their hospital wards.
It's hard to know what to say to a grievously injured person, and it's easy to be wrong. Garry Trudeau, the creator of Doonesbury, hunkered right down in front of a soldier, eye to eye, introduced himself and proceeded to ignore every single diplomatic nicety.
"So, when were you hit?" he asked.
Trudeau pivoted his body. "So you took the blast on, what ... this side?"
Brian Anderson, 25, was in shorts, a look favored by most of the amputees, who tend to wear their new prostheses like combat medals. His legs are metal and plastic, blue and knobby at the knee, shin poles culminating abruptly in sneakers.
Trudeau surveyed Brian's intact arm. "You've got dots."
"Yeah." Dots are soldier-speak for little beads of shrapnel buried under the skin. Sometimes they take a lifetime to work their way back to the surface. At this, Brian became fully engaged and animated, smiling and talking about the improvised explosive device that took his vehicle out; about his rescue; his recovery; his plans for the future. Trudeau, it turned out, had given him what he needed.
("In these soldiers' minds," Trudeau will explain afterward, "their whole identity, who they are right now, is what happened to them. They want to tell the story, they want to be asked about it, and you're honoring them by listening. The more they revisit it, the less power it has over them.")