Shame On The American Public
The Truth Is, Americans Don't Support The Troops
by James Glaser
November 18, 2008

Let's get this straight, I don't care how many American flags you fly, how many yellow ribbons you tie around your old oak tree, or how much you plaster your car with the magnetic ribbons, America and Americans do not support the troops and have not supported the troops since the troops came home from World War II.

Ask any Veteran from the Korean War, Vietnam, or the First Gulf War how they were treated when they came home. Many Korean War veterans are still bitter about their treatment by the American people, and when I came home from Vietnam, many of my fellow vets were branded as crazy.

But like the Korean veterans, Vietnam veterans learned to live with the brand American society put on them. The veterans who really got screwed by the American people and the American government were those who served in the first Gulf War.

America wanted to win a war so badly, that they would do anything they could to say that we went over there and "kicked ass." No body wanted to talk about casualties. In fact it was touted that we had very few casualties while we decimated the Iraqi Army. The truth is that over 175,000 of our troops returned home with life long debilitating illnesses from their time in that war zone.

Here is a little story of how our returning troops were treated by the Pentagon, the Veterans Administration, and the American people. This was back in the early 1990's just after the Gulf War, and I was going to an appointment at the Phoenix, Arizona Veterans Hospital. In the waiting room were about one hundred young men in wheel chairs waiting to be seen. I learned from them that they were all in the same unit in the Gulf War, and that they were all very sick. Many could no longer walk, all look thin and emaciated. What really got to me was that many of these young men were being pushed around in their wheel chairs by their parents.

Come to find out, everyone had the same complaint—persistent headaches, terrible fatigue, and pains all over their body. The VA told these guys that all these symptoms were just in their heads, and nothing was wrong with them. A few days later there was a story in the Phoenix paper about these sick vets, and that was it. Other than fellow veterans, nobody stood up for these American troops. The American people had their "Win" and they didn't want to believe that over 25% or the troops in this short war were permanently disabled. With casualties like that a country could start to believe that we lost that war, and nobody wanted to think that.

Yesterday, a report came out on Gulf War Illness, but did you see it in the national media? NO! Like the American people, our national media doesn't care about our troops, especially when the truth might put a black mark on the only war we can claim we have won since the big one—WWII. Here is a bit from the story run yesterday by the Rome News Tribune. That would be Rome, Georgia.

WASHINGTON—At least one in four U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffers from a multi-symptom illness caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during the conflict, a congressionally mandated report being released Monday found.
For much of the past 17 years, government officials have maintained that these veterans—more than 175,000 out of about 697,000 deployed—are merely suffering the effects of wartime stress, even as more have come forward recently with severe ailments.
"The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that 'Gulf War illness' is real, that it is the result of neurotoxic exposures during Gulf War deployment, and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time," said the report, being released Monday by a panel of scientists and veterans.

For years tens of thousands American veterans have been suffering, and there was no public outcry. Why, because the only way the American public supports American troops is with magnetic bumper stickers. Yep, magnetic. That way their paint doesn't get damaged by the adhesive of the permanent bumper stickers. Oh yes, real statement of support there. The troops come home, and they are soon forgotten. Once in a while there will be a story about all the homeless veterans out on the streets, but other than other veterans, there is nobody that cares to give them any help.

Here is another example of how the American people honor their veterans. Here in Tallahassee they had a Veterans Day Dinner at a local buffet restaurant for any American veteran. Who Put this on? Not the American public. No, it was put on by the Disabled American Veterans, a veteran service organization. This was a dinner honoring veterans put on by veterans, because the American public really doesn't care about their troops.

All of this is very sad, but it is also the truth. Another truth: If you look around, there aren't even many "Support the Troops" bumper stickers any more. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have lasted too long, and Americans only like to support winners.

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