Disservice to the Service

We have done a huge disservice to this country’s service men and women. We have not followed through with our promises to take care of their needs in exchange for their sacrifices in service to this country. We have denied them the things that matter most. The most recent victim of the failures of our government is Eddie Ray Routh.

We can set aside the fact that while he was found guilty, the victims AND the accused’s doctors knew he had mental problems. We can set aside that by legal standards, he is not considered insane. What we should be focusing on is the fact that he did have problems that had been recognized by those who knew him. It’s been said that Chris Kyle had called him ‘nuts’. So if Chris Kyle knew this, why was he taking him to a gun range? Why is it acceptable in this society to know someone is mentally unstable but consider it okay to put him in the general vicinity of loaded weapons? Why has it been vehemently defended that the mentally ill should still be allowed access to weapons? And why are soldiers who suffer from PTSD and have been diagnosed as having it still allowed access to weapons?

We live in a world where the loudest defenders of the “right to bear arms” claim to be the ones who “support our troops” yet support the very politicians who while standing behind the NRA and the “right to bear arms”, cut the very programs that help our troops most. Why aren’t we calling out the hypocrisy?

My home state of Georgia is known for its lax gun laws. Especially for its recent guns everywhere law which allows anyone with a license to carry, to carry anywhere regardless. It even allows for carrying in an establishment that posts that they don’t allow guns. It’s just suggested that carriers respect the business owner’s wishes. Only if the business owner requests that you leave their establishment and you refuse do you then violate a Georgia law, that of criminal trespass. Georgia also has no law requiring a background check for a private gun sale. So you can essentially buy any gun from any individual in the state without having them run your history neither medical nor legal. You can also SELL a gun in Georgia to anyone you wish to sell to. Gun enthusiasts throughout the country know this. Kind of makes me wonder how many people come here just to sell guns. (http://www.georgiacarry.org/cms/georgias-carry-laws-explained/frequently-asked-questions/)

I address these laws simply because with all the military bases in Georgia and all the soldiers discharged from the military with PTSD issues, they all have spent time here and know about Georgia’s laws. Many of them have already been diagnosed with PTSD. We KNOW what the symptoms are and we know they need help, yet our Congress keeps trying to cut the budget for programs to help these soldiers worse than they already have. They have to fight a whole new battle with paperwork and bureaucratic bullshit to get the help they need. This is help they were promised when they signed up. While denying these soldiers the help they need, they are increasing the Pentagon’s budget. So where’s the money going? Not to the soldiers and their families, and not to our veterans. In September 2013, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $226,702,989 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract in order to build The Global Hawk Block 30 drone, The C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft, upgrades to the M1 Abrams tank, and several other projects that the U. S. Military says it doesn’t need nor want, but Congress insisted on the contract anyway. That’s Congress, not the President. That’s a lot of money to blow on something the military doesn’t want that could be spent on veterans to improve both their medical care and their access to that medical care. (http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=5143 , http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/20/congress-pushes-for-weapons-pentagon-didnt-want.html )

This is just one example of unnecessary spending that could be put to better use. The excuse they often use is that to not keep the contracts with Northrup Grummen would kill jobs, but wouldn’t opening new veteran’s medical facilities and staffing them also create jobs that are much needed as well? Could that not very much benefit the same communities without creating un-necessary weapons for use in unnecessary wars to make more money for these companies that just keep repeating the same cycle that creates more military veterans who need our help? The very same help they were promised when they signed up? Not to mention getting them the care they need would create a much safer environment for these communities and help these soldiers re-adjust to civilian life.

Instead, the evils that men do avalanche to our own communities and put more people in harm’s way that did not sign up for it.