Thursday, January 17, 2013




So, Russell comments on my post from the fifteenth.
45% of the 1.6 million Afghanistan/Iraq veterans are claiming compensation for injuries, versus 21% of Gulf War vets. They are also claiming far more injuries (10+) than earlier vets - although that may be an effort to make a lot of "minor" injuries add up to enough to count as disability.
I get thinking.  The bare stats that Russell cites seems to be a critique of the current crop of discharged vets, a subtle slam that they are trying to "milk" the system to a greater degree than the vets of the past.

OK, this is the longest time period that troops have ever been deployed.  The nature of the Army is different, no longer a draftee army doing a single tour and then back to the world, but a volunteer army doing multiple deployments under a single enlistment.

So more folks are asking for disabilities?  Yes, I would imagine that it is true and fair.

Every time you go to see the elephant, you start from zero and go into another, discrete probability space where you can get fucked up.  Each discrete tour adds to the overall possibility you will get fucked up.  Training fucks you up.  The military uses people like a person with a cold uses kleenex.

So, we have been abusing the hell out of these kids and then are surprised when they come back damaged.  I remember one of the reasons we stayed in that shithole Iraq as long as we did is the oh-so-moral "you break it, you buy it" rule.

So why is that not the case with veterans?

1 comment:

russell1200 said...

Given the very short time period involved, I took it to mean that they preferred not to starve and that disability was the most functional type of welfare available.

You would have to know what the breakdown on troop types are counted to know if there is much of an arguement in the stress department. Typically U.S. combat units have had a very small number of frontline troops compared to the overall unit size. That has been true since at least WW2. Remember the typical U.S. operational plans have been to big really big bases that are invulnerable to anything other than the occassional harrasment and to send out combat patrols from said enormous bases. I knew a helicopter pilot who was stationed at one of these bases. It wasn't fun to be in one, but it is the ones that leave the compound that are getting shot up, not the supply clerks and helicopter pilots.