On June 6, the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the Watertown Times printed an op-ed by retired Colonel Michael T. Plummer, former chief of staff and assistant division commander for Fort Drums 10th Mountain Division.
Plummer decried the sad state of affairs we in Veterans For Peace have been warning the Times readers about, that the Wounded Warrior Project and other efforts to keep our promises to our military have to rely on volunteer donations to exist at all charity, not justice.
Other Times items and a Channel 7 news piece have noted shortages of volunteer Disabled American Veterans (DAV) drivers taking veteran patients for medical care, some north country drivers being stretched almost to the limits of fatigue and safety. My own weekly Watertown to Syracuse Veterans Hospital run looks like a piece of cake compared to the Massena drivers.
The point is, Veterans For Peace members have consistently warned of the consequences of war these past 10 years, in regular letters to the Times. And now our local paper has recently reported that half 50 percent of military members currently being discharged are applying for medical and/or psychiatric disability.
Ignoring the impact of repeated combat tours far exceeding the Vietnam era, we will reap what we sow, a tide of American war victims doing financially to us what the tsunami did to Japan. Reversing PTSD diagnoses was a shameful attempt to stem this tide.
Col. Plummer warns of a postwar letdown in military spending, including caring for veterans. It would appear, however, that far too many politicians and chiefs of staff have a plan to prevent postwar letdown: endless war. They ignore the wisdom that a nation that cant care for its veterans, needs to stop making more veterans. Many of our leaders now beat the drum for attacking Syria, Iran, etc.
We think we can make war allies in a region of the world where the doctor who helped us find Osama bin Laden, got 33 years in prison from our ally, his own country, Pakistan. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that insanity is trying the same thing again, expecting different results.
Roland Van Deusen