Author Topic: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?  (Read 3396 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2016, 11:29:07 AM »
Can someone tell me why, if we truly honor our vets, there have to be private organizations raising funds so they can get their homes made handicap accessible, service dogs, wheelchairs and other medical and psychological needs? This is an outrage.

That is one of the ways Americans honor our vets.  We actually come together and do it, rather than leave it to the federal government to take care of all the needs.

Yes, the VA has a part in that, one it needs to do better.  But no one big agency will ever be able to do it all, or always do it well as it should.

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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2016, 02:51:46 PM »
But even though current combat veterans are treated better and support systems exist to assist them, too many still fall through the cracks.

Some are so ashamed of what they did, or of what they have fallen into upon their return, that they deliberately refuse to avail themselves of the resources available.

We have an under-utilized Veteran's Treatment Court in this county, presided over by a Judge who also is a Lt. Col in the Reserves.  Too many who could use that service refuse, refuse even to self-identify as a veteran, because they believe that they have dishonored the service.
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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2016, 03:49:50 PM »

It is always appropriate to remember those who served. Especially on Veterans' Day (November 11).

But Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom by giving their lives. "All gave some. Some gave all."

     Perhaps; although I recently read an article that said the flag is flown at half staff until noon on Memorial Day to honor / remember those who died.  It is raised to full staff at noon to honor those who served. 

     My wife's great uncle went down on the submarine USS Lagarto which was sunk by the Japanese on 5 May 1945.  The wreckage was found just a few years ago in the Gulf of Thailand, which provided closure for my wife's grandfather.

     My father served as a medic in WWII in both the Africa Corps and in France. 

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Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2016, 05:21:51 PM »
But even though current combat veterans are treated better and support systems exist to assist them, too many still fall through the cracks.

Some are so ashamed of what they did, or of what they have fallen into upon their return, that they deliberately refuse to avail themselves of the resources available.

We have an under-utilized Veteran's Treatment Court in this county, presided over by a Judge who also is a Lt. Col in the Reserves.  Too many who could use that service refuse, refuse even to self-identify as a veteran, because they believe that they have dishonored the service.

Reaching out to veterans after they have left the military is very difficult if they choose not to avail themselves of the resources that are there. Prior to release from active duty, whether they are returning to civilian life or returning to the Reserve or National Guard, every warrior is evaluated. The problems often arise when, for example, the symptoms of PTSD do not present until months or years after discharge.

There is follow-up. I am a volunteer in the "Million Veteran Program" that follows up on our progress post-deployment (in my case, 4 deployments since 9/11). Notice that I said "volunteer" - I am not forced to participate and others may make the choice to not be a part of any such post-deployment care. They are, after all, free people.

One of the segments of the veteran population is the Reserves and National Guard. After release from active duty, they return to their civilian communities. Unlike active duty installations, these citizen-soldiers are not part of a community that understands what they and their families have gone through. My own children, for example, were the only children in their schools who had a father leave for deployment - their classmates and teachers were clueless. While my wife had strong community support from Concordia Theological Seminary. our parish and her family, she had to deal with my absence without others who shared her experience.

Nor are Reservists surrounded by other military people who have been taught how to watch out for each other when they return home. The same can be said for the active duty veteran who finishes his/her enlistment or retires. Now.....think what that means for a veteran and his or her family when late onset PTSD or other issues arise. Their neighbors and coworkers are not equipped to identify what is happening.  If they continue in the Reserve, as many do, they spend only 2 days a month with their fellow reservists and may not manifest symptoms over that short period.

The support systems are there for veterans. Getting them to connect with those systems is an on-going struggle. The VA is far from perfect but it does want to help. Other programs (like the "Yellow Ribbon Program") also reach out to veterans.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 05:23:34 PM by Daniel L. Gard »

DCharlton

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2016, 05:16:44 PM »
My great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel Young, fought at Kings Mountain.  Isaac Newton Charlton, the brother of my great-great-grandfather, died while serving in the Union Army.  My great-grandfather, Jacob von Dohlen, was in the Confederate Army and fought at Shiloh.  My father-in-law, William Clokey, served in the artillery in western Europe in WWII, including the Battle of the Bulge.   My uncle, Reuben Charlton, parachuted behind enemy lines in WWII. 
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2016, 09:45:35 PM »
These intense, personal stories have made this discussion "our finest hour". 

Thank you all for sharing.
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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2016, 10:30:21 PM »
My grandfather fought in WWI, my father was Army Air Corps in WWI, on Saipan. My uncle was a Marine and fought in Tarawa, Tinian, etc. One Japanese prisoner escaped and was coming into his tent while he was sleeping; he had found a large butcher knife. Another Marine came in as the knife was coming down and stopped the guy. Even in the 1960s my uncle could not handle someone who pulled a knife out of a kitchen drawer. My father-in-law fought in New Guinea, Philippines. He was also scheduled to be in the first wave into Japan. He did arrive just 2-3 days after the second bomb was dropped. Our neighbor (his daughter dated my younger brother) was a survivor of the Bataan Death March.

I served 9 years in Navy, but not combat. Our son served in Army and was involved in Blackhawk Down, as well as some other, less publicized action. Now his son is in the Air Force.

Most of them never talked about what happened, not even our son.
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Who Has A Relative Who Served In Military Combat?
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2016, 10:55:18 PM »
I mentioned before my great-great-grandfather, but my grandfather and my father both served. Both were very reticent about it. I discovered after his death that my father had received a bronze star. He served in the 10th Mountain Division, and was one of a fairly small group that saw action in both the Pacific  and European theaters (the Aleutian Islands and the Italian Alps). But he never talked about it. I never really asked; I often wonder if he would have talked about it if asked. My mother also served during WWII as an army nurse at Ft. Lewis WA. She always took great pleasure in the fact that during most of the war she had outranked my father (he eventually caught up; they weren't engaged at the time, so it was a retrospective thing). My grandfather fought in France in WWI; no idea of the details, but I remember as a child playing with a gas mask that he brought home from the war.
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