Lest Memorial Day Pass By Unmentioned

Comments

1
"This mobile, portable, flyable ICU is (in part) why so many fewer have suffered the ultimate price for our most recent wars."

You obviously mean "so many fewer American citizens" have suffered the ultimate price for our most recent wars. Please don't discount non-American lives by not including them in your all-inclusive statement.

Violently killed in Iraq since 2003: At least 95,000 - likely many more
Killed in Afghanistan since 2001: At least 40,000 - likely many more

The vast majority of those dead didn't have the right passport to access flyable ICU's.
2
As a critical care nurse myself, I don't find this all that amazing. The technology and expertise for such a thing exists outside the military (not to take anything away from their deployment of it), there's just not much call for it. The truly amazing work to me is in the furtherance of physical rehab and artificial limbs, though the need for it makes me sick. Further making me ill is the military's terrible-to-the-point-of-negligence record on mental health services.
3
The news always features some rather well off family now taking care of their formerly Lacrosse playing now vegetabllized son. What about the vast majority of victims who are poor and who's saved lives produce simply another burden on their poor families. What is being done for them? I'm sick of seeing rich parents in denial about their vegetable sons. Let's see some honest stories about the cost of these stupid imperialist offensives on the poor people of this country who are bearing the brunt of the costs in the worst possible way, in spite of what little the best medical technology can do for someone blown up along an Afghani or Iraqi road.
4
Just what is the "ultimate price"?

Frank and Jackie got married in 1950. He was a young butcher, she was just out of high school. They were from the same neighborhood in south Chicago, everyone agreed they were the perfect match. He was a sweet gentle boy,she was the prettiest girl in her class at St. Jerome's - known for her sense of humor and her roller skating prowess.

The Korean War was just starting and Frank was called up. He went in the army, and Jackie sent him a silkscreen of her picture. He was deployed overseas.

His unit was ambushed. It was a bloodbath, and Frank was shot in the gut. He faked his own death and lay among his fallen comrades for two days before being rescued when the area was regained by the American soldiers.

He recovered physically, and returned to the US, but something was wrong: He didn't want to talk about it, but he had horrible dreams. He couldn't hold a job. He and Jackie had one son, followed by another. But that didn't help. He started drinking more, and the bills we piling up. Jackie took a job, which made the financial situation better, but seemed to make Frank's mental state worse. One night, in a drunken rage, he beat Jackie up.

Jackie was a strong woman. She left Frank. Her mother couldn't understand it. The women of her church shunned her. The nuns at her children's school - her alma mater - ostracized the kids. But she knew she couldn't live there anymore.

When he wouldn't pay child support, Jackie sued him. He showed up in the courtroom and had seizures. His health was failing, no one could tell if the seizures were real. In any event, the child support went unpaid.

He met another young girl and married her. They had four kids, but he still couldn't hold a job. He won the lottery, blew through it, and was left destitute. The family struggled, one of the girls ran away with a thirty year old man, one of the boys developed a drinking problem and started living on the street.

Meanwhile, Jackie struggled to provide for her two boys, and worked hard, becoming a manager for Holiday Inn. Frank constantly told the boys how "that bitch" had ruined his life. The oldest boy turned to drugs and became an addict.

Jackie developed cancer and died at 62. Her oldest son died in a charity ward of a hospital soon after. Frank died of the cumulative effects of alcoholism at 72, calling for Jackie as he died.

Everyone remembers the soldiers who laid down their lives, and I would never take away from that - their deaths are tragic and heroic and deserving of remembrance. But what about the thousands who return home, struggle with trauma, and quietly wreak havoc? The collaterally damaged: Where's the memorial for them?
5
In an earlier era, before these impressive medical and logistical heroics, a lot of these people would have died. Now they technically survive, long enough to be evacuated from the war theatre and their subsequent misery (or even death) is not counted as a war-death. A cynical person would just say this is a way of dressing the numbers. After all these expensive miserable groundless wars, I get cynical quite often.
6
@5: Having the fortune to know several wounded vets who were saved by military medicine and are actually _not_ in misery and enjoying their lives with their families, I cordially invite you to fuck off.
7
And now let me apply heroic grammar medicine to my prior post: "...are actually _not_ in misery and who are enjoying their lives..."
8
How about that? And with Obama's increasing fondness for drone and robot warfare, ever fewer of our people will ever have to die in a war, making it easier for us to, you know, go to war.
9
Damn, Catalina.
10
Great, a bunch of Sloggers who think 'sacrifice' means not getting a reach-around, talking about military men and women.
11
@ 4. Wow. Thank you for adding this perspective. You made me change my whole comment up!
12
@1
Saddam killed over 600,000 civilians during his 24 years terrorizing Iraq. Plus 500,000 killed in his war of aggreression against Iran.
That is 125 civilians murdered each and every day for 24 years. Not including war dead.

Liberals never mourn the dead victims of dictators....

(ps most of the 95,000 have been killed by other Iraqis...)
13
@12: Remember that it was the Republican administrations who supported Saddam, including selling him bioweapons. And remember, Reagan went against what Congress had decided so that he could support Iran as well.
You think we're hypocrites for being against the war in Iraq? YOU BASTARDS MADE THE PROBLEM!