U.S. Army: 0 — Internet: 1

28.05.2019 - US, United States - David Swanson

U.S. Army: 0 — Internet: 1
Annual Veterans For Peace Chapter 34 Memorial Day Observance in Battery Park, in front of the East Coast Memorial on the waterfront, near the Statue of Liberty Ferry. (Image by David Andersson)

By David Swanson

The U.S. Army tweeted a harmless rah-rah tweet and got hit with a burst of reality never encountered on corporate-controlled media. Score one for the internet.

The Army asked: “How has serving impacted you?”

Here’s a tiny sample of the responses:

 5 hours ago
Replying to 
I lost my virginity by being raped in front of my peers at 19. Got married to a nice guy who was part of my unit. He was in the invasion of Iraq. Came home a changed man who beat the shit out of me. He’s convinced y’all are stalking him and he’s homeless so great job there!

 58 minutes ago
Replying to 
My sweet friend David can’t answer you. He committed suicide a few years ago after a couple tours of Afghanistan. 

 5 hours ago
Replying to 
The strain of my deployment was too much for my wife to bear. She committed suicide in our home when I had just one month left. When my mental state deteriorated, I was sent to counseling so my COC could check off a box and say “they did everything they could”. (1/2) 
I turned to alcohol and other vices. I begged to be sent to any other unit in a different state, just needing a change of scenery. Instead, I was demoted and discharged. Dumped like a bag of trash when I had at one time shown great promise as a leader and soldier.(2/2)

 5 hours ago
Replying to 
My wife walked in the garage and found me hanging from an extension cord. What’s worse she had to lift me up, cut the cord and resuscitate me all while screaming for help. My black ass is 6ft 245 pounds and she is 5’2 130 pounds. But hey at least I got to shoot some cool shit.

 5 hours ago
Replying to 
a friend’s father, 20 years after Vietnam, was still managing massive ptsd, and would have nightmares so big that he’d wake us up convinced we were under attack. he called us by names of his former unit soldiers and would cry when we told him about it.

 4 hours ago
Replying to 
My grandfather served in Vietnam. When I was 6, he shot himself in the head because of his depression and PTSD. I never got to learn who he was because of you.

 1 hour ago
My mom served at ft. McClellan and is still suffering from being poisoned to this day.

 4 hours ago
Replying to 
I am a Navy vet, I was a happy person before I served, now I am broke apart, cant even work a full 30 days due to anxiety and depression, i have Fibromyalgia and nobody understands because I am a guy. I am in constant pain everyday. And I think about killing myself daily……..

 12 hours ago
Replying to 
My grandparents were used as pawns serving the US army in aiding them on the Ho Chi Minh trail. They served in The Secret War, and when the US lost the Vietnam war the Hmong were left to die in genocide. To this day Hmong veterans are not recognized by the US army.
More than half of my people were wiped out through genocide. Only about a third of what once was the Hmong population are scattered in diaspora around the world. Many in the US who deal with PTSD through alcoholism, abuse, and addiction to opium.
And the children are left to pick up the pieces and navigate a delicate past, present, and future for the years to come while inheriting intergenerational trauma.

 4 hours ago
Replying to 
My step-dad served as a sniper and still has ptsd from it. From a young age I learned not to touch him if he’s sleeping because he might lash out and hit me. When we go to restaurants we have to sit so that he can see the door, He still won’t talk about it

 3 hours ago
Replying to 
I have a friend whose father was a military doctor in Iraq .He has since retired to the UK now on antidepressants n screams at night, says he sees mutilated bodies of Iraqi children in his nightmares. Despite being a Moslem he drinks a bottle a night to keep the demons at bay.

 5 hours ago
Replying to 
My dad has PTSD and is now suffering through chemo cuz of the shit he was exposed to in the gulf war. The VA is making it impossible for him to get benefits even though 1/3 of the vets from that war have weird health issues; too many for it to be a coincidence.

 1 hour ago
Replying to 
My brother came back from Iraq a broken alcoholic who has disowned us as a family and has retroactively blamed my poor mother for the horrible things that have happened to him. Every Mother’s day all she wishes for is for him to reach out again. Haven’t heard from him in years.

 1 hour ago
Replying to 
i watched my coworker work a 12 hour shift through panic attacks due to ptsd on the fourth of july (fireworks) bc he couldn’t afford to give his shift up due to the VA cutting his benefits and not helping to pay for his insulin (have you seen insulin prices lately?)

 1 hour ago
Replying to 
My son has horrible night terrors now. He woke up choking his wife because he thought she was attacking him. They divorced shortly after that. He has a TBI. He has compression fractures in his back that are due to having the wrong body armor for the conditions. The VA is a joke

My husband, at 24, now has permanent brain damage and had to be medically separated because a US Army doctor refused to give him an EEG after his incident. Even though we begged for it.

 16 minutes ago
Replying to 
My next door neighbor enlisted in the Marines after high school and served in Iraq. He insisted he had been exposed to chemicals that resulted in permanent disability yet couldn’t get any treatment from the VA, PTSD, addiction and alcoholism. He died from alcohol last year at 43

There are thousands more just like these. I tweeted:

 10 hours ago
Replying to 
When this is what the people you claim all the wars are to “support” have to say, I’m betting you’re not going to start a thread for people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Libya to explain to you how grateful they are for being bombed.

Perhaps this information from DoNotEnlist.com will be appropriate:

Here’s a one-minute self-assessment on your suitability for a military career:

Would you enjoy risking your life for what U.S. military commanders often describe as counter-productive missions or pointless “muddling along“?

Do you appreciate being yelled at and senselessly abused?

While your friends might be getting regular jobs and enjoying the good life, maybe getting married and having kiddies, you’ll be living in a barracks with sergeants yelling at you, busting your gut in strenuous training. Sound good?

How do you feel about dramatically increased risk of sexual assault?

How do you feel about dramatically increased risk of suicide?

Soldiers must expect to carry 120 pounds for long distances and up hills, so back injuries are plentiful, along with the life-limiting dangers of combat training, inlcuding from the testing of weaponry and chemicals. Sound appealing?

Does the idea of physical injury or death in some country far away where the citizens who are unhappy with your presence shoot at you or blow off your legs with a roadside bomb encourage you to enlist?

Do you long for traumatic brain injury or PTSD or moral guilt, or all three?

Expect to see the world? You’re more likely to see a tent on the dirt in some place too dangerous to explore because the people do not want you there.

How will you feel if you start out believing you’re serving some noble cause and realize half-way through that you’re just making a few greedy people rich?

We hope that this short self-assessment has been helpful to you in making an important life choice.

Think about Section 9-b of the Enlistment/Reenlistment Contractbefore you sign it:
“Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document.”

In other words, it’s a one-way contract. They can change it. You cannot.

Categories: Human Rights, North America, Peace and Disarmament
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