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Atrocities in Afghanistan

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As a policy, I try not to follow the news on the weekends because that is my relaxation time, my family time and “ignorance is bliss.” Once I return to the office, I cannot avoid news and the Monday morning headlines made my stomach turn. I am a veteran; and I proudly served for several years during the war, but the system is flawed. Due to this flawed system, there are sixteen innocent people dead.

Why do situations have to go so far before people realize there is a problem? Military medical care is absurd, more than half of patients are turned away because they are thought to be “malingering”. To those who do not know military speak, this means faking an injury to get out of duty. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have to go to the medical facilities for the same injuries several times before they are taken seriously for treatment. These people are volunteering their lives and rights (yes I said rights, we can’ t even discuss politics in open forums while enlisted…first amendment not withstanding), paid just enough to not qualify for welfare, made to work long hours and on shifts that make it impossible to have a regular sleep pattern. That is just for those who serve on the home front. Deployments are significantly worse.

This soldier murdered innocent families in their sleep, no provocation. Soldiers are supposed to be peacekeepers, protectors, and in this case liberators. It has not been determined as of yet if this was a deliberate act, or that of someone suffering from PTSD. Even if PTSD is what caused the incident, there are scans and tests to ensure that it is caught and treated. Deployments are hard on everyone and counseling/mental health checkups should be a mandatory part of a debriefing. If someone is suspected to be suffering from PTSD they should be assigned to a counselor and have extended counseling as well as conversations with family and colleagues. This is a serious enough problem with enough soldiers suffering to be cast aside anymore. Unfortunately in the case of this soldier, the world will have to wait and see if justice will be served and he gets the help he needs.

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