A really tragic and saddening story coming out of Colorado Springs this last week:
Army Spc. Kevin Shields was murdered near Fort Carson, Colo., in December after being sent home with a traumatic brain injury. The three soldiers charged with the crime all served with Shields in Iraq.
: NPR Programs: Morning Edition
It sounds like a number of issues are going on here:
1.We are short on enlistment numbers and are taking in ‘questionable’ to make up for it.
2.We have become a war hungry nation and its becoming a mindset.
3.We aren’t taking care of our Veterans or their medical conditions.
On the first point it sounds like the suspects in this case have shown a long time history of violent and racist activities. In other words we are taking potential criminals and training them to be killers. This can never be a good situation. This all goes back to our enlistment numbers dropping to their lowest levels in decades. The politicians are oblivious to this fact as a key indicator that the Iraq War is an unpopular war and that is why no one is signing up. I will die to defend my country, but I will not die for a false idea that by invading another country we are ‘bringing them democracy’. Now we are stuck in this war for many reasons that I wont go into here, and we have to fill our ranks with whomever we can get.
On the second point there is a fundamental change that occurs when you live in a society that accepts our Military forces invading and occupying a foreign country. Ask anyone about the war in Iraq and depending on the time of day you will get totally different answers. One one hand they will think of 9/11, which the politicians and the Media have cemented into our psyche as being tied to Iraq. So you will get the patriot who translates our occupation there as defending the country. On the other hand they will think about all the civilians that have died there since we arrived. This will create one of two results: In an adjusted socially conforming individual the result is sympathy and sadness. In a borderline criminal individual this creates a justification for everything they have ever thought of doing. Add military training to the second individuals repetoir and you have the makings of some bad situations.
On the third point we are seeing a largest number of injured solders come back home from any war, ever. This has completely overloaded our VA as evidenced from the report just last week that the VA is actively denying help to solders who need it. This creates a few outcomes, most notably a feeling of disenfranchisement and the fact that we have trained killers with head injuries walking around in public drinking and carrying firearms.
If you want a peek at the generation that is coming out of this war please go read this story.
Iraq Vets Charged with Murder of Fellow Soldier