May 27, 2016 — Millions of Americans would agree that since 1788 when our U.S. Constitution was ratified and theoretically became the ‘law of the land’ that as a nation we’ve engaged in a surfeit of war type activities and for the most part we’ve done so without, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, a formal Declaration of War by our elected representatives. On that note, arguably, our first official pronouncement of war was likely our Declaration of Independence in 1776 and with that we declared war on our lineage. And what does all that have to do with the Land of Time? Glad you asked.
So Here’s The Scoop: Since our Nation’s founding, be it a huge horrific war like WWI or that bloody 1983 scrap in Grenada named “Operation Urgent Fury” that lasted a handful of weeks, many respected sources say the United States has been in some sort of a military conflict for at least 200 of the last 240 years. If you don’t believe that then google (e.g.): U.S. military engagements history – and see for yourself.
And here is something else to ponder: As most remember about 3,000 people died during the attacks of 9/11, and the nation (and much of the world) was enraged and wanted revenge to the extent that in the U.S. we not only allowed our political leaders to spend more than a trillion dollars to prevent another catastrophic assault we also went so far as to allow them, I believe, to breach some of our constitutional rights to accomplish the task at hand.
Had the Government failed and another attack of the same scale happened say 5 or 6 months after 9/11 we would have been even more furious and demanded that our elected representatives do whatever else it takes, maybe even imposing martial law, to prevent another slaughter of our people.
If they did so and yet another 5 or 6 months passed and a 3rd attack similar in scale to 9/11 occurred I believe the American people, from all walks of life and political alliances, would have taken to the streets by the millions protesting and we would have also started tossing the ‘ruling class’ out of their elected offices for failing to protect us.
And if that didn’t work and another 5 or 6 months later there was a 4th assault on the U.S. equal in size to the original 9/11 — well, I don’t know what we would have done but I’m thinking things would have been downright ugly, possibly including a full scale military retaliation launching of what could have become WWIII.
Many nations have been involved in this war on terror for a very long time and thanks to all the very hard-working and dedicated civilian and military personnel, we didn’t have a 2nd, 3rd or 4th 9/11 attack of that magnitude in the U.S.
However during that time something most Americans don’t know is that 22 U.S. Veterans take their own lives every day. That’s a rate 50% higher than the civilian population, equaling an annual suicide rate of 8,030 U.S. Vets who needed to end their memories, their nightmares, their pain, their flash-backs, their suffering, their PTS, their torment and their survivor’s guilt, etc.
To put that in perspective, using the current Veteran suicide rate over just the past 10 years the total may be up to or more than 80,300 American War Veterans and counting that have taken their own lives – a death toll, wait for it – equal to almost 27 individual 9/11 attacks within the United States of America.
Which begs this critically important question: What would we do as Americans, for example, if our nation endured not one 9/11 attack but 27 (nearly 3 a year) over the last 10 years of the same enormity and death toll as the original 9/11?
That’s sort of a rhetorical question but I’m not hearing a roar from the America people about the war-related carnage among our Veteran population once they return from the front lines nor from our political leaders, most of whom never wore the uniform a single day in their lives.
The silence about Veteran suicides is deafening and as a great nation, supposedly with a conscience, I believe we ought to be ashamed of ourselves as we go about our daily activities while mostly choosing to be oblivious or silent to the plight of so many U.S. Veterans.
For the record, since our founding days more than 1 Million Americans have been KIA (killed in action) serving the people of The United States and other people around the world.
If you research all those wars and add to the mix all the severely WIA’s (wounded in action), all the MIA’s (missing in action), all the suicides plus all the ruined futures of those and their families who survived war but could not readjust to civilian life the real number is many millions more.
Sadly, during this long Memorial Weekend another 88 U.S. Veterans will take their own lives, or likely even more because of the nature of the so-called ‘holiday’. And as tragic as suicide is for anyone so hopeless and desperate the ugly truth is that the majority of suicides among the veteran population is in direct proportion to the horrendous realities of the warfare we had them face on behalf of you, me and our nation.
So this year during the (e.g.) backyard B-B-Q with family and friends take a moment and really give some thought to those 80,300 Vets who committed suicide in the last ten years and while you’re at it ponder how their death toll equals about 27 separate 9/11 attacks over the same time span.
And if you find that as intolerable and unacceptable as I do then I’m asking all of you in ‘the biz’, including the timeshare owners/members reading this, to do what I myself have done this week.
Take a couple of minutes, get online, contact your elected officials, point out the same 9’11 analogy I presented herein and insist they immediately do whatever it takes, NOW, to stop the needless loss of life among our children, our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our aunts, our uncles, our moms, our dads and friends as well the Vets we never met living somewhere, sometimes homeless, on ‘Main Street’ USA.
Good Luck Out There
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