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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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"the War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans"



  • HadIt.com Elder


From: DON HOLLAND [mailto:donholland1@yahoo.com]

Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:00 AM


Subject: PROFOUND!!!!

Hey Shipmates, What a sad commentary on our experience serving our country!!!!!



"The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans"

Book Review by Luis Carlos Montalván

In January 2009 alone, 24 veterans of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide. The following month, the Army announced that there were 128 documented suicides in 2008, the highest number since it began keeping records in 1980.

When the subject of veterans' care is raised in most circles, people tend to think of the scandal at Walter Reed Hospital or of Soldiers and Marines returning home without limbs and/or with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Rarely, do they grasp the deeper problems facing veterans.

This ignorance, which is encouraged by Government agencies, explains why "The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans," will enflame readers' passions while enlightening their minds.

LUIS Carlos Montalvan

From the time of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the scrolls of Homer and Herodotus, literature's most memorable [chroniclers'] have been warriors. Indeed, humanity seems continually captivated by the paradox captured by Tolstoy's War and Peace. Tolstoy further reminded us:

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

The author of "The War Comes Home," Aaron Glantz...spent parts of three years covering the war in Iraq, does what no professional journalist has done heretofore - he chronicles combat from the bloody Middle Eastern battlefields to both the hospital beds where broken body parts lie and the living rooms where relationships are torn asunder as a hidden but real collateral damage of these wars. [Major Hanafin's note: Gerald Nicosia and B.G. Burkett wrote their diverse views of the Vietnam generation after the war not during the war thus igniting a debate and division among Veterans that continues today].

[Today] The effects on America's sons and daughters, their families and our society at large are meticulously detailed through Glantz's powerfully compelling yet simply rendered factual accounting. He explains how the government and its systems created the neglect behind the Walter Reed scandal as well as the outrage that is the Veterans Administration so-called health care system. In so doing, he appeals to our collective conscience.

One result amounts to an impassioned plea to the US government to wake up and undo the bureaucratic logjam that prevents wounded heroes from recovering. Glantz makes clear that the struggle begins the moment a service member returns home from the war zone. Veterans' readjustment to family, friends and society is often complicated or even sabotaged by the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Glantz discusses Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the signature wound of Mr. Bush's wars that ravages the once able-minded. Citing mind-boggling RAND Corporation data, he reminds us that more than 320,000 veterans have experienced TBI while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. And he reminds us that only when a returning soldier or Marine utters a cry for help does the fight really begin - against the unsympathetic and inhumane juggernauts of the Departments of Defense and Veterans' Affairs.

One of many personal stories woven into the narrative is that of Army Specialist Eric Edmondson. On October 2, 2005, while supporting a Marine Corps offensive near the Syrian border, his Stryker vehicle was struck by a terrorist-detonated Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Edmonson lost his right leg and his spleen to shrapnel. Eric's family had to put their own lives on hold in the effort to support their son by, as they put it, "trying to battle our way through the labyrinth of [VA] bureaucracy called government."

One of several trenchantly named chapters is "Homeless on the streets of America," so called because, according to records compiled by the VA and the National Council on Homeless Veterans, on any given night, nearly 200,000 veterans "sleep in a doorway, alley or box." Sad to say, most of these veterans served in Vietnam, but those of today's wars are steadily swelling the ranks of the homeless. [The Stolen Valor generation will deny the significance of this tragedy or downplay it].

Full light is thrown on the growing backlog of veterans' disability claims. Since the start of the Iraq War, such claims "have grown from 325,000 to more than 600,000," Glantz writes

To the everlasting shame of the previous administration and others inside the beltway, neither the VA nor the DOD has done anything to anticipate the future increase of veterans. Six years into Iraq and Afghanistan, the VA still fails to care adequately and appropriately for these men and women.

[Members of Congress recently contacted Veterans Today to request data on the number of VA Claims remaining in the backlog that should be readily available to them in the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, the VA, or one of their Congressionally chartered VSOs, question would still remain how accurate are the numbers at any given time. It would be safe to say that the number has doubled and I'd be generous given it is common knowledge our government leaders and the VA did not adequate prepare for WAR! Major Hanafin].

Glantz's monograph raises the quintessential question that has been repeated throughout history:

"Why is it that, generation after generation, Americans who've risked their lives for their country return to do battle with their own government?"

[Major Hanafin's comment: that is why the first thought that came to mind when reading Stolen Valor and Home to War about my generation was when is the next expose going to be written for a younger generation?]

The answer is elusive. But Glantz believes that when the media raise a veterans' issue, politicians are only temporarily stirred. Even then, it usually serves only to [belittle] the mistreatment of those who have sacrificed for their country. Shortly after, both press and politicians tend to revert to idle talk that leaves veterans to suffer anguish and frustration in silent anonymity.

Simply put, "The War Comes Home" is transfixing. What lies between the book's lines expresses simultaneous rage and sadness. For veterans who read the book, traumatic memories of fellow soldiers loved and lost may exacerbate physical and psychological wounds. So, be prepared to scream aloud, reach for the pills, or both. Mr. Glantz concludes by asking what he calls "the billion-dollar question":

Will the former administration's loathsome legacy mistreating millions of veterans continue, or will a new President's vision and promise bring forth the fulfillment of Abraham Lincoln's famous call

"...to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan"?

Only time and veterans will tell.

About the Author


Aaron Glantz, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in the Nation, the Progressive, and on Democracy Now!, is the author of How America Lost Iraq.

AARON GLANTZ photo courtesy of University of California TV

About the Reviewer


Former Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan served two tours in Iraq leading cavalry elements and advisory teams.

The War Comes Home is the first book to systematically document the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Aaron Glantz, who reported extensively from Iraq during the first three years of this war and has been reporting on the plight of veterans ever since, levels a devastating indictment against the Bush administration for its bald neglect of soldiers and its disingenuous reneging on their benefits. Glantz interviewed more than one hundred recent war veterans, and here he intersperses their haunting first-person accounts with investigations into specific concerns, such as the scandal at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This timely book does more than provide us with a personal connection to those whose service has cost them so dearly. It compels us to confront how America treats its veterans and to consider what kind of nation deifies its soldiers and then casts them off as damaged goods.

This exposé of the treatment meted out to American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is a breathtaking rebuke to government hypocrisy and an overdue contribution to gaining critical public awareness of this official neglect. Glantz, who covered the American occupation of Iraq, offers a thorough account of the plight U.S. vets face back home-from the understaffed Veterans Administration perversely geared to saving money at the expense of vets in dire need of help, to concomitant medical and social ills, including undiagnosed brain injuries and the too frequent perils of homelessness, crime and suicide. There is also grassroots resistance and mutual aid, including the eventual passage of the post 9/11 GI Bill of Rights in May 2008, fiercely opposed by the Bush administration and the Republican Congress (including John McCain). Glantz fleshes out his narrative with the voices and powerful stories of vets, their families and advocates, while helpfully including a host of resources and services for veterans. Glantz also places their experience in a longer, dismal history of government neglect, while backing up his assertion that the Bush administration has never been seriously interested in helping veterans with damning evidence.

Related Reviews

"A breathtaking rebuke to government hypocrisy and an overdue contribution to gaining critical public awareness of this official neglect."--Publishers Weekly

"Aaron Glantz puts himself at the forefront of those who are bringing this new generation of veterans into public view."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Does what no professional journalist has done heretofore. . . . Powerfully compelling yet simply rendered."--Huffingtonpost.com

From the Inside Flap

"One of the many scandals of the war in Iraq is how the administration has betrayed our returning servicemen. I'm grateful that the facts surrounding these tragedies are finally being exposed."--Paul Haggis, Academy-Award-winning director of Crash and In the Valley of Elah, screenwriter of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima

"A must-read for those who claim to support our troops."--Robert G. Gard, Lt. General, U.S. Army (ret.)

"The treatment by the Bush Administration of America's returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is one of the saddest chapters in American history. This story is painfully documented by Aaron Glantz. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make the phrase, 'Support the Troops,' more than a slogan."--Former US Senator Max Cleland

"A fitting tribute to what these men and women fought and risked their lives and well-being for."--Gerald Nicosia, author of Home to War [Way to go Gerald, Bobby Hanafin!]

"This superbly documented and eloquent book is a clarion call for honesty, compassion, outrage, and an end to the lies that cause so much suffering in far-off countries and in our own nation."--Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

"Aaron Glantz draws on his eyewitness experiences of reporting in Iraq to bring the courage and the suffering of our troops into vivid relief. The War Comes Home exposes how physical and mental injuries plague our returning servicemen and what we can do about it."--Linda Bilmes, coauthor of The Three Trillion Dollar War

"Weep, America, cringe, America. We talk a good game about honoring all those who go into harm's way for our sake and caring for those who get physically and psychologically broken, but do we go beyond fine words and a few gold-plated flagship medical facilities? Are we walking the walk? Are we getting it right? Aaron Glantz is in our face on the military treatment facilities, the VA, and civilian society at large."--Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America. MacArthur Fellow

"Aaron Glantz reports on the human cost of war, what it does physically and emotionally to those young men and women who carry out industrial slaughter. He rips apart the myths we tell ourselves about war and illustrates, in painful detail, the dark psychological holes that those who have been through war's trauma endure and will always endure. He reminds us that the essence of war is not glory, heroism, and honor but death."--Chris Hedges, former New York Times foreign correspondent, author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

"We should all be reading people like Greg Palast and Aaron Glantz."--Al Kennedy, The Guardian (UK)





"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:


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