Monday, June 07, 2010

The suffering of the military families and the stupidity of the press

The story of war is not just about combat on the battlefield. It's also about the families that remain behind to fight their own private battles.
It's the story of Aimee Ybarra, a mother of two grade-school children, whose husband came home after his fifth combat tour and told her he wanted to leave their 15-year marriage because he had gotten used to being gone. It's the story of Lisa Bernreuther, who's steeling herself for her husband's sixth deployment; he's only been home from his last tour since April. She keeps his Army boots by the door, she says, "because sometimes I forget I even have a husband."
And it's the story of Gwendolyn Roberts, a bright, outgoing sixth-grader and "Daddy's girl." When her father left for war for the third time in five years, the spark went out of her and she tumbled into severe depression.

The above is from David Tarrant (text) and Sonya N. Hebert (photos)'s "Military families face private battles as loved ones are sent to war" (Dallas Morning News) which announces a new series of reports the paper will be doing over the coming months on military suicides, on the stress deployments have on children and spouses and on the family's adjustment to caregiver roles. The first in the series by Tarrant and Hebert is "Texas' 100,000 military kids stuffer during parents' long deployments" which focuses on children like Gwendolyn Roberts whose father started his first of three deployments when she was four-years-old:

With more than 20 years of military service, Glenn Roberts was eligible to retire. He had promised Gwendolyn he would do so by the time she turned 11. But he still had one last tour to complete. This deployment was extra hard on the family because there was a newborn in the house. Gwendolyn's younger brother was named Glenn after his father.
A friend told Martha Roberts about the free counseling offered for Fort Hood families at Military Homefront Services. Gwendolyn started seeing a therapist there in summer 2008, about halfway through her father's deployment.
Gwendolyn talked about her fears to her counselor. Drawing became part of her therapy, another way to express her feelings. She mailed many of her drawings to her father – "pictures of me and him holding hands," she said.

Meanwhile Tom Vanden Brooks (USA Today) reports on the increase in sleeping disorders among veterans, "More than 63,000 veterans receive benefits for sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a sleeping person to gasp for breath and awaken frequently. It is linked to problems ranging from daytime drowsiness to heart disease. The top risk factor for contracting the disorder appears to be obesity, though a sleep expert at the VA and a veteran's advocacy organization cite troops' exposure to dust and smoke in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq as contributing factors."

File it under "Because They're Stupid." Waterdown Daily Times has always been a cess pool and occasionally it contaminates the local population but mainly they long ago learned to shrug it off. Today the editorial board flaunts that up-is-down,red-is-blue psychosis it is so very infamous for in an editorial laughing entitled "Progress in Iraq." Remember folks, if they could get real jobs, they wouldn't work for the Waterdown Daily Times. Are they really so stupid that they mean to infer al Qaida was in Iraq before the US invasion? Maybe, they're not smart people, the editorial board is so in-bred you expect to see a two-headed calf sitting in on meetings. But they also like to lie and they've lied for years and years. The editorial reveals a lack of comprehension regarding al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a lack of comprehension regarding terrorism and pretty much an inability to do anything other than publicly go down on Odierno. Watch the teeth, Watertown, watch the teeth.

The legendary Grace Slick is the subject of a Biography (A&E) that Hulu has posted. For more about Grace, you can check out the Jefferson Airplane website. Bonnie notes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Working It For BP" went up last night.

The grand compromise would form the crux of the recommendations by the new 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility that was set up to find ways to reduce the federal budget deficit.
Commission co-chairmen are former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff in the Clinton White House.
The panel's recommendations are scheduled to be announced in December, safely after the November elections. A recommendation requires a minimum of 14 votes among the commissioners.
If Obama agrees to ask Congress to cut Social Security benefits, it would amount to a sellout by a president of the same Democratic Party that embraced Franklin D. Roosevelt, the father of Social Security, in 1935.

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