Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Veteran Suicide Awareness - it's not always the quick way...




September is suicide awareness month and I've been thinking about my cousin Ronnie Presley who served in both Korea and Vietnam as a Captain in the Green Beret. This song always reminds me of him. I was a little girl when he was in Vietnam and he was married to this beautiful blonde girl named Judi. Judi was a Playboy bunny at the Playboy club in Atlanta. One time she was featured in Playboy with some other bunnies, wearing their bunny costume not nude. I'd go stay with her sometimes while Ronnie was in Vietnam. They would make tapes (reel to reel back then) and send them to each other. Once when I was at her apartment she got one from him and we listened to it and then she made one with me on it to send back to him. She was from Texas and she was the love of his life. 

When he got back from Vietnam he was a mess, like so many other Vietnam veterans, and their marriage eventually broke up.  Ronnie never married again and between the wars, losing Judi and what we now know was PTSD his life just fell apart. He eventually drank himself to death, thus the title of this blog. He didn't come home and put a gun to his head an pull the trigger but the booze did the same thing, just much more slowly. 

I heard tonight during the Clinton/Trump "forum" (WTF is that shit?) that 20 to 22 veterans a day kill themselves. I'm sure that's the ones who commit suicide the fast way. No telling how many there are if you count the ones who eventually die from drug or alcohol abuse. I can't imagine what it's like for them. Iraq vets like Vietnam vets came home and hear how they risked their lives, lost their friends, left their families for a war that was a mistake. They come home and can get little or no help with PTSD or mental health or drug or alcohol abuse problems. They can't even get help for physical health problems. It's just disgraceful!

Our country spends over 50% of the discretionary budget on military spending and only about 7 or 8% on Veteran's benefits and Trump sat there talking about building up our depleted military. Come on people how can our military be depleted when all that money is spent on it, give me a break. Let's take half that military spending and spend it on our veterans. That's how we lower suicides and take care of the people who risked their lives for this country.
 

For everyone who spent time in the military this for you! May our government cease ignoring you once you've risked your lives in their wars. May they start putting more money into getting you all the care you need. May you know you are loved and appreciated, even by us liberals. May you find the strength you need to keep surviving. Thank you for all you've done for our country and may our country properly repay you for it. You all are the best of the best! 

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