If we are serious as a nation in our platitudes and compassion for veterans, then we must adhere to our nationally self-professed and loudly proclaimed values of justice, honor and courage and speak honestly with our veterans.
One number: 22. That's all it took to transform Ellen Goosenberg Kent from a filmmaker to a woman on a mission. "When I heard that 22 veterans are killing themselves every day, I thought: This is outrageous. That's almost one every hour. I had to do something," she said.
Nearly everyone honors our war dead. More ignored are the military dead who died following the wars. Far too often, family and loved ones were abandoned to cope with wounded who would never really recover. Perhaps it is time to discuss when politicians ignore veterans when no one is watching.
Movies, said film critic Roger Ebert, are like an "empathy machine." Their mission: to help us understand a bit more about others' hopes, their fears, their dreams. Movies allow us to walk in others' shoes. They help us "identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."
Chicago is not doing its part to support military veterans, says a new study. Out of 100 cities examined, Chicago ranked as number 99 in terms of how well the city offers economic, education, health and housing opportunities.
Am I describing the entire enlisted force, past and present? Not at all. But that's the point. We are not all the same. Taking the veteran moniker doesn't change that. What I'm getting to is this: Stop "other"-ing us.
Experts believe the number of homeless female veterans is going up because federal veteran assistance programs do not do enough to accommodate women and children, and also there is a lack of affordable housing and child care in our country.
Disciplining bureaucratic arrogance may look like small ball next to trophy legislation, but it might actually pay bigger dividends by sweetening the nation's currently sour political milieu and so permitting more effective, active government.
Internationally recognized traumatologist Dr. Charles Figley thinks we should reevaluate medical marijuana for use in treating trauma like PTSD, especially in the face of veterans being overprescribed pharmaceuticals and psychotropic drugs, often very powerful ones, and sometimes several at a time.
This is a rare week indeed in Washington, since it is one of those weeks when Congress actually attempts to get something done. There's a reason for this, of course, and it is the usual one: they're about to take another jaw-droppingly extensive vacation.
This is a story from one of the hardest days of my life. One afternoon I rang the doorbell of a veteran named Ron. No one answered. I proceeded to go back to my car to write him a note. Then something horrific occurred.