The VA is the world’s largest provider of substance abuse services, caring for more than 350,000 veterans per year, of whom about 30,000 are being treated for opiate addiction.
In Vietnam our soldiers had easy access to drugs and now it is easy to score heroin in Afghanistan, the supplier of 90% of the world’s heroin. I can imagine what it is like for a soldier in Afghanistan. Each day your life is on the line as you go from house to house looking for al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As you walk, your heart throbs with each step, fearful of I.E.D.’s which have taken limbs from so many. And, what do you do with down time? Incredible stress and unbearable boredom. Worry about family back home trying to live on the paltry salary we give our soldiers. A quick fix (pun intended) one or twice soon leads to addiction.
One part of our boys is there fighting and another guards our contractors who are building a new nation. President Obama will not tell you of the reality of our mission. While American infrastructure goes lacking unaffected by the stimulus, we are attempting to build a country with roads, schools, hospitals, etc. Afhanistan has never been a country. Our government borrows money so it can spend 2 billion dollars a week to wage war in Afghanistan. Current economies demand that we use our resources to grow the homeland and reduce our deficit. The VA helps our boys when they come home addicted to heroin, but, then, who helps them get jobs? As we draw down our forces in Afghanistan we will add to the 9.1% unemployment. Speaker Boehner promised that Republicans had a jobs plan. President Obama has a jobs plan…I think(?) Yet the unemployment rate is not coming down. It is wise to make the draw down in Afghanistan to happen in stages. Perhaps that will give us time to help our boys reclaim their lives and have a chance for a happy future.
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