The price of freedom: Nearly half of returning veterans seek disability

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    May 30, 2012 12:39 p.m.


    I'll tell my dead and maimed friends that some guy in Hayden, Idaho feels safer because Saddam Hussein is dead.

    DOD is an acronym for Department of Defense, not Department of Offense. If someone tries to invade the US, then go get 'em, but to depose leaders simply because you don't like them.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 29, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    In 1972 when the Nixon administration and Congress funded the "All Volunteer Military" it sounded like an elixir to get rid of all the problems with the draft. However, the military relaxed some of it's requirements to not need the draftees, which brought short-time access to a variety of people from the United States citizenry. It provided balance to keep the professional military officers and NCOs in line with what was good for the country. The draftees didn't set direct policy but the government allowed the need for the professional military with all volunteers to become almost card carrying union members. Rules and regulations were changed and we ended up with some people, not all as there still are dedicated Constitution and principled people in the military. Money became the motivation for a lot as pay went up significantly to attract life-long military members. Dedication was still there, maybe for some, but money was an enticement. Who would stay in the military in the old pre-1972 days with very low salary and some perks like retirement? Dedicated. Now, we increase salaries and provide more money to go to war. Where is Integrity in DoD? Gone?

  • KKB Draper, UT
    May 28, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    Another unmentioned factor which contributes significantly to the number of disability claims is the means at which claims are being processed. The ease of being able to file a claim is growing exponentially coupled with an increase in employees who process those claims (there are a lot more medical processing employees now than 10 years ago). This causes percentages to increase. We hire more people to process more claims and more often than not, they either rubber stamp claims or they're too afraid of charging somebody with 'malingering' (which never happens) So you have more claims than normal. Trust me, I've seen it first hand in the military. It's common knowledge to retirees and those with pending medical claims of disabilities that you must reach 50% disability rating in order to receive the monthly pay for the rest of their lives. It's called Concurrent Receipt - look it up. Basically, the longer a government program exists, the more aware people become of it. The more awareness, the more apt people are to exploit it or abuse it. It really is a perpetuating cycle whether it's in the Army or at Apple.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 9:05 p.m.


    I'm sorry but our troops are not your GI Joe action figures and should only be deployed when it actually is necessary.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    May 28, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    War is an ugly thing. But it's not the ugliest thing. The mind and conscience of a person who has nothing in the world that he or she would put on the line in defense of, is a far uglier and sadder thing. And let me add that our men and women in harms way are there because WE sent them to be there. WE elected the officials who put them and keep them in places they don't belong. WE tolerate the military industrial complex. When they fight in less than honorable circumstances, it is because WE didn't not speak loudly enough or too blindly followed the rationale of people like Bush and Cheney, too easily trusted words coming from the mouth of Colin Powell. In a democracy, an army fights under the orders of the people of their country. Therefore--when they come home and meet with the indifference of a nation that is more interested in a different kind of American idol, it is a reflection more on us than them.

    As President Obama said today--"We need to be a nation more worthy of their sacrifice."

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    May 28, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    Facts are facts. Wars are supposed to be declared by Congress in this country. They haven't been, the last one was WWII, my father's war. And yes, it was the last race we actually had a horse in. The other, we were invited to a couple as observers, and ended up kibbitzing. Voila, a war. And gee, who paid? Too many with their lives, their health, their futures, that's who. The last couple of wars were barely noticed by too many, and why? The draft was gone, no one was worried about going into the service--and maybe going to war--against their will. We were even told we could help the war effort by going shopping. Say WHAT??? That's what I heard said. So Cngress declared nothing. These brave young people tried valiantly to fight for someone. Not us, really, but these strangers who just wanted peace and to raise their families, too. They did all they were asked to do and more. So let's give them all we can and more and thank them for being where no one else was willing to be.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    May 28, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    If they are telling the truth, take care of them. If they are lying and bilking the system, take away all of their benefits.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    To clarify-

    The first "He" I referred to is my father. I have a very real account of why this song is total garbage.

    I understand when people say that certain wars aren't justified, or aren't in defense. I understand that all those problems wouldn't happen if it weren't for violence. But where the song says "what is it good for" and "They say we must fight to keep our freedom" it clearly is criticizing defensive actions as well- and that is where I have a serious problem with it.

    And I appreciate the point that war is not something to be praised. A lot of war isn't justified. Likewise, sometimes justified wars are labeled 'unjustified'.

    But the point is that defending yourselves and family isn't wrong and when liberals go from criticizing violence to simply criticizing defense altogether- that is what I am saying is arrogant and treating veterans with disrespect. I even appreciate nonresistance like the Anti-Lehi-Nephites. At times that can be nothing less than morally praiseworthy. But even they still justified defense by teaching it to their children and they showed incredible respect for those who defended them.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 28, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    What’s war good for? Freedom and because there is evil in the world: Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other evil people who want to either kill you or make a slave out of you and your children! That’s why!

  • Ex-Pat of Zion Lititz, PA
    May 28, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    When economic hardship makes conscripts out of volunteers, of course you're going to see this happen. Many of the vets, I suspect, are playing it safe by claiming the cause, whatever the severity, is documented and related to their tours beyond a doubt. That way, they're covered. I have no problem with it. Maybe ACA can be implemented through the side door when most of the lower income folks enlist. In military jargon, its called a flank maneuver. The republicans, though, might have something to say about that. Seems like VA medical benefits are already being curtailed. Republics and empires have more in common than most people realize. Rome, Greece, CSA all weakened and destroyed because of purist (extremist?) ideologies?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    'War, what is it good for?'

    The antecedent is 'because it causes sorrow, death, doesn't create life, turns men into bitter disabled veterans, and causes young men's dreams to not be realized' that defending freedom isn't good for anything.

    War itself is not a cause, but an effect. Offensive acts of violence are a force while defense is a reaction. If young men didn't defend themselves OR their families, then more innocent people would die, NO dreams would be realized whatsoever, and the can continue to live, have families, grow, and life will foster. War doesn't creative life, but it absolutely can protect it.

    The song's "Absolutely nothing" in real life resulted in my life and freedom. He didn't become bitter after his disabilities. He was kind and respectful despite suffering over a prolonged period of time. For those who are or were- he proved that bitterness is choice, not a result.

    And no, I didn't miss the point of the song. It's as plain as day.

    Liberal propaganda I can tolerate, but saying 'protecting your family' is 'for nothing' is arrogantly treating what is sacred and honorable with insolence.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 28, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    The cost of freedom? Let's not fool ourselves. Much of this is the cost of needless war and also dilly dallying around. Not fighting to win and then staying longer than necessary.

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Hellooo: I disagree. The system is not enough. There shouldn't have to be a safety net. Prevention is the cure. Everything else is just persnickering.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Another sign of the weakening american, any little pain file a claim, make a buck off Uncle Sam. Nevertheless, it is what we owe and will continue to owe for the misguided wars that have accomplished nothing, but to loot the treasury in the name of protecting freedom.

  • rick122948 boise, id
    May 28, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    And a another sad tale is that vets come back and get chewed up by the system again. The powers in this country and I am not talking about Congress or the President take their profits and export jobs out of the country and seem to forget that the human costs are even greater than the financial. Vets that end up homeless, addicted, forgotten and vilified in society because we fail to truly address our societal problems in real meaningful and sustainable ways. STOP THE BANDAID TEMPORARY FIXES AND USE REAL SOLUTIONS.

    May 28, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    What devastating human results can you expect, when our soldiers are sent back again and again until they are broken in body and spirit? Even in Vietnam, there was a limit to how many months soldiers could be deployed. Now, they are just deployed and deployed until they are no longer functional. Shame on our congress!

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    May 28, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    I am tired of these wars, bring everyone home. The military needs to he scaled down. They should not allow women or married men in the military; kids need their parents and there is an unbelievable number of violent crimes committed against our women soldiers (over 35% of female soldiers are raped during service) this all needs to stop. I am all for fighting for our freedom but we have not fought for our own freedom since world war II.
    BUT we should absolutely care for and honor and support our troops who have fought these wars for us. Thank you to all who served.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    May 28, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    I opened the morning newspaper just now and was incensed by the headline, "The Price of Freedom." What in the world do our military adventures around the world in the last many years have to do with keeping America free? I heard the same thing in church yesterday and it just sickens me. It has more to do with building a military empire than it does with peace and freedom. And yes, I'm a veteran, too.

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    "Walking wounded" is not a figure of speech. We spend billions over there while lining the pockets of Profiteers. Gen./Pres. D. W. Eisenhower was prophetic. "When will they ever learn... (CONGRESS!) When will they ever learn." There is a concept known as Aftermath. Do the math. At what cost, war?

  • I'll call it Ogden, UT
    May 28, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    Thank you to all our veterans for serving your Country well.

    Freedom is not free and it never will be.

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    May 28, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    As a retired military veteran, I have repented years ago of recommending the military as a means of young people getting started in life. It has become very obvious that our military is simply "cannon fodder" who are used in never ending "no win wars" that have never been constitutionally declared as demanded by our constitution (what is that?)

    Since World War 2, Congress has never declared war and we have never won one since. We have allowed the United Nations to determine how and where we will sacrifice our young men and women.

    "What on earth is wrong with the United States simply minding its own business?"

    Its all about money and power - it is NOT about the security and national defense of the United States.

    As Ron Paul said in one of the debates: I have tried the moral argument, the economic argument and now the common sense argument against all of these wars.

    Wake up America! Bring our troops home. If they must die and get maimed for life, then let it be defending our own borders.

    We could save many lives by simply Getting US out of the United Nations. A new Independence Day!

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    May 28, 2012 5:31 a.m.

    These war veterans have been destroyed by the DOD so that they can never become US workers now or in the remaining years of their lives. Its an injustice and one that should never have happened. The DOD has taken the opportunity of a lifetime to classify PTSD as a preexisting pre military mental sickness so they can deny veterans benefits for many entitlements they deserve. Denying veterans entitlements also required that PTSD be documented as a mental disorder that cannot be hidden or denied from future employers of returning vets, thus the high 20% unemployment among them.

    Since unemployment is an entitlement of military service, if the vets are counted in the unemployment numbers is makes a 10%+. To get unemployment numbers nearer to 8% it requires some creative manipulation by making unemployed people disappear. Putting them on disability pay for military service removes them from unemployment data and make vets looking for jobs disappear. The Administration lowered the standards for injury entitlements to get them off jobs lists but 88 million people plus 16.3% countable unemployed who would take a job and give up being retired.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2012 2:29 a.m.

    War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing
    Say it again, y'all
    War, huh, good God
    What is it good for
    Absolutely nothing

    Listen to me
    Ohhh, war, I despise
    Because it means destruction
    Of innocent lives
    War means tears
    To thousands of mothers eyes
    When their sons go to fight
    And lose their lives

    It's an enemy to all mankind
    The point of war blows my mind
    War has caused unrest
    Within the younger generation
    Induction then destruction
    Who wants to die

    War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
    War, it's got one friend
    That's the undertaker
    Ooooh, war, has shattered
    Many a young mans dreams
    Made him disabled, bitter and mean
    Life is much to short and precious
    To spend fighting wars these days
    War can't give life
    It can only take it away

    Peace, love and understanding
    Tell me, is there no place for them today
    They say we must fight to keep our freedom
    But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

    War, huh
    Good God y'all
    What is it good for
    Stand up and shout it