Monday, June 24, 2013

A Soldier's Last Words

Daniel Somers, a veteran of the Iraqi War, penned a gut-wrenching letter to his family that began "I am sorry that it has come to this" before ending his life on June 10. It is extremely painful to read. Unfortunately, the people who should be reading it, probably won't take the time to read it.

Somers describes his mind as becoming "a wasteland: " I can not laugh or cry. I can barely leave the house. I derive no pleasure from any activity." Why? He explains:

The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.
To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.
Beyond that, there are the host of physical illnesses that have struck me down again and again, for which they also offer no help. There might be some progress by now if they had not spent nearly twenty years denying the illness that I and so many others were exposed to. Further complicating matters is the repeated and severe brain injuries to which I was subjected, which they also seem to be expending no effort into understanding. What is known is that each of these should have been cause enough for immediate medical attention, which was not rendered . . .  
Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union?
Somers' criticism of our leaders is biting. President Obama is killing soldiers "by his own system of dehumanization, neglect and indifference," Bush was driven by "religious lunacy," and Cheney by his "ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends." "Is this what we destroy lives for?" he rhetorically asked.  

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