When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Huroo, Huroo

“Ye’re an armless, boneless, chickenless egg and ye’ll have to be put with a bowl out to beg.”

By now, you probably know that I have a pretty long list of things that get my blood boiling.

Sleazy, weasely, trickster politicians, lying, rotten-to-the-core bureaucrats, smirking bankstas, lap dog judges, facilitating media, and people who think it is okay that the average age of a homeless American is nine years old, make my short list.

Oh, I’ve got more, lots more; but today, as we leave Iraq, I want to talk about the meaning of the remains of 274 US service men and women winding up in a fucking landfill.

Raise your hand if you think they deserved a better fate.

Our slime-ball leaders talk all red, white, and blue and they pretend to land fighter planes on aircraft carriers and wear leather jackets with insignias on them, and tell these extraordinary cool-aid drinkers that we really appreciate their service and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice.

And, while they are in combat, we steal their homes and their cars and force their families to turn to payday loans and food stamps to get by. In my world, every grunt and jar-head would earn more than any CEO.

If that sounds odd to you, then Big Brother has stolen your mind. There was a time when the bargain was if you fight for us, we’ll take care of you and your family for life.

The healthy ones come home to high unemployment and few prospects to earn a living.

The sick and injured return home, demonized, brutalized, battle scarred and maimed to a country that spent trillions on death and destruction, but now willfully, obstructs the adequate treatment these heroes need and deserve.

Those that do not make it back at all are thrown in a landfill. A landfill! With the garbage! Dear God, I am ashamed of who we have become. The fucking garbage!

We have cemeteries for pets, but not for our casualties of war. I want to propose a new type of cemetery: For Pets and Vets…uniting our most loyal friends in eternal peace.

Everyone who wants to bury a pet buys an adjacent spot for a Veteran. Yeah, well, it beats the hell out of a landfill, doesn’t it?

We send them to implement a corrupt geopolitical agenda that consolidates enormous wealth and power into the hands of a few, and then we treat those who pay the real price like worthless pieces of outdated military equipment.

If only it ended there. But, it doesn’t. How we treat them while they are alive is by far the greater atrocity.

It is now a well-known fact that the treatment being received by our wounded warriors is underfunded, ill-conceived, and poorly administrated with a near criminal intent. There never was any meaningful preparation to deal with the wounded, and little progress is being made.

In war parlance, they are known as cannon fodder. Their purpose is to serve and die and be forgotten. But, this time it didn’t turn out that way. They didn’t die. They lost arms and legs and suffered massive head wounds, but they just wouldn’t die as planned.

This time, the butcher’s bill exceeded all reasonable estimates.

IEDs, Improvised Exploding Devices, were ripping our boys and girls apart, but superior battlefield triage was keeping them alive.

Once their long-term “care” begins, many wish they had been allowed to die.

Those returning from combat today are running into the same bullshit that was heaped on Vietnam veterans. Boys and girls, please stop listening to their lies, and stop giving your lives and limbs in a phony fight for freedom. We need to fight for it here.

America’s sick and injured soldiers must struggle to mend inside 38 Warrior Transition units the Army has turned into dumping grounds for criminals, malingerers, and dope addicts.

Originally, designed to treat the wounded from twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, after nearly a decade of battle, these barracks snag soldiers in red tape. Despite an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, brain injuries and substance abuse linked to repeated combat deployments, soldiers sometimes spend years desperately seeking psychological care.

The Following is from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Link below.

“As troops transition from the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), medical records and military service records regularly get lost in the shuffle e, leading to lengthy waits for care. Injured veterans also face redundant and confusing DOD and VA disability systems.

While less than half of the DOD and the VA’s disability caseloads involve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, these cases and their complexity have strained capacity in the two departments. As a result, hundreds of thousands of veterans are forced to wait months, and sometimes years, for disability compensation.”

How is that okay?

“The Pentagon files indicate that commanders circumvent regulations and hurt the health of all Warrior Transition patients by dumping on the medical unit’s soldiers they don’t want to take overseas — everyone from cancer cases and GIs hurt in accidents to trouble makers, dope addicts, potential suicides and malingerers.

While often presented to America as special wards for the wounded, only 11 percent of the soldiers in the medical units have Purple Hearts or fell ill in a war zone, according to the Pentagon files. They’re outnumbered by the estimated 16 percent of the patient population that never deployed to combat and never will, but this tally varies by base.

A February, 2010 report estimated that one-third of the 450 soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition barracks at Washington state’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord had never seen combat. They were “high risk soldiers who are not ready to deploy and may display high risk tendencies” such as drug addiction, suicide and criminal conduct, the report said.”

Read more: Documents show Army’s disservice to broken soldiers – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_721598.html#ixzz1go31pZyI

I live between two large military bases so short hair and no hair are the biggest fashion statements.

And, the men are the same way.

My point is that the military make up a huge part of our community. I once played on a softball team on which I was not only the oldest player by fifteen years, I was the only non-Marine. It’s a long story.

I went to their weddings, and a funeral. I’ve watched them grow from youth to middle age.

I am sick and tired of seeing our beautiful children coming home physically or psychologically wounded….or in a box.

These young people will be among us for decades; the legacy of our global folly will never be far from view.

Again from my Irish ancestors, a war protest song, sung to the tune of “When Jonny Comes Marching Home” it is entitled “Jonny I hardly knew ye.”

While goin’ the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
goin’ the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin’ the road to sweet Athy
A stick in me hand and a tear in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry,
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your guns and drums and drums and guns
The enemy nearly slew ye
Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Where are the eyes that looked so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are the eyes that looked so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are the eyes that looked so mild
When my poor heart you first beguiled
Why did ye scadaddle from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run
When you went to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye.

I’m happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I’m happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I’m happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Sulloon
So low in the flesh, so high in the bone
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg
Ye’re an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
Ye’ll have to be put with a bowl out to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They’re rolling out the guns again
But they’ll never will take my sons again
No they’ll never will take my sons again
Johnny I’m swearing to ye.

According to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans.

Why doesn’t a Veteran have a place to live? Nowhere to live and nowhere to die.

Oh, Johnny, what have we done to ye?

George W. Mantor
The Real Estate Professor
Founder, American Foreclosure Resistance Movement

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi