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How should people commemorate Armed Forces Day?

Asked at Southwind 12, 3433 Iowa on May 21, 2005

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Photo of Randy Horne

“I think there should be a parade for the soldiers in Iraq. I think they are doing a hell of a job.”

Photo of Christie Howell

“I believe that all armed forces should be honored by flying the American Flag.”

Photo of Kyu Kim

“Just think of them. Think of what they are doing and what they have done.”

Photo of Kandy Ray

“Put your flags out, have a barbeque and celebrate freedom.”


Richard Heckler 13 years ago

PTSD is a big problem which means soldiers can no longer remain on active duty and medical coverage becomes a problem. Why...because the republican party and Pres. Bush cut veterans benefits. Many of these former soldiers will become drug addicts through treatment which is all too common.

The best thing that could happen on Armed Forces Day would be for the republican party and Pres. Bush to completely restore 100% of veterans benefits and restore/provide 100% funding. Too many veterans are now paying for medical coverage through Veterans Hospital.

It is the injuries you cannot see that are beginning to worry the Pentagon.

"My nightmares are so intense I woke up one night with my hands round my fiancee's throat," says Lt Julian Goodrum.

'A suicidal wreck'

"Another night she woke me up. I was really kicking and really getting violent in my sleep.

"So now I sleep on the couch until I can get my sleep, my nightmares, more under control."

Lt Goodrum is a veteran of two Gulf wars. He returned from the first a hero, from the second a suicidal wreck.

He suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) and he is not alone.

More than 10,000 returnees from the Iraq war have sought help for a condition in which the mundane becomes a menace.

"The smell of diesel takes me back to Iraq," Lt Goodrum says.

"I am getting better with crowds, but still if it is a very confined space and I am totally surrounded I have issues with that.

"When I am in crowds I tend to watch people's hands."

Unseen consequences

It is the nature of Iraq's insurgency of unseen snipers and roadside bombers which has fuelled the trauma.

And so the Pentagon has gone to an unlikely source for help: video games, designed in Atlanta to recall the streets of Falluja and thus exorcise the ghost of war.

Lt Julian Goodrum suffers from intense nightmares

Ken Grapp, CEO of Virtually Better - a company that creates virtual reality environments to help treat anxiety disorders, says: "It can be totally debilitating to where a person would rather choose suicide than choose to live.

"Persons with PTSD may go back to the streets of Falluja every day in their own minds.

"We are just providing a shared experience where therapists can work with the person and have a better understanding of where they were, and help them process that information."

The Pentagon says it is taking PTSD seriously.

But Lt Goodrum and many other veterans disagree bitterly. It is the epidemic that dare not speak its name.

"For the majority of people - especially military - it is easier to accept and understand a physical injury than a psychological one," Lt Goodrum said.

These are the unseen consequences of a war that will change lives long after the last bullet has been fired and the last soldier has returned home.

Fangorn 13 years ago

Have i_tching and Liberty ever agreed on anything before? Mark your calendars!

italianprincess 13 years ago

Wasn't Armed Forces Day on May 14th?

Maybe we should be answering this question:

" What are your plans for Memorial Weekend ?"

I have a flag with a yellow ribbon on it that has been outside since 911, and its going to stay up there for many years to come I believe.

jonas 13 years ago

Go as storm troopers!

. . . or Batman. . . .

Jay Bird 13 years ago

I just tell every guy in BDU's I see that I am thankful for what they are doing.

Happy Saturday everyone. Looks like another nice day is heading our way.

jayhawktownie 13 years ago

take an active part in government and write to their representative or senator

sfb 13 years ago

happygolucky: The BDU's will soon be replaced by the ACU's which look gayer, don't know if they'll work better or not but instead of having a forest camo and a desert camo, the army switched to just that,, not a big fan,, velcro pockets for pete's sake!! As far as what to do for armed forces day as long as people dont' use soldiers to propagandize their point of view (which coincidentally I see a lot of people doing already here) I don't care what they do

Liberty 13 years ago

I agree with you too Fangorn! Well said again. Both demopublicans and republicrats are two sides of the same coin. Both destroying our Republic and following false intel so our armed forces will fight for the New World Order that President Bush spoke of instead of the defense of our own country by controlling the boarders from invaders.

enochville 13 years ago

The virtual reality systematic desensitization is very effective for the treatment of PTSD and phobias. We have so many effective treatments out there for many disorders that many don't know about so they suffer without knowing that their symptoms could be greatly reduced if not eliminated.

Unfortunately, psychologists don't have the money that drug companies do to publicize their treatments. And, unfortunately, many practicing psychologists haven't been trained in these effective therapies. Please know that not all psychologists are created equal. If you are having problems research on the internet to identify which type of therapy you would prefer, then call around to find a therapist trained in that type of therapy. And just because you have a bad experience with one therapist, don't give up on psychology all together. Psychotherapy does change the biological functioning of the brain. So don't assume that just because you have a disorder like depression which shows biological deficencies that the only or best way to treat it is by changing your biochemisrty through psychoactive medication. For most common disorders the most effective treatment is a combination of therapy and medication.

GreenEyedBlues 13 years ago

Armed Forces Day should be a time to hang up the boxing gloves and forget the blame game for a day. American soldiers have pledged their lives for this country and that's a tremendous undertaking, regardless of who sent them or why they're there. I'll be thinking of the troops, their families and loved ones. I can't begin to imagine how many tears have been shed for the loss of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers fighting to defend the U.S.

P.S. If Randy Horne is reading, what the hell is a cell expert?

Lulu 13 years ago

People should wear black, the color of mourning.

Liberty 13 years ago

My heart goes out to the soldiers and what they have been forced to go through. If the government is going to send these wonderful people out to foreign wars without Congress declaring war, the least they could do is take care of their medical conditions both psychological and physical (depleted uranium) which will cause their children defects just like the Iraqi people are having. Many will probably die after they come back because of depleted uranium. This is why we need Congress to have enough courage to declare war instead of just "authorize the president to go to war" (which is unconstitutional). We are fighting foreign wars and changing governments to democracies when we are a republic. No weapons of mass destruction have been found, which is why (we are told) that the armed forces were sent over there because of an direct threat to this country. Now we know they could not have hurt us. We have been lied to and so have the soldiers with promised health care. Let's honor them and help them by bringing them home and restoring their lives and stopping these foreign wars to change governments of soverign countries. If we were going to fix every evil regime, why didn't we start with Cuba? It is much closer.

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

The Nam vets had very good benefits both medical and educaltional...I know. Agent orange and PTSD however were a problem for treatment.

Both medical and educational benefits have taken serious cuts under this flag waving administration. It's time to take these elected mostly republican officials to task.

Enochville, The treatment you described likely is not afforded to these vets and getting the government to pay up for outside treartment is no mean feat. Other than that an excellent post as this is info most vets will not have at their disposal.

I don't have a problem acknowledging vets however those in need of ongoing medical treatment would rather have veterans benefits completely restored. Many vet families will probaly split. Bring the troops home and restore benefits...that's the support they need.

This should be an issue in every forthcoming election. Jim Ryun and Sam Brownback supported the Bush admin on the cuts. Meanwhile after they are defeated or retire their medical benefits will cost taxpayers plenty for the rest of their lives.

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

Allow me to say this another way concerning Bush,Cheney,Rove,Rummy Boy and the CIA. They were the liars...the democrats who did not challenge the Bush Admin unfortunately became the fools on the hill. Too many democrats lacked the intestinal fortitude to accept the inspectors report who were after all in Iraq.

Ten years of surveillance and air attacks would make it difficult for Iraq to pull off any military strike against anyone. The US military was observing closely daily.

Fangorn 13 years ago

:the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real:- Sen. John Kerry (D- Mass) January 23, 2003

We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.- Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla) December 8, 2002

:intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program:.It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D- NY) October 10, 2002

He has systematically violated:every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capability. This he has refused to do.- Rep. Henry Waxman (D- Calif) October 10, 2002

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- WV) October 10, 2002

We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.- Sen. Robert Byrd (D- WV) October 3, 2002

We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout is country.- Al Gore, September 23, 2002

:Saddam Hussein:has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.- Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich) September 19, 2002

Hussein has:chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.- Madeleine Albright, Clinton Sec. of State, November 10, 1999

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region:.- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif) December 16, 1998

Now tell me again who "lied" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction? Just because you really in your deepest heart of hearts honest and for true believe and repeat it over and over and over that Bush "lied" doesn't make your propaganda true. Prior to March 2003 many believed that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. US intelligence believed it. British intelligence believed it. Israeli intelligence believed it. Russian intelligence believed it. Even French intelligence believed it. And all those Democrats quoted above believed it. So if you're going to insist that Bush lied, at least be consistent and claim that all these others lied, too.

indythinker 13 years ago

I am here in Iraq and no one gives a S#!% about how we got here. If you could for one moment get off your pseudo-liberal holier-than-thou'ness and take a close look at the opression that these people have lived under for years and recognize the insurgency for what it really is, you might change your opinion. But it is hard to focus that well after a few Ad Astra ales on the front porch of the Free State.

Go home tonight and say a prayer to the god of your choosing for America's sons and daughters, military or civilian that are here sacrficing their lives and time away from families and friends so that others might one day enjoy the same freedoms that you do.

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

As it turns out all those democrats did not know what the hell they were talking about and many have since acknowledged such. They also did not require absolute proof. They also ignored the inspectors who said over and over no WMD's in Iraq. The lives of Iraq people can in no way be improved after massive destruction and thousands upon thousands of family members dead.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 however the Saudi's did not only with human bodies but money. A recent report stated that many insurgents have been identified as Saudi's. Yet we are moving against Syria and Iran.

It's time to bring the troops home and tell the mideast to put together their own military. The war for oil is a failure not mention that we should be customers not tyrants for the oil industry. America has the brains for alternative energies it's just that oil corporations are having too much fun gouging us at the pump.

Indythinker...just exactly where are you located?

Bring the troops home and restore veterans benefits.

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

Perhaps this could assist in recovering from PTSD:

Glyconutrients The eight essential sugars are part of a larger nutrient picture known as Glyconutrients the latest buzz-word to grab the headlines. We will be hearing much more about them in the future. They, in turn, are part of an even broader category known as "Nutraceuticals" a term that combines nutrition and pharmaceuticals.

The word "Nutraceuticals" was designed to include natural food-based substances with the pharmacological effects they have on the human body. First used by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, the term was drafted to incorporate all the natural, standardized, non-toxic dietary supplements used in conjunction with improved nutrition.

The following definitions may help explain some of this new "Glyco" terminology:

  • Glyco means "sweet" and, therefore, used when describing a sugar or carbohydrate molecule. "Sugar", "Carbohydrate" and "Saccharide are all used interchangeably.
  • Glycoforms are large sugar molecules that combine with proteins and/or fats to cover the surfaces of all cells. These are then known as "glycoproteins" or "glycolipids".
  • Glycoproteins are molecules made of sugars and proteins. They are found coating the surface of every cell in the human body that contains a nucleus.
  • Glycolipids are molecules made of sugars and fats. "Lipid" and "Fat" are often used interchangeably.
  • Glyconutrients are the foods and nutritional supplements that provide saccharides along with other glycoforms essential to the body, but which are scarce in most diets.

Glyconutrients have powerful effects on the immune system. When used along with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation, glyconutrients have proven to help lessen the side effects of these treatments while helping the body to recover and heal itself more quickly than if only the treatments were implemented.

The sugars found on all glyconutrients also address the workings of the brain and nervous system from memory and sleep to anxiety and depression. In addition, they have a role in helping the body handle cholesterol and fats by lowering triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) while, at the same time, raising the good cholesterol (HDL). Commercials have long touted the benefits of eating oatmeal to bring down cholesterol. What is not mentioned is that it is the sugars (beta-glucans) in oatmeal that are responsible.

jayhawktownie 13 years ago

indythinker, can i please kiss your ass to make myself feel good and to portray myself as a sympathetic and caring individual to the rest of the online population?

Not to knock the ones doing the job overseas, but some people are just a little too IN YOUR FACE with their "support" of the troops. I say get your ass off the message board and do something that really helps them if you are that passionate about it.

Fangorn 13 years ago

jayhawktownie: How do you know that any of us are not already doing things off-line to support our troops overseas? You don't. So you can just lose the attitude.

gccs14r: If you honestly believe that chemical and biological weapons are not WMD, then you are a fool. If you'd had any training whatsoever on the capabilities and effects of these weapons, you would speak differently. As it is, you speak only out of your vast ignorance. If you want to find a real dumba$$, just go find the nearest mirror.

Fangorn 13 years ago

Certainly the Iraqis' lives were not "improved after massive destruction and thousands upon thousands of family members dead". This is a succinct but accurate description of the despotic regime under which the Iraqis lived for more than three decades. Anyone who actually listened to Bush's 2003 SOTU speech beyond The Sixteen Words knows this is one of the reasons he gave for going into Iraq. Was Iraqi suffering a good enough reason to send troops half way around the planet? That's debatable. What isn't debatable is that a leader has to make decisions based on the best available information he/she has at the time. That's what Bush did. That's why indythinker and thousands of others are in Iraq now fighting an enemy who is willing to drive over a group of children playing in the street to reach its target (see first link at bottom) and then justify it using their perversion of religious faith (see second link).

We know Saddam had WMDs. He had used them. The terms that ended the Gulf War required him to destroy his WMDs and his capacity for producing them and to show proof that he had done so. He failed to do this and then jerked the UN inspectors around like marionettes for 10 years. Sure, he had no effective military delivery system capable of hitting the US. But had he been allowed to develop them fully, is there any doubt at all that Hussein would have sold them to the type of fanatics who fly airliners full of innocent people into skyscrapers full of more innocent people?

There were good reasons for staying out of Iraq. There were good reasons for going. Bush chose the latter. Our troops are there. Pulling them out before the fledgling Iraqi government is capable of stopping this foreign-led, foreign-financed "insurgency" would be a tremendous waste of lives and resources. Our forces deserve our financial and, just as importantly, our moral support in order to complete their mission.

indythinker: Be safe, keep your head down, and thank you for serving.

ms_canada 13 years ago

indythinker - I hear you, man. I hear the tone of your post. I can only imagine the pain that you have in the reality that we at home can never know. And fangorn, I hear you also. We were all lead down the garden path about the WMD. I read in the paper here that two of our Canadian soldiers were brought home in caskets this week. Only a drop in the bucket compared to the US boys, but never-the-less, keenly felt, I am sure. I get a deep pain in my heart and soul when I think of the mental anguish that soldiers experience from war. I sometimes think that it must be worse than physical pain. We, humans, are not meant to kill, and enemy or not, it must be difficult to live with. People, please, say a prayer this weekend for the brave men and women in the forces and make it a sincere prayer.

Liberty 13 years ago

As far as I am concerned, we are done in Iraq and we as a country have no business being the agressor; bring our guys home and let Iraq set up a free government of their choosing and suggest our Constitution and Bill of Rights for a free society instead of a democracy which is one of the poorest forms of government in existance. We don't need to be setting up democracies instead of republics unless we plan for it to fail for a future war. That is not what our country should be in the business of doing in the mid-east. A democracy is a form of government that world government can easily control with a one vote system instead of a three vote system such as our Republic, though the international bankers with a central bank controlled by the IMF or World Bank(to get the country in debt like the US to the World Bank or the IMF which is the financial arm of the United Nations or world government and use the debtor country's land as collateral). We don't need to aid that and spend our troops lives or further our country's debt to the World Bank to aid a would be world government that wants to make a financial slave out of you and me and them. No thanks. That is where we part company.

The President is not just acting on bad intel (you don't make these types of decisions on unreliable information), he is just a puppet of the New World Order acting in accordance with globalist intentions of world domination. And they want to use our armed forces to do their bidding and get us to pay for it by going into further debt to the World Bank so they can take our land for collateral for the national debt. To that the American people should wake up and resist this form of abuse of our armed forces and the stealing of our farmers land.

Ceallach 13 years ago

indythinker: Thank you for the sacrifices you make for our country, and thank you for contributing to this board. Please do so whenever possible. Although I pray daily for the men and women serving and protecting our country around the world, it is good to add another "name" to the list of those I know who are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Don't forget and don't let your friends forget that so many of us remember and appreciate all of you.

On another note, I for one could care less what the BBC or their reporters have to say. It's difficult enough to search for truth from the American? press without listening to the BBC which makes no bones about being anti-American.

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

Since when did the BBC declare themselves anti-american? They might(?) not support this illegal war however that does not make them anti american.

I agree with you that it is difficult to find truth from too much of the american press...that's the problem with monopolizing. Too few own the news media sources.

I think it's too bad that our troops find themselves in this quagmire. It's also too bad that more americans don't get down right pissed off that this administration cut veterans benefits. As a vet I say it's time to bring them home. Iraq has never declared war on the United States. I might say that a minority of people from Saudi Arabia have done so.

jonas 13 years ago

Fangorn: I certainly have no problem concluding that all of them might have lied, if by lying you mean the possibility of inflating possible facts and spreading fear without totally justified cause. I think that most politicians will go with whatever they see as providing them political fodder, and I think that since the first Gulf War most politicians have recognized the benefit of having Saddam as a convenient lightening rod for public support and distraction. If I give Bush credit on anything, he at least did the same thing in a way different enough to keep any future politicians from having the same excuse.

Indythinker: I have no problem at all with what our forces are doing over there, and I think that liberation of other people (if that's what we're really accomplishing, in the end) is certainly a worthy goal. I would have fully supported a war of liberation from the beginning, except that that was not what was pitched, and I resent the administration's, and the other guilty politicians', attempt to distort reality and mislead the public for their own personal gains.

gccs14r 13 years ago

Funny, Fangorn, that both Rice and Powell stated in 2001 that Saddam was effectively contained. Why didn't il Dumb*ss listen to his own peole, instead of the Democrats?

By the way, the only WMD is nuclear. Chemical and biological weapons can kill people, but that is not considered destruction. The only country that has deployed WMDs in combat is ours.

Liberty 13 years ago

Summary of Patriot Act II from

The second Patriot Act is a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, the Second Patriot Act reorganizes the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the Justice Department, the Office of Homeland Security and the FEMA NORTHCOM military command. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is by its very structure the definition of dictatorship.

I challenge all Americans to study the new Patriot Act and to compare it to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Ninety percent of the act has nothing to do with terrorism and is instead a giant Federal power-grab with tentacles reaching into every facet of our society. It strips American citizens of all of their rights and grants the government and its private agents total immunity.

Here is a quick thumbnail sketch of just some of the draconian measures encapsulated within this tyrannical legislation:

SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration's "enemy combatant" definition to all American citizens who "may" have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act. (Section 802 is the new definition of domestic terrorism, and the definition is "any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law.") Section 501 of the second Patriot Act directly connects to Section 125 of the same act. The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn't broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.

Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person "had inferred from conduct" that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the "enemy combatant" terrorist designation.

SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.

To read more go to:

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