PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Our Armed Forces Deserve Better

After the Iranian attack on an Iraqi air base earlier this month we were told by President Trump that there were no injuries. However, this week, it turns out what the commander in chief told the U.S. was false. The numbered of injured was confirmed Friday to be 34. Seventeen of them have returned to duty. Eight have been returned to the U.S. for medical care; nine others remain in Germany for medical care.

While in Davos, Switzerland, the man who avoided military service by feigning bone spurs said, “I heard they had headaches, I don’t consider them very serious injuries, relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”

Making light of the impact of traumatic brain Injury is abhorrent. Since my son has been working as a paralegal helping injured veterans get benefits they deserve but are being denied, I have taken a new interest in learning what the U.S. government does to keep people who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect our values from getting the benefits they have earned.

The fight to get treatment and help is hard and countless soldiers end up committing suicide because they run into brick walls trying to get the support they need. The impact of TBI on soldiers is a leading contributor to both disability and suicide.

Reducing it to “headaches” is yet another example of a man who lacks any empathy or understanding of the price our soldiers pay. By minimizing it, the president makes the journey of those fighting for treatment even harder and adds to their shame of an injury whose impact is deeply felt and experiences even if it can’t be seen.

The men and women who serve in the Armed Forces deserve a leader who thinks about someone other than himself and who shows compassion for those who are injured.

Truly, to my friends who are Republicans, why do you continue to support a man so void of any human decency? Can’t you find a better standard bearer for your beliefs? Our country and the men and women who serve deserve better than this.

One thought on “PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Our Armed Forces Deserve Better”

  • Richard C. Kagan January 25, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Paula, I am so glad that you have written this commentary on our injured troops–espcially those whom President Trump has demeaned and marginalized. Here is a man who is so lacking in both compassion and historical understanding. When General Patton criticized military patients for being cowards and malingeres in the army hospital during World War 2, he was roundly condemned. We have heard no criticism from the Congress (yet?) for his attitude. And the Pentagon is so supine that it too has not raised an a critical voice. Your observation needs to become the basis for many voices supporting our troops and calling for real respect for our soldiers at home and abroad.


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