“A Victory for Veterans,” (TIMES, 5/19/11)

Can it actually be true that veterans “are killing themselves by the thousands each year” due to the “‘unchecked incompetence’ of the Department of Veterans Affairs”? Delays in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cause about 18 veterans to “commit suicide on an average day” is a shocking revelation.

 Eighteen suicides a day comes to 6570 a year, yet these fatalities are not reflected in the “Names of the Dead” box that regularly appears somewhere in the A Section of the TIMES (today’s figure for “the Afghan war and related operations” being 1562). The same figure for the Iraq war is over 4400 dead.

Shouldn’t the PTSD deaths for both wars be included in the count? Why can’t a newspaper which claims to publish “All the News That’s Fit to Print” give a complete count of the casualties of these two wars?

And while you are at it, you might give a clearer picture of the victims, those people Donald Rumsfeld cynically claimed were “doing what they wanted”; i.e., they did not have to be drafted.

I have enclosed a short story of mine suggesting who these “volunteers” are, which was recently published in the NEW STONE CIRCLE, Volume 1 Issue 2 (Fall 2010,) of Chicago, Illinois. Could you find room for it in your Sunday Magazine? Your readers might welcome it.


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