Exit Wounds: Defending Our Vets

Images coutresy of the<a hre="http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/4090603806/"> US Army</a>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Another Veterans’ Day is upon us, and there’s perhaps no more appropriate time to pause and consider the challenges facing our 23 million military vets. There’s the obvious: wars on two fronts, which affect our troops-to-be-vets and the VA system at large, and the Ft. Hood massacre, which magnifies the severity of dual (and expanding) wars, being fought by a beleaguered and traumatized fighting force.

Today will be full of symbolism and remembrances, but there are also real policies being negotiated on Capitol Hill that can help support vets in the long-run. Two weeks ago, President Obama signed a bill to keep funding steady for veterans’ health care services during protracted budget negotiations. Yesterday, Sen. Tom (“Dr. No”) Coburn (R-Okla.) continued to be the roadblock on a $3.7 billion bill that would expand mental care and offer home assistance to wounded veterans, citing “wasteful spending” in his opposition to the bill. This was the same day that the VA settled a lawsuit pending over a two-tour Michigan vet with PTSD who died after an overdose; his family said the VA failed to hospitalize him or enter into a mental-health facility.

Mental- and other health-care funding, troop levels in Afghanistan, the state of our taxed VA system, these all have residual effects on vets today and vets tomorrow. And we can Support Our Troops with banners and bumper stickers all we want, but when it takes a domestic attack on a military base by one of our own for Texas to ramp up mental health funding for its veterans, we all must not be paying close enough attention.

Have a look at some of Mother Jones‘ coverage over the past few years on the state of veterans’ affairs. These are stories that investigate all fronts, from ex-torturers back stateside, photos of hidden caskets (and of the hidden-from-sight injured), to a military with combat fatigue, and the Pentagon’s PTSD problem. There’s more, and we can do more. Look around, tell us what you think. 

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest