If you watched CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, you now know our national tragedy is not the stupid sequester President Obama demanded (and is now disowning like a bad real-estate investment). Living here in Northern Virginia, just outside the D.C. Twilight Zone, the sun did in fact come up Saturday morning. The buses ran on time. And the mail arrived (for one of the Post Office’s final Saturdays anyway). It was all junk.
Nor is our national tragedy the moronic criticism of Michigan Governor Rick Synder’s attempt to save the once-proud City of Detroit from itself and its supposed leaders – from nice-guy-but-clueless Mayor Dave Bing (“We have a plan, but just can’t implement it.” Doh! That is the definition of a non-plan, Mr. Mayor), to the ridiculous City Council (exception Gary Brown) and the local NAACP “leaders” that are nothing more than 24-7 race baiters.
No, 60 Minutes rightly pointed out, the U.S. is in the midst of a national tragedy regarding its military veterans – the magnitude of which we are only beginning to realize. Here are the awful stats:
- Twenty-two veteran suicides a day.
- The unemployment rate for veterans between 18 and 24 exceeded 20 percent last year. It was also in double digits for those 25 to 34.
- Two-thirds of veterans with substance use issues also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and/or depression.
- The Veteran Administration’s suicide hotline currently receives 300 to 400 calls per day – with a staff of only two dozen professional counselors to assist.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Experts say the numbers will grow significantly in coming years as our soldiers come home, try to cope, then begin to crumble due to mental issues, economics, addiction, and abuse.
America needs to hear – and understand – the gravity of the situation in order for numerous influencers to come together to ensure that this forecast is changed. Simply put: We owe this to the men and women who have kept us safe. Keep watching this space and over the next few weeks and months, I will let you know how you can help prevent this tragedy.
There is hope.