Thursday, June 28, 2007

a cost of war


I find myself thinking, often, about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and particularly how our society will be affected by the huge numbers of injured soldiers and contractors returning home from these conflicts.

Given our experience with traumatic injury, Robb and I stand in awe of the toll -- economic and emotional -- that this is going to extract from our nation.

Robb hopes that there will be gigantic advances in medical technology, particularly in terms of neuroscience and prosthetics.

Me? I just worry.

I worry that these people will fall through the cracks, and that as a society, we will not be prepared to deal with caring for them.


dorks anonymous said...

I think this country as a whole doesn't do well with disability. Maybe this conflict will force a shift in the way people think about and see people with differing abilities.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I want the country to do more than see. I want the country to cough up the bucks for these people.

And I'm happy to pay for that with my tax dollars.

Gina said...

Please pardon the length of this response, but there some sort of synchronicity going on here!

I've spent the morning reviewing some films of injured and shell-shocked British soldiers returning from WWI as I enter my 4th day of research on Gertrude Bell. (I've a four week grant to develop a one-woman show on her this summer - look her up!) I had to stop after an hour or so, because the subject was too overwhelming to me, given all of the connections I was making to the current conflict, and there are many. . .jaw-droppingly astonishing connections, to be sure. I stopped, and decided to check out the blog as a diversion. . .

While doing that, I was also printing out this poem by Siegfried Sassoon for use in my piece. He also wrote, "I beleive that I may help to destroy the callous complacencewith which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share, and which they haven't sufficient imagination to realize."

Thought I'd share. I fear we've already failed so many and we've no idea of the real consequences of our (in)actions in the future. I with you on the coughing up the bucks thing. . .

Does it Matter?
(from Counter-Attack)
-by Siegfried Sassoon

DOES it matter?--losing your legs?...
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.

Does it matter?--losing your sight?...
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.

Do they matter?--those dreams from the pit?...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you're mad;
For they'll know you've fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa and Robb- You two have enough to worry about, without inviting others into your worries... Our fix it guy Earl who worked miracles on our house is a Pennsylvania Dutchman who was a former Marine in Vietnam (wrap your mind around that one). He was horribly injured, having his intestines blown out after throwing himself onto a gernade that went off. He woke up in a body bag and lived, and is a suprisingly spry person even today. During the operation, he refused having his blown-out teeth put back in his jaw because it would interfere with the way he spits his "chaw", so you can see he is a character. I guess he'd have to be after all that.

The former and current members of the US military will always receive medical help, even if it is sporatic thanks to our idiot president, but it's there. Earl did indeed have the Vet administration deny his medical bills last year, but Good Old Earl sends all his medical bills firsthand to the White House now with a letter shaming them into paying them. He is the only one I know who can pull this off. You guys are not ex-military, so you don't have government coverage to follow you into old age, like Earl, but anything you can do to help your fellow injured people (Hint Hint - Write your book about Robb's accident already) will do more to help people than you can imagine.


Anonymous said...

I am mostly worried about the psychological effects of the war... I know that most of the physical stuff is getting addressed. But there is a new public awareness of the lack of attention to post traumatic stress that I hope there is some hope on the horizon!!!

Bandaid... supporting our girls and guys serving in the military and hoping it is all over with SOON!!!

Gothknits said...

My Father in law works for the VA. I'm just appalled at the things he tells us. Yes the news reports the death toll, but the injured and the extent of their injuries is under-reported or not reported at all. So many amputees...and the mental health issue is barely being touched. The are losing so many mental health professionals, and so few take their place. Its a horrible, horrible situation...


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