Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Danny Sjursen: I'm one of the lucky ones. Leaving the madness of Army life with a modest pension and all of my limbs intact feels like a genuine escape. Both the Army and I knew it was time for me to go. I'd tired of carrying water for empire and they'd grown weary of dealing with my dissenting articles and footing the bill for my seemingly never-ending PTSD treatments. Now, I'm society's problem, unleashed into a civilian world I've never gazed upon with adult eyes.

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For Those who Gave the Full 20 and Now Feel Duped

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#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-03-31 10:17 PM | Reply

Darn good article, it will help you understand some of the right wing career military people here on DR

#2 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2019-04-01 02:30 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Imagine how veterans of color feel.

#3 | Posted by fresno500 at 2019-04-01 07:48 AM | Reply

Well written, and he certainly nails some of the problems. Greatly overstates others. It doesn't take much to figure out why he was let go early, though. Nobody likes a whiny bitch O-4 intelligence guy crying PTSD while he spent free time nobody else had working on his PhD. I'll bet he was just oodles of fun to be around.

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-01 08:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Forever War: Sending troops who make 20-30k a year to provide security for contract workers who make 300k a year, all so the owner of the contracting company can make billions and grease the pockets of legislators to convince them to continue. -- Richard N. Ojeda, II (@VoteOjeda2020) April 1, 2019


#5 | Posted by qcp at 2019-04-01 12:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#5 That's not really Forever War. That's a politician looking for a catchphrase. Joe Haldeman captured real Forever War.

#6 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-01 02:26 PM | Reply

my war was different. yet similar. just this week it came to me that if i could back to day before i joined, i would not.
very difficult to say once the experiences exist.

#7 | Posted by ichiro at 2019-04-01 11:06 PM | Reply

Joe Haldeman was a Vietnam Vet, Mustang.

Reception and interpretation
The novel is widely perceived to be a portrayal of the author's military service during the Vietnam War, and has been called an account of his war experiences written through a space opera filter.
en.wikipedia.org

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-01 11:08 PM | Reply

#8 I know that...but he was capturing something else in the novel, not some corporatist angle. His forever war was the struggle of career military reintegrating in a society they don't understand and which views them as an anachronism in many ways.

#9 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-02 06:33 AM | Reply

"Those military deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in particular turned a budding neocon into an unabashed progressive. My experiences there transformed an insecure, aspiring dealer-in-violence into someone who might be as near as a former military man can get to a pacifist."

So he grew up.

#10 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-04-02 11:13 AM | Reply

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We need to return to the Constitutional system of declaring wars. No more wars, at all, without Congress declaring war. I suspect we wouldn't have fought any of the last 5 wars if we just followed our Constitution.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2019-04-03 08:05 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Not really possible in the nuclear age.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-04-03 08:14 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I suspect we wouldn't have fought any of the last 5 wars if we just followed our Constitution.

Sitzkrieg is right.

#13 | Posted by boaz at 2019-04-03 08:36 AM | Reply

I dont think the military is going to miss this POG. Quite frankly I'm glad he's out too.

I almost have suspicions that Danni wrote this article.

#14 | Posted by boaz at 2019-04-03 08:44 AM | Reply

12% of the country's homeless are veterans... but you got yours so you don't care.
A million veterans living in poverty... but you got yours so you don't care.
A million vets living in poverty says you suck Boazo... but you got yours so you don't care.

#15 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-04-03 09:07 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#14 some of his critiques hit a little close to home, major?

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2019-04-03 09:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

#13 | POSTED BY BOAZ
#14 | POSTED BY BOAZ

Alas, the duality of a conflicted mind.

#17 | Posted by kudzu at 2019-04-03 09:24 AM | Reply

#15,

Nice assigning me positions, as none of those are true.

But you have to make them true to have a point.

#18 | Posted by boaz at 2019-04-03 09:28 AM | Reply

My 73 year old dad served in Vietnam. Other than stating he was in multiple combat situations against mostly NVA (better soldiers, better weaponry), I don't want to go into specifics regarding his service. He had undiagnosed PTSD up until 15 years ago, when they first diagnosed his dementia and realized certain patterns throughout the last 30 years of his life. The only reason he got diagnosed was that 1000s of Iraq War vets were showing the same symptoms and they just couldn't be justified any longer. He was pretty good at hiding it-- he never once showed violence towards me (his youngest child) or my Mom. Since his discharge back in 1974, he has been diagnosed with the following--

Bilateral moderate hearing loss (combat ops and mortar fire) (1974)
Cranial Neuritis (1990)
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Periostitis (2000)
PTSD (2005)
Traumatic Brain Injury (2004)
Dementia (2004) (still not specified)

Each time I go down to visit him at Charlotte Hall I mentally reaffirm my commitment to be 1000% against the MIC, militarized law enforcement, and military interventionism in general.

That's all I have to say about that. It makes me angry enough just to type that --------.

#19 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2019-04-03 10:28 AM | Reply

Most people who are able to retire early do it through military service. An excellent reward for contributing to unspeakable horror which has accomplished nothing worthwhile for mankind in this post WWII era, except profits for the purveyors of death and destruction.

#20 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-04-03 10:29 AM | Reply

It is hilarious listening to the "antiwar" left feign concern about the troops after desperately clinging to war footing in Korea, and begging for a war with Russia for the last two years.

Welcome back, partisan hacks. I can't say I missed you.

#21 | Posted by Ben_Berkkake at 2019-04-03 10:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

That's all I have to say about that. It makes me angry enough just to type that --------.
#19 | POSTED BY NERFHERDER AT 2019-04-03 10:28 AM | FLAG: MMMHHHMMMM

I had a similar experience only my father died just a couple month past 50 years old from the effects of agent orange, malaria and who knows what else. When I say agent orange I don't mean the vague possibilities of cancer or whatever... I mean like what happened to Victor Yushchenko and at the time the military said he suffered from something of unknown etiology possibly a "skin fungus" he lost functionality of his hands and went blind. He too had classic symptoms of PTSD such as driving a car 15 miles an hour and thinking he was speeding... not kidding when I say this... and that was the easiest thing to deal with.

What people don't seem to talk about much that when a veteran gets dragged down by PTSD and other injuries that he often takes others with him... like his family.
My oldest brother was a Purple Heart recipient of that same war... trying to carry on a family tradition. He was never right upon his return.

My anti-war stance is not a fashion statement its an all-out railing against the b.s. selling of the US military and the selling of the delusion that they are protecting our freedoms... total B.S. They are hired guns for big business... which would be fine and dandy if the said institution wasn't always wangling their way out of paying big taxes so that all Americans benefitted in a big way instead of sucking lifeblood out of the economy in order to do the bidding of 1% and a few of the "investor class".

An excellent reward for contributing to unspeakable horror which has accomplished nothing worthwhile for mankind in this post WWII era, except profits for the purveyors of death and destruction.

#20 | POSTED BY BAYVIKING AT 2019-04-03 10:29 AM | FLAG: EXACTLY

When I think of what life was like taking care of that man his last two years of life... the hallucinations and vile behavior.. like taking a ---- on the kitchen counter... not kidding ... I can only imagine the nastiness he visited upon others via the same poison that killed him... as far as I am concerned he got what was coming to him... but I as his daughter didn't sign up for that... and I know for a fact I am not alone in this kind of experience, and skru-u pigs who question my loyalty.

When I read the smugness of retiree vets lecturing people on how life should be... especially when it comes to actually know what it is like to work in this economy without that additional paycheck... it's beyond the comprehension of decency... but like I said they got theirs so f**k everyone else.

#22 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-04-03 11:18 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

I had two Vietnam vets in my immediate family. Both committed suicide in the last year. War is destruction. Destruction of everything.

#23 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-04-03 12:09 PM | Reply

#22

It's always the sisters and daughters that have to deal with the pain. I'd say thank you for your service, but that is trite. It's over now. Please do something good for yourself. You deserve it.

#24 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2019-04-03 12:15 PM | Reply

23 | POSTED BY LEE_THE_AGENT

Hey man, hope you're doing alright. I know how tough it is to be a ... bystander(?), in that situation. One of the ones left behind by others making a permanent decision like that.

#25 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 12:19 PM | Reply

Congrats on this guy on his retirement, hopefully he trained his relief and mentored his juniors well - what I read in the article didn't go into that aspect of the platform he held while he was in the service. More than others, he had ample opportunity to exert change.

#26 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 12:21 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Okay, after dodging the many banner ads and Walmart "you won!" pop ups on that horribly formatted mobile website I see that the end of the article was a bunch of tongue in check farewells, and he made no mention of how he attempted to change policy or mentor his men and women under his direction. Maybe actual leadership isn't celebrated on the platform of alternet? While this was likely cathartic for him to write, it was disappointing to read from someone who would have to engage him with the standard customs and courtesies of the services if we ever shared spaces.

Good riddance to an officer who seemingly mentally checked out at the 10 year mark, doing as little as possible to not have his commission rescinded, and otherwise waiting for retirement.

#27 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 12:31 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

#26 | Posted by GOnoles92

Seriously? I know multiple Majors. Two of them are good friends and we have talked at length. They are merely middle management. They have no real power to make any change at all - just like middle managers in the real world, you are stuck between the hammer and the anvil.

#28 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-04-03 01:55 PM | Reply

#27 | Posted by GOnoles92

He's right. Based on what I know he didn't just hit nails on the head - he pounded them in.

#29 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-04-03 01:57 PM | Reply

"His forever war was the struggle of career military reintegrating in a society they don't understand and which views them as an anachronism in many ways."

Absolutely. I don't know too many veterans but I'd say they all struggle to find their niche in civilian life.

I also put a lot of this on the militaty itself. They used to have a saying, from the womb to the tomb. Now so many things are outsourced and contracted that it weakens the community.

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-03 01:57 PM | Reply

#27 is one of the more reprehensible comments I've seen in a while.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-03 01:59 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

#31 I don't see how. Seriously. Compared to #22?

Nerf, first I knew your dad was at the Veteran's home in Charlotte Hall. Our Girl Scouts and 4-H kids do a lot of volunteering there.

#32 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-03 02:43 PM | Reply

you are stuck between the hammer and the anvil. #28 | POSTED BY GALAXIEPETE

He can't dictate policy from the JCS, sure, but the person who wrote this article was once in charge of possibly a hundred individuals. They had the opportunity to create consistent change in individuals lives, even if it was invidious mentoring or letting people get some early liberty on a Friday. Lots of ---- posting in this op-ed, but zero mention of a possible legacy or influence they impacted on their work center. This Officer checked out well before they signed the retirement papers. Disgrace to their leadership position.

#33 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 02:50 PM | Reply

Individual mentoring*.

#34 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 02:52 PM | Reply

"#31 I don't see how. Seriously. Compared to #22?"

What's reprehensible about #22? It describes caring for someone with severe dementia and trauma.

Or did you mean it's reprehensible how the militaty screws people up, then leaves them twisting in the wind?

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-03 02:57 PM | Reply

We need to return to the Constitutional system of declaring wars. No more wars, at all, without Congress declaring war. I suspect we wouldn't have fought any of the last 5 wars if we just followed our Constitution.

#11 | POSTED BY DANNI

I completely agree. Either declare war against an entire country, or don't. Police actions - military interventions - Authorization for Use of Military Force.

It all should go.

NW

#36 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-03 03:29 PM | Reply

I had two Vietnam vets in my immediate family. Both committed suicide in the last year. War is destruction. Destruction of everything.

#23 | POSTED BY LEE_THE_AGENT

Father Mulcahey: Well, war is hell, I suppose.

Hawkeye: No Father. War is war and hell is hell and between the 2, war is worse.

F: How do you figure?

H: Who goes to hell, Father?

F: Sinners, I suppose.

H: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in hell. War is chock full of them.

That is from memory and it's from the TV show M*A*S*H

#37 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-04-03 03:33 PM | Reply

yawn...I suspect we wouldn't have fought any of the last 5 wars if we just followed our Constitution.

Does it matter? We didn't win any of them... spent a lot of money on them....

Didn't win any...

War isn't like the movies or TV. It's total... you go out to kill everyone of them you can and destroy their country or you don't.

There is no middle ground.

#38 | Posted by Pegasus at 2019-04-03 05:06 PM | Reply

Do the last 5 wars include Grenada and Panama or what???

#39 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-03 05:08 PM | Reply

What's reprehensible about #22?

"as far as I am concerned he got what was coming to him"

#40 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-03 05:29 PM | Reply

but I as his daughter didn't sign up for that. -rightistrite

Didn't know you identified as a lady.

#41 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-03 08:20 PM | Reply

#40 | POSTED BY MUSTANG AT 2019-04-03 05:29 PM | FLAG: SKR-U

What goes around comes around... he was dumping toxic substances on the countryside of a foreign nation in order to facilitate the slaughter of others... do you honestly think that is acceptable behavior? Technically my father engaged in criminal behavior... wearing a uniform didn't wash away his sins... if it did there would be no child molesters in the clergy.

There were 3 women that cared for him in the end... his second wife, his mother and me...I took care of him... and he didn't suffer by any of my actions... but I sure did by his.

#41 | POSTED BY GONOLES92 AT 2019-04-03 08:20 PM | FLAG: EYE ROLL
I identify as a woman... because I am... right down to the chromosomal mosaic that determines my cellular structure... never wanted to be anything else.
I really don't identify as a "lady"... whatever that actually means... other than a class distinction and compartmentalization on how I should behave... Lady is one of those words bandied about that served no practical purpose in my life... or ambitions.

It's so weird that military personnel love to go on and on about their bravado and what a bunch of tough guys they are with all that nobility... etc. etc. etc... and yet they die like babies crying for their mommies... so much wasted humanity.

There are a lot of families like mine out there... Oh but... it's all about the brave soldier.... never the destroyed families... on both sides of the battle... you are only valued if you signed up to murder on the orders of others...

High divorce rate and high suicide rate... yay... you win.

#42 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-04-04 07:42 AM | Reply

I don't know too many veterans but I'd say they all struggle to find their niche in civilian life.

Then maybe you need to get out and meet some actual vets.

I was lucky. I liked technology as a child. I knew what I wanted to do. I had good NCO's and officers. My recruiter didnt lie to me. I had a great military career and I'm having a very good post military life. I've positioned myself very well for the future, but that's what happens when you plan.

There are many programs to help vets, the problem usually is getting them to take advantage of them.

#43 | Posted by boaz at 2019-04-04 08:04 AM | Reply

I really don't identify as a "lady"... whatever that actually means... other than a class distinction and compartmentalization on how I should behave... Lady is one of those words bandied about that served no practical purpose in my life... or ambitions.

Haha no worries, I was going to say "female," but apparently that word is used only by incels who are afraid of women? I honestly thought you were a dude until this thread, not like gender matters in online discourses but it is cool to inform on perspective of the poster.

#44 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-04 11:46 AM | Reply

Btw, I'm lucky to be lead by a number of female S.NCOs and my CO. Without a doubt they have more impact than whatever burnout wrote this article. That was the perspective I was using to base my judgement of the author, with regard to leadership.

In spirit of the #EqualGenderPayDay earlier this week, there is no gender pay or achievement gap here.

#45 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-04 11:50 AM | Reply

"Then maybe you need to get out and meet some actual vets."

They're actual vets, Boaz. Two Navy, one Marines, one Air Force. The Air Force guy is the only one I'd say had little to no trouble integrating to civilian life. He also only served the minimum four years unlike the others who did ten to twenty.

Come to think of it I know two other Marines, both pretty young, who did their four years ahd got out; they're doing okay. Seems like the longer you're in the harder it is to be out. Forever War style.

Way back in the 90s my boss was a retired Vietnam era Naval aviator but his civilian life was working on a Navy base so not a whole lot of jarring transition there.

"I got lucky."

I'm glad you're not getting or needing disability, Boaz.

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-04 08:07 PM | Reply

I've seen both extremes. My friend Drew got sick in Afghanistan, rotated back and discharged. He descended into alcohol and pain pills, lost him a few years ago.

My brother in law was a NCO & medic, did a few tours in Iraq. Back home he's became a great firefighter, then an EMT, now a registered nurse married to a small business owner.

The pilots I know all do great after they leave the service. It obviously helps to have a college education and in demand, relatively lucrative skill set that's almost always their lifelong passion to begin with.

#47 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-04-05 07:12 AM | Reply

It obviously helps to have a college education and in demand, relatively lucrative skill set that's almost always their lifelong passion to begin with. #47 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

This. I'd imagine transition helps if your MOS is technical, have a solid plan in getting out, or use the GI Bill wisely.

#48 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-04-05 07:25 AM | Reply

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