The US Army Asked Twitter How Service Has Impacted People. The Answers Were Gut-Wrenching.

in #war2 years ago

After posting a video of a young recruit talking to the camera about how service allows him to better himself "as a man and a warrior", the US Army tweeted, "How has serving impacted you?"

As of this writing, the post has over 5,300 responses. Most of them are heartbreaking.

"My daughter was raped while in the army," said one responder. "They took her to the hospital where an all male staff tried to convince her to give the guy a break because it would ruin his life. She persisted. Wouldn’t back down. Did a tour in Iraq. Now suffers from PTSD."

"I’ve had the same nightmare almost every night for the past 15 years," said another.

Tweet after tweet after tweet, people used the opportunity that the Army had inadvertently given them to describe how they or their loved one had been chewed up and spit out by a war machine that never cared about them. This article exists solely to document a few of the things that have been posted in that space, partly to help spread public awareness and partly in case the thread gets deleted in the interests of "national security". Here's a sampling in no particular order:

"Someone I loved joined right out of high school even though I begged him not to. Few months after his deployment ended, we reconnected. One night, he told me he loved me and then shot himself in the head. If you're gonna prey on kids for imperialism, at least treat their PTSD."

~

"After I came back from overseas I couldn't go into large crowds without a few beers in me. I have nerve damage in my right ear that since I didn't want to look weak after I came back I lied to the VA rep. My dad was exposed to agent orange which destroyed his lungs, heart, liver and pancreas and eventually killing him five years ago. He was 49, exposed at a post not Vietnam, and will never meet my daughter my nephew. I still drink to much and I crowds are ok most days but I have to grocery shop at night and can't work days because there is to many ppl."

~

"The dad of my best friend when I was in high school had served in the army. He struggled with untreated PTSD & severe depression for 30 years, never told his family. Christmas eve of 2010, he went to their shed to grab the presents & shot himself in the head. That was the first funeral I attended where I was actually told the cause of death & the reasons surrounding it. I went home from the service, did some asking around, & found that most of the funerals I've attended before have been caused by untreated health issues from serving."

~

"My dad was drafted into war and was exposed to agent orange. I was born w multiple physical/neurological disabilities that are linked back to that chemical. And my dad became an alcoholic with ptsd and a side of bipolar disorder."

~

"i met this guy named christian who served in iraq. he was cool, had his own place with a pole in the living room. always had lit parties. my best friend at the time started dating him so we spent a weekend at his crib. after a party, 6am, he took out his laptop. he started showing us some pics of his time in the army. pics with a bunch of dudes. smiling, laughing. it was cool. i was drunk and didn’t care. he started showing us pics of some little kids. after a while, his eyes went completely fucking dark. i was like man, dude’s high af. he very calmly explained to us that all of those kids were dead 'but that’s what war was. dead kids and nothing to show for it but a military discount'. christian killed himself 2 months later."

~

"I didn’t serve but my dad did. In Vietnam. It eventually killed him, slowly, over a couple of decades. When the doctors were trying to put in a pacemaker to maybe extend his life a couple of years, his organs were so fucked from the Agent Orange, they disintegrated to the touch. He died when I was ten. He never saw me graduate high school. He never saw me get my first job or buy my first car. He wasn’t there. But hey! Y’all finally paid out 30k after another vet took the VA to the Supreme Court, so. You know. It was cool for him."

~

"Chronic pain with a 0% disability rating (despite medical discharge) so no benefits, and anger issues that I cope with by picking fistfights with strangers."

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"My parents both served in the US Army and what they got was PTSD for both of them along with anxiety issues. Whenever we go out in public and sit down somewhere my dad has to have his back up against the wall just to feel a measure of comfort that no one is going to sneak up on him and kill him and and walking up behind either of them without announcing that you’re there is most likely going to either get you punch in the face or choked out."

~

"Many of my friends served. All are on heavy antidepressant/anxiety meds, can't make it through 4th of July or NYE, and have all dealt with heavy substance abuse problems before and after discharge. And that's on top of one crippled left hand, crushed vertebra, and GSWs."

~

"Left my talented and young brother a broken and disabled man who barely leaves the house. Left my mother hypervigilant & terrified due to the amount of sexual assault & rape covered up and looked over by COs. Friend joined right out if HS, bullet left him paralyzed neck down."

~

"My cousin went to war twice and came back with a drug addiction that killed him. My other cousin could never get paid on time and when he left they tried to withhold his pay."

~

“It’s given me a fractured spine, TBI, combat PTSD, burn pit exposure, and a broken body with no hope of getting better. Not even medically retired for a fractured spine. WTF.”

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"Y’all killed my father by failing to provide proper treatments after multiple tours."

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"Everyone I know got free PTSD and chemical exposure and a long engagement in their efforts to have the US pay up for college tuition. Several lives ruined. No one came out better. Thank god my recruiter got a DUI on his way to get me or I would be dead or worse right now."

~

"I have ptsd and still wake up crying at night. Also have a messed up leg that I probably will have to deal with the rest of my life. Depression. Anger issues."

~

"My grandfather came back from Vietnam with severe PTSD, tried to drown it in alcohol, beat my father so badly and so often he still flinches when touched 50 years later. And I grew up with an emotionally scarred father with PTSD issues of his own because of it. Good times."

~

"Hmmm. Let's see. I lost friends, have 38 inches of scars, PTSD and a janky arm and hand that don't work."

~

"my grandpa served in vietnam from when he was 18-25. he’s 70 now and every night he still has nightmares where he stands up tugging at the curtains or banging on the walls screaming at the top of his lungs for someone to help him. he refuses to talk about his time and when you mention anything about the war to him his face goes white and he has a panic attack. he cries almost every day and night and had to spend 10 years in a psychiatric facility for suicidal ideations from what he saw there."

~

"My best friend joined the Army straight out of high school because his family was poor & he wanted a college education. He served his time & then some. Just as he was ready to retire he was sent to Iraq. You guys sent him back in a box. It destroyed his children."

~

"Well, my father got deployed to Iraq and came back a completely different person. Couldn’t even work the same job he had been working 20 years before that because of his anxiety and PTSD. He had nightmares, got easily violent and has terrible depression. But the army just handed him pills, now he is 100% disabled and is on a shit ton of medication. He has nightmares every night, paces the house barely sleeping, checking every room just to make sure everyone’s safe. He’s had multiple friends commit suicide."

~

"Father’s a disabled Vietnam veteran who came home with severe PTSD and raging alcoholism. VA has continuously ignored him throughout the years and his medical needs and he receives very little compensation for all he’s gone through. Thanks so much!!"

~

"I was #USNavy, my husband was #USArmy, he served in Bosnia and Iraq and that nice, shy, funny guy was gone, replaced with a withdrawn, angry man...he committed suicide a few years later...when I’m thanked for my service, I just nod."

~

"I’m permanently disabled because I trained through severe pain after being rejected from the clinic for 'malingering.' Turns out my pelvis was cracked and I ended up having to have hip surgery when I was 20 years old."

~

"My brother went into the Army a fairly normal person, became a Ranger (Ft. Ord) & came out a sociopath. He spent the 1st 3 wks home in his room in the dark, only coming out at night when he thought we were asleep. He started doing crazy stuff. Haven't seen him since 1993."

~

"Recently attended the funeral for a west point grad with a 4yr old and a 7yr old daughter because he blew his face off to escape his ptsd but thats nothing new."

~

"I don’t know anyone in my family who doesn’t suffer from ptsd due to serving. One is signed off sick due to it & thinks violence is ok. Another (navy) turned into a psycho & thought domestic violence was the answer to his wife disobeying his orders."

~

"My dad served during vietnam, but after losing close friends and witnessing the killing of innocents by the U.S., he refused to redeploy. He has suffered from PTSD ever since. The bravest thing he did in the army was refuse to fight any longer, and I'm so proud of him for that."

~

"My best friend from high school was denied his mental health treatment and forced to return to a third tour in Iraq, despite having such deep trauma that he could barely function. He took a handful of sleeping pills and shot himself in the head two weeks before deploying."

~

"Bad back, hips, and knees. Lack of trust, especially when coming forward about sexual harassment. Detachment, out of fear of losing friends. Missed birthdays, weddings, graduations, and funerals. I get a special license plate tho."

~

"My son died 10 months ago. He did 3 overseas tours. He came back with severe mental illness."

~

"I’m still in and I’m in constant pain and they recommended a spinal fusion when I was 19. Y’all also won’t update my ERB so I can’t use the education benefits I messed myself up for."

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"My dad served two tours in middle east and his personality changes have affected my family forever. VA 'counseling' has a session limit and doesn't send you to actual psychologists. Military service creates a mental health epidemic it is then woefully unequipped to deal with."

~

"My best childhood friend lost his mind after his time in the marines and now he lives in a closet in his mons house and can barely hold a conversation with anyone. He only smokes weed and drinks cough syrup that he steals since he can't hold a job."

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"After coming back from Afghanistan.....Matter fact I don’t even want to talk about it. Just knw that my PTSD, bad back, headaches, chronic pain, knee pain, and other things wishes I would have NEVER signed that contract. It was NOT worth the pain I’ll endure for the rest of life."

~

"My cousin served and came back only to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and ptsd. There were nights that he would lock himself in the bathroom and stay in the corner because he saw bodies in the bathtub. While driving down the highway, he had another episode and drove himself into a cement barrier, engulfing his Jeep in flames and burning alive. My father served as well and would never once speak of what he witnessed and had to do. He said it’s not something that any one person should ever be proud of."

~

"I was sexually assaulted by a service member at 17 when I visited my sister on her base, then again at 18. My friend got hooked on k2 and died after the va turned him away for mental health help. Another friend serving was exploited sexually by her co and she was blamed for it."

~

"I spent ten years in the military. I worked 15 hour days to make sure my troops were taken care of. In return for my hard work I was rewarded with three military members raping me. I was never promoted to a rank that made a difference. And I have an attempt at suicide. Fuck you!"

~

"I actually didn’t get around to serving because I was sexually assaulted by three of my classmates during a military academy prep program. They went to the academies and are still active duty officers. I flamed out of the program and have PTSD."

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"My father's successful military career taught him that he's allowed to use violence to make people do what he wants because America gave him that power."

~

"While I was busy framing 'soliders and families first' (lol) propaganda posters, my best friend went to 'Iraqistan' but he didn't come back. He returned alive, to be sure, but he was no longer the fun, carefree, upbeat person he'd previously been."

~

"My husband is a paraplegic and can't control 3/4 of his body now. Me, I've got PTSD, an anxiety disorder, two messed up knees, depression, a bad back, tinnitus, and chronic insomnia. I wish both had never served."

~

"This is one of the most heartbreaking threads I’ve ever read."

~

"I am so sorry. The way we fail our service members hurts my heart. My grandfather served in the Korean War and had nightmares until his death at 91 years old. We must do better."

~

"My Army story is that when I was in high school, recruiters were there ALL the time- at lunch, clubs, etc.- targeting the poor kids at school. I didn't understand it until now. You chew people who have nothing at home up and spit them out."

~

"I was thinking about enlisting until I saw this thread. Hard pass."

~

"I hope to god that the Army has enough guts to read these and realize how badly our servicepeople are being treated. Thank you and god bless you to all of you in this thread, and your loved ones who are suffering too."

~

There are many, many more.

This is a poem I wrote a while back called "Naughty Little Boys":

That little boy’s mum is going to be so upset.
He hasn’t combed his hair,
and his clothes are filthy.
And what’s he gone and done with his legs?
Where are your legs, little boy?
Better go and find them before your mum sees you.
Those legs are very important to her.

They sent the little boys up into the sky
and over the ocean to go play soldiers.
They gave them toy guns
full of toy bullets,
and they screamed toy screams,
and bled toy blood,
and cried toy tears,
and had toy nightmares,
and called out for their mums
in the desert.

The man on the TV keeps calling them heroes.
Don’t call them that, TV man,
you’ll only encourage them.
These are little boys,
and they’re being very naughty.
They are worrying their mums sick
and it’s time for them to go home.

Find your legs, little boy,
and go be with your mum.
Find your hands and your face too;
she’ll miss those as well.
Find your mind and bring it back
from that dark, scary place.
You’re not there anymore.
You are home.
Stop screaming toy screams
and crying toy tears
and go tell your mum that you’ve had
a bad dream.

Sort:  

Thank you for posting this. Your poem is spot-on when you say for the TV man not to encourage them. We tell them they're Heroes to get them to sign up and then we send them off to be mutilated both mentally and physically for the enrichment of the banking cartel.

Your post reminds me have a recent visit to my local grocery store. While leaving I was met by a "young" marine. He asked me if I wanted to donate to have fun that would help new recruits by their basic supplies for when they go out to camps. I told him while I appreciated his enthusiasm for what he thought would be the spread of freedom and liberty I can't support and imperialistic regime that has a standing army to go fight Wars on foreign soil under the guise of Defending our freedom here in this land of slaves we call America. I didn't make a big deal about it just politely told him that and tried to point him in the direction I've some alternate ways of thinking he might look into before he willingly throws his life in the mix for the winds of the ones who ruled this world. I smiled shook his hand and told him to have a good day as I left.

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The number one cause of war?

People joining militaries.

Never trust anyone who tells you to kill anyone.

🕉️☀️♥️🙏

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Had someone in my distant family who had tons of issues with the VA, eventually killed himself. But we need govt healthcare amirite.

During the Vietnam conflict, my father served two tours as an artillery officer, his younger brother was a Marine computer engineer who stayed stateside, the third brother was in the Air Force flying interdiction missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail (KIA), and the youngest was an aircraft mechanic on a carrier stationed off the coast of Nam. I later served during the Cold War as an Air Force computer specialist. We were a typical patriotic military family. It wasn't until much later after I had retired that I realized it was all a lie, and needless to say, it was a rude awakening. As General Smedley Butler said, 'War is a racket'. And to this day, the greedy war-mongering psychopaths are still at it.

IMO, military service is still a honorable and, likely, rewarding path as long as you know what to expect and what you want to get out of it. If you are considering signing up, try to go into a specialty field such as electronics, computers, or a health care related field. You want something that will transfer over to your civilian life after you separate. If you're after the educational benefits, as I was, by all means go for it.

You also need to know that the US military is being misused to overthrow the governments of countries that are not agreeable or subservient to US interests. This has been going on for at least a century. You probably heard on TV about America using its military and economic power to spread 'freedom and democracy' and to be a 'force for good.' Well, this is complete and utter bullshit propaganda.

We are not fighting the made-up 'war on terror' or some made-up evil dictator. These are complete fabrications. We are, in fact, forcing regime changes for economic and/or political gain, and in the process, committing the most abominable crimes against humanity. I personally could not be a part of this. You'll have to decide for yourself.

There's a harrowing statistic that I found from Cathy's post, the US supplies 73% of the world's Dictatorships with weapons and money.

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I had to scroll past the vast majority of them. Anyone who exholts or praises their time in the service is fucked in the head as far as I'm concerned or in very very deep denial.

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The man on the TV keeps calling them heroes.
Don’t call them that, TV man,
you’ll only encourage them.

One of the most useful articles ever. The price of war on Americans who "survived," is a very moving argument against all wars. Must be more known.

Sometimes, no matter how hard they try to keep the truth tightly controlled and out of public view, the truth breaks through in unexpected places. The army probably thought this campaign would be a simple and wholesome promotional tool, but it ended up blowing up in their face.

The truth about war and 'service' is so often hidden from us, it is SANITIZED behind slogans and cliches. We rarely hear the voices of these forgotten soldiers who have had their lives torn apart by the ravages of war. Images of soldiers coming home in body bags or of casualties abroad are never shown on corporate television and are highly censored.

Thanks for putting this on the blockchain before it gets removed from twitter.
More people need to know how war affects the people on the front lines. Lives are forever altered.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

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This is terrible... I’m honestly glad the military is tweeting this asking for the truth because it needs to be said so people don’t continue this cycle!

I highly, highly doubt that it was their intention to have all these people, many who are only third person accounts, of what impact the service has. Think about this, really think about it:

In the service you enlist for 4-5 years. In those 4-5 years you get maybe paltry rank/file if you don't fuck it up, but, what is unequivocally exposed, is exactly how and why it's run like it is and who runs it. I mean I imagine you really have to be completely oblivious to what's right in front of you every single day, all around you to not know this after 4 or 5 years. After those years, you get a choice. Like many who 'join the cycle', they initially do so because of what is called the Poverty Draft, or enticing young impressionable adults/children with money/college degree, that is why the overwhelming majority joins, and why the vast majority is lower class/lower - middle class, with a few outlines that are doing it because of parents/tradition, a few to prove themselves (as the Full Metal Jacket put it, the crazy brave) and even fewer who join for neither of those reasons but to literally infiltrate and know the enemy as intimately as possible, how they operate and what they are capable of (real Anarchists and peerless leaders). Yet when they choose to remain, after they have been awash of any and all illusion of what the service is about and for, they either do so once again because they need money, or because they are into the tradition of it, or they are psychopaths, and crave murder and violence, rape especially, or.. because they need to get even deeper into the belly of the beast. Right now another distinction needs to be made. The ones in charge of the enlisted, the officers are almost exclusively college degree, middle upper class /upper class, wannabe politician /wannabe big shots/ wannabe leaders, or a few outliners that I don't think ever get accepted by the vast prep school majority, who were enlisted, smart and thus likely crazy brave/full blown psychopath/or subversive Ancap/Ancoms or Tardition/errm special unique dandelions savant. So the officers don't really have a view of the enlisted or the enlisted of the officers, after all the oldest tradition in the service is to not fraternize (you'd catch that in Inglorious Bastards the bar scene).. Now, as I was saying, people who run it (the service) will slowly be made up of so many different motivations, yet, like I was saying, after that initial term, what logically continues to move up in ranks are those that remain despite what they know. They could be psychopaths that have found their calling in life, they could be special flowers whose families have done the same thing since Gettysburg, they could be some broke ass gambling drunk losers who never held a job and need money, but they all have to contend with one inescapable thing: eventually, no one is signing up for 4 more years, 6 more years, 10, 12 more year (contract) because they're broke, or very very few, and even tradition breaks down after the second or third term, after all there only so much shit you can be oblivious to, so the ones that sing up the second time, they have to come to terms that eventually, the ones with 20+-30+ years who rub shoulders with politicians of the highest order, are either psychopaths that have went super sayan/reached their ultimate form, those who are completely oblivious and in denial because it's traditional(very few), and maybe one or two very smart very sharp, Shitbags as they call em, subversive Ancap/Ancom that stand out both as Likable and Loners but not enough to raise eyebrows of the vastly iq less than 80 peers. The officers, unless they come from the enlisted side, don't really know this, they don't see that those positions are almost hand tailored to fit full blown psychopaths, they are under the illusion of 'these peasant folk and their simple ways, the service betters them". So you see what is happening.. The enlisted, unless they are 13 feet in denial, they know that the ones who stick it out are fucked, roten to the core, devoid of soul, spirit essence, perfect machine of war, who only knows conflict and depravity, the officers are ignorant yet very smart in all the meaningless ways. That's why the cycle they have to break is very noticeable and they have almost zero excuse for not breaking it, and why when you hear any, any enlisted talk about the service it's to praise it, obviously, because the rest, the silent vast majority don't have anything good to say, they might not even ever come to understand what they went through like I broke it down, but they certainly will have all kinds of "in the service" jokes and shit to say, masking what they know nobody wants to hear, but what is almost silently acknowledged by the vast majority : how long did you stay in...

Probably why most of these stories are "my dad", or "a friend of a friend". The officers wouldn't sleep at night if they knew half the stories, or if they bothered to break the sacred tradition of not fratenizing.

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Couldn’t have said it better myself! You really nailed every angle. 👏

So sad . I am always torn. I respect those who serve and despise those who use them for ill gain.

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