Dear Uncle Sam,
Thank you for keeping my husband alive during war and for that I am grateful. I stood by him through 15 months with a heavy heart, spent sleepless nights worrying about him, and prayed that another day would bring some type of communication. I proudly showed our country's flag and my blue star banner, and literally bled, red, white and blue when was asked of me. You made sure he was fed, showered, clothed, had ammunition when he needed it, and Medical care when he was injured. He fought, and fought hard never questioning his duty, because like many of our brave men and women….your orders are all that mattered and they had a job to do. They did it. Not once did my husband ever complain, because again, it was his duty and he was proud to serve you.
While being grateful, I would like to file a complaint against the United States Military, United States Government and for all those parties that had anything to do with this Middle Eastern War. You sent me back the wrong man. A man, who as I casually watch outside sitting in a chair, no longer communicates with the world, expresses any emotions, and who's family he has left a long time ago all while remaining under the same roof. A man who can't go into public without freaking out, and who's anger and frustrations roll upon his family like a deadly Tsunami. Somewhere over Ramadi, Iraq and back through Afghanistan to come home, my husband must have been switched with someone else. I sent you my husband over there with good faith in you that he would return, and you have let me down.
Military Wife gives Uncle Sam a much needed ass kicking…You gave me all the promises and education I needed for insurance, reintegration, what to do "if this happens" scenarios….but you never told me about this. You said some of our guys might come home with sleep problems or some emotional issues those first few months home. You told us that this is simply a readjustment period and those too shall pass. Uncle Sam, it's been three years. PTSD/TBI never goes away, nor does it simply involve a sleepless night. You failed to mention all the horrors, the struggles, and let downs in between. You didn't tell me that I would be raising a family by myself and taking care of my husband, and you also failed to mention that I would be alone in my marriage with no one to talk to about it or having to deal with my own personal demons alone. You sent him home and left us here.
Your Veteran's Administration is ok. Not too impressed with appointments twice a year to see a psychiatrist. Not impressed at all with a psychiatrist who simply wants to know about any side effects from the meds and then dismisses your soldier with no advice or comments. It took us six months to get us in to begin with and we were treated with total disregard; almost like we were dog poop accidentally stepped in and bothersome to a new pair of expensive shoes. Twice a year is what my husband and our family is worth right? His primary physician I am highly disappointed in because her concerns with my husband's daily bowel movements is more priority than dealing with his PTSD. Fish oil tablets, Vitamin E, D, and all the ABCs do not make a difference in his PTSD I can assure you. He has no problems with his bowel movements, and would love to actually collect it one day and drop it in on your desk and say "HERE IT IS-Now what's next?". We now have a TBI diagnosis in which both of us are still not sure what to do or where to begin, but in six months…we should have an appointment for someone to treat us like crap again. Looking forward to it.
As far as my family is concerned, I would like to file a complaint not just for me but for all spouses. You didn't tell us you would send us home our soldiers so mentally messed up they could not function. You didn't tell us that all of this would fall on our shoulders alone without any help or resources. The ones you did provide us "no longer had volunteers so therefore we are unable to help you". You failed to disclose all the problems our families would face and how hard it would be to struggle each and every day. You failed to provide any type of help at the Veteran's Administration for us spouses dealing with your mistakes. You did provide a once a month meeting in which the "therapist" constantly regarded her watch more than the spouses. You provided us one hour, in which it took 30 minutes of that waiting for the counselor to get there. Thirty minutes a month was all we were worth to the VA. I could not unload a .0005 section of our family problems in that time allotted.
What happened to the resources you promised? If you are heavily depending on volunteers to "give an hour" and they are no longer doing that program, did you just give up? What, we could not take a little bit off each bill or new legislation to pay a professional their time to help us? You also failed in finding volunteers, because of the 20 I called and spoke to….the reason they quit was because no one had told them that they would be dealing with PTSD/TBI/Reintegration issues because guess what? They have no clue what those are nor did they have any experience with working with the military.
My husband along with many deserve more than that. As families, we stayed strong and held down the forts while they were gone. You basically used, abused and then shoved them aside with no second thoughts. Now the families are left trying to hold our family together, keeping our insanity together, and getting all the crap that rolls downhill. Spouses desperately are seeking help all over the United States, seeking some answers and just a knowledge that someone else knows what they are going through. They are seeking because so many of us don't know where to go and the government has failed us, our children, and our soldiers. I want you to stop what you are doing and take a look at the suicide rates among returning US soldiers. Five minutes is all I am asking. Unless they walk in and shoot themselves in the head as in recently, or on a military installation, nothing is ever done or accomplished.
You write pamphlets on all these subjects, but they are just that…paper. It reads like stereo instructions rehashing jargon no one can understand. What we do understand is that you sent us home monsters and left us alone to deal with it. As you looking through those suicide rates, cross reference that with spouse suicides. Then if you have a minute or two to spare, look at the children who went through hell and now have lost either if not both parents. Just because it doesn't make national news or headlines doesn't mean it just went away. As a supporter of our military, I will still always wave my flag and be proud of our country. Not because of the ones who hold government offices, but because we have so many good people in our country. I will always be the first to yell "Hoo-ah", and help any of our fellow military men and women…but don't expect me to say I am proud of you, Uncle Sam. On behalf of all of us spouses you gave the shaft to, and on behalf of all our military you shoved to the side when you no longer had use for them….I file this complaint.
The Military Wife