A Ghost on Aspen Street

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrick says:

    This is a beautiful post, E.D.Report

  2. Avatar bobroth says:

    I don’t want to make a big deal of this but please keep in mind you have very little history of the homeless vet you write about.

    You don’t know what, if any, efforts his family may have made to help him. You don’t know if he ever sought help in the VA system. There is a lot you don’t know about this man.

    I’m a vet and have some experiences with vets suffering from PTSD. It is possible to work with these men, get them into VA hospitals, or other facilities with sadly no results. It is not possible, thank god, to keep these men hospitalized against their will. They may choose life on the streets. They may choose to abandon family. I’m in no way saying these are wise decisions, clearly they are not, but please don’t assume your vet was dismissed out of hand, offered no governmental or family outreach.

    When you write, “That’s where we keep our national heroes, after all, when don’t need them anymore,” you are making a judgment not supported by this experience.Report

  3. When you write, “That’s where we keep our national heroes, after all, when don’t need them anymore,” you are making a judgment not supported by this experience.

    I can’t speak for him, but I think his point was that we shouldn’t treat our veterans that way. We are failing them when they live on the streets or we don’t get them the help they deserve.Report

  4. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Bob, I completely agree that a lot of what I’m writing here was speculative. But the fact remains that we, as a nation, do not do enough to care for our vets – even if this just happened to be a guy who never accepted help. I think it’s a good reason to question the warlike policies of our national defense, and to question whether we should be getting ourselves into this situation to begin with.Report

  5. Avatar bobroth says:

    E.D., I agree, we could do a much better job of helping vets. The VA is underfunded, hence overworked. (And to often incompetent.) The horrendous decisions of Bush, and I fear Obama, will only add to their burden. I just felt your conclusion merited a comment. And as I said, I don’t want to make a big deal about it. I only wanted to point out some of what I have seen.

    Your post was heartfelt and beautifully written, I read every word.Report

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