20 January 2008

NYT Headline: Crazy Vets on the Loose, Part Deux!

The NY Times has published it's second article talking about the very small percentage of OIF/OEF vets who have come back and committed homicide. If the IAVA had released the story, I wouldn't be so skeptical and taking this with a grain of salt. But with the anti-war stance of the NY Times coupled with the hubris that everyone outside of Manhattan is a moron, I can't help but see some weird agenda to play up the "crazy vet" stereotype. This wide-sweeping assessment keeps vets from getting jobs and re-assimilating back to normal society. While PTSD and its related ills (homelessness, drug abuse) are no joke, I think the NY Times is pushing the envelope of absurdity.

"One day, I went out skeet shooting with a buddy, and I realized I felt so much better having a shotgun in my hand and watching something explode,” he said. He bought three guns of his own.

The former Marine in question is, gasp, a Mormon from the red fly-over state of Utah! I know the thought of Utah may just disgust the educated hipsters dwelling in NYC and working for the NYT, but I've worked with a lot of nice folks from the state, and I didn't think they were any more crazy than anyone else. Iowahawk had a funny satire on media vets that employs the same statistical rigor of using the wrongdoings of a couple people to make sweeping assertions about anyone else in the community. I think you'll find that veterans opinions and lifestyles are as complex as society itself, and that's just one dude's opinion.

Mothers lock up your daughters... The crazy vets are on the loose!


Jason said...

Yea, thanks NYT. Now when I go back to work I can expect my bosses and co-workers to think I'm a nut. On second thought, maybe that's not such a bad thing!

gage said...

i wish there were as much concern over vets hurting themselves as there is over this. I think that number is much higher than the number of vets who've hurt others. At any rate, it's up to the public to ensure that help is available to the vets. I'm afraid, however, it's going to have to fall upon vets to convince other vets to use the help, as most suffering vets aren't going to trust anyone else.

Hope you're doing okay over there, Sailor. What sort of fish are biting in that desert?

CJ said...

I wonder how the NYT would explain the troops that beat their wives BEFORE the war. What was the cause then? And I recently helped put a Soldier out for drugs? Are we all endangered drug addicts too? Come to think, when I was a platoon sergeant, I put out a Soldier for heavy drug involvement. That was BEFORE the war too! BRB, I need to go urinate in a cup.

Good read LTNixon.

CJ said...

Test. Is this working?

LT Nixon said...


I'm already considered a pretty weird dude, this article isn't going to help me or any other vet hang with the civilians (especially the ladies!)


I'm definitely for the VA helping out the vets that need helping. But I think articles like this might drive a wedge between vets and non-vets which could create even worse adjustment for returning vets in the long road. It's a touchy issue since you want to have awareness, but you don't wanna stereotype.


Haha, I hope someone "observed" you pee in the cup. I've taken about a zillion piss tests over the years and you know how many people in the commands I've been in have popped positive for drugs, one. My experience has been that drugs aren't a big problem while on active duty, but rather after people get out. It may have to do with vets having a tough time adjusting to normal livings, which this NYT article isn't helping with! I don't like it's tone.

gage said...

LT Nixon, if you mean civilians (non-vets), I gotta tell you this time I don't agree. I don't think it'll cause a wedge. If you were in the States and could see and hear the reaction to Bill O'Reilly's comment about homeless vets, for instance, I think you'd have to agree that we civilians have the vets and servicepeople very much on our minds. Could be some latent guilt over the way Vietnam vets were treated, possibly. I don't know, but even in the anti-war crowd, everyone seems anxious to embrace the vets. some of us are looking to the vets to lead us. I really don't think we're going to let the service folks get skunked this time.

Just saying.

CJ said...


I have to agree AND disagree with you. I agree that most civilians are behind us Soldiers (I'm an Army 1SG). I think most people recognize the politically charged media for what it is and don't put much weight behind their "reporting".

However, I have to disagree with you about the anti-war crowd in this country. Don't get me wrong, there ARE those that know how to support the troops and be anti-war. In my experience, they are few and far between.

Having just left the DC area, I've been to many anti-war functions and spoken with many anti-war individuals. Not ONE of those functions included areas to send letters to the troops, not one collected money for non-profit troops support organizations, but they ALL included displays and information on the "war crimes" perpetrated by American troops. There were no disclaimers that only a small percentage of troops commit these atrocities for which all troops are disgusted. Talking with the people only solidifies that feeling as they spew hateful vitriol about the Soldiers and, yes, how we're "baby killers". These aren't anecdotes. These people are encouraged to believe that people like me are mentally deranged and brain-washed. We're ticking timebombs just looking for a spark to ignite our fury.

Again, I want to point a couple of things here. One: most of America actively supports our troops, even if it means paying $5 for some stupid ribbon magnet that does NOTHING. I see it all the time through our letter-writing campaigns, care packages coming into theater, and money getting poured into groups like Move America Forward, Adopt-A-Platoon, and Wounded Warriors. Two: Not all anti-war people hate Soldiers. They just happen to be as small a percentage as the percentage of troops coming home and providing ammunition for the New York Times hit pieces.

I'm not getting onto you, honest, though I know it sounds like it. I'm merely trying to convey my hard experiences of the past four years and after returning from the combat zone.

A Soldier's Perspective

Bag Blog said...

Once again the Media is at war with the war. Not only do our soldiers have to fight bad guys in the ME, they have to fight the media too.

There are lot of us out her with eligible daughters that would love for some suave soldier to come along, unfortunately they seem to be rather busy these days.

Only three guns?!

LT Nixon said...

Gage & CJ,

I think the anti-war people who are hell bent on supporting the terrorists (don't believe me, check out Zombie Time) and deriding the US military aren't TOO big, but they are a force to be reckoned with. Most people opposed to the Iraq war are people upset with the Bush administration's handling of it and I don't think they have a grudge with the troops per se. The best way to support the troops IMHO is to either 1) become one yourself, 2) elect the right political leaders to properly use them, and 3) understand the difficulties that people coming back from deployments have, or are on deployments and help them re-integrate back into normal society. Just a thought. Thanks for all the discussion.

Bag Blog,

Well I'm not definitely no "suave" guy, I mostly get women to talk to me by looking pathetic, haha. I always had troubles in the states with the ladies. But hey that's life.

gage said...

LT Nixon and CJ,

I've never hidden the fact here that I'm anti-war. I'd say anti-IRAQ war, though, because I have never felt that Afghanistan was anything but a just and defensive war. In fact, one of my greatest objections to the war in Iraq is that it has taken the focus off of Afghanistan to a potentially tragic fault. But I'd be very offended to hear anyone speak of our soldiers in Iraq as "baby killers."

I wonder how much of that may just come out of frustration, CJ. Not trying to justify it, but I can tell you I, myself, get very tired of people who say that because I am in favor of leaving Iraq that I want the terrorists to win. I would never call those people "baby killers" but I don't understand why they'd call me a terrorist sympathizer either. I simply believe that using our military for anything other than defense OR as VERY temporary peacekeepers in a NATO alliance is simply abuse. Not only of the troops, but of their families as well.

The people I associate with whom you could say are anti-war all feel that way. I'm sorry you had that experience, CJ. You wouldn't get that treatment from my folks. In fact, I think you'd get just the opposite. Our slogan is "Support the troops. Bring them home."

And, yes, most of us are very pissed off at the Commander-in-Chief. In fact, I despise what he's done. It's my liberty and luxury as a civilian to be able to say so, but I would never press a serviceperson to say it. In fact, I'll make a deal with every U.S. serviceperson in Iraq: I will remember that you are in a much different position than I am, and all I'll ask for now is that you stay safe and come home in one piece. we'll sort out the nitty gritty when you get home.

CJ said...


You're one of the rare that I've encountered at least. Let me just publicly thank you for exercising your freedoms in a respectful and patriotic manner. This Soldier appreciates it.