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home : opinions : opinions August 1, 2014

4/16/2013 10:20:00 AM
Letter: Williams VFW post a place of support for young vets

To the editor:

If I might be so bold, I would like to offer a few observations based on my 20 years as an Air Force veteran. The dissimilarities between civilians and military members are extraordinary. The environment in which the military operates is located within a "protector" attitude that cannot be duplicated outside of firefighters, policemen and other agencies that deal with life and death on a daily basis.

I contend that civilians have a different work ethic, disconnectedness to a larger unity, a different camaraderie and a different lifestyle. This is not a diatribe against the civilian lifestyle. I see on the news many military veterans in dire straits, enough so that they take their own lives, and sometimes the lives of their loved ones or others around them.

This is a very real problem with America's warriors. The negative aspects are of such magnitude that one has a difficult time discovering and developing useful strategies to combat these problems.

Our local VFW post might well be a resource that could (and should) be utilized by those veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suicidal tendencies, anger management issues and other dissocial tendencies.

One of the services we offer is an arena in which warriors can come in and discuss freely, without condemnation or judgment, the obstacles they face in their transitions to civilian life. The bulk of our post's members are Vietnam-era veterans, who, as history unfortunately shows, have numerous life experiences that might offer solutions or suggestions that have proven useful to young warriors when they are faced with the same obstacles.

The major difference between the Vietnam vets and you, the younger warrior, is that they didn't have the whole country behind them like there is now. That is not a judgment, just a personal observation.

If anyone knows of a veteran, young or old, who displays negative aspects of a troubled life, please contact us. We offer a heartfelt, welcoming atmosphere in which one might feel a connectedness that just isn't available to the general demographic. I, and my fellow comrades, are positive that help can be attained for these young warriors.

The Matthew J. Broehm VFW Post No. 12128 is located in the strip mall at 117 W. Route 66, Suite 190. If you would like information regarding our post, please contact George Riojas, our commander at (928) 856-0060.

Stephen F. Bingell

VFW Post No. 12128 Jr. Vice-commander

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