Even Jon Stewart noted this past week, "Here's what disgusts me: Somehow we as a country were able to ship 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us $2 trillion ... yet for some reason, it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement -- all while we profess undying love for their service."
Speaking of utter neglect of America's best, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a Purple Heart-decorated combat veteran who also suffers from PTSD, has remained in a Mexican prison since March 31, when he accidentally crossed the border into Mexico with three legally registered firearms in his vehicle, according to CNN. The Blaze explained that he had relocated to San Diego just days before and was still looking for a permanent place to live. That is why he still had most of his possessions in his car when he headed to dinner with friends only 1.7 miles from the Mexican border. Tahmooressi missed his intended exit. He was looking to circle back at the next exit, but it was too late; he had driven across the border. (The Blaze showed how easily this could happen to anyone by shooting video of a journalist on the same route.)
And what has been the White House's response to this Marine's undeserved and unwarranted incarceration crisis? To wait and watch for 100,000 signatures on a White House website petition asking for Tahmooressi to be freed. The website even explains, "Since incarceration his life has been threatened; sustained a neck wound requiring hospitalization and chained in a 4-point restraint." Does the president even consider how his present maltreatment is exacerbating his PTSD right now?
When the commander in chief resorts to hashtag diplomacy to free a decorated U.S. combat veteran from a groundless and unjust foreign incarceration only miles from our border, it should infuriate even his most ardent supporters.
Mr. President, you don't need to wait for 100,000 signatures by May 31 on a White House petition. You just need to get on the Oval Office hotline today and order Mexican officials to free that U.S. Marine immediately!
For Washington to play "out of sight, out of mind" with our veterans' lives and health is to abandon them and their families in their greatest hour of need. It intentionally delivers them to the wolves of this world and the many other battlefields of war aftermath.
America's best put everything on the line for us. The very least that we can do for them is ensure that they have proper health care when they return from the battlefields.
But if the U.S. government won't properly care for every last service member who risked it all, then we the people can -- one at a time. Let us start with those in our own families, neighborhoods and communities. Extend (another) hand of gratitude and express your appreciation for those who serve our country. Befriend a veteran. Help veterans' families. Give to groups such as the Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org).
And if you or someone you know is being affected by PTSD, you can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 800-273-8255 or by texting 838255. You also can chat confidentially with someone at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net. Don't be afraid to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's number is 800-273-8255. There are more resources at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/family/resources_family_friends.asp.
And for those so inclined, you can help Amy Miner and her children -- Lalaina, 18, Macintyre, 15, Trinity, 11, and Piper, 7 -- by sending donations to the Miner Family Fund. Go to http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/miner-family-fund/170506.