This work is sad and moving. Toy soldiers as amputees in wheelchairs, begging, engaged in violence, and even one soldier sitting in an armchair about to shoot himself. The hell of war comes home. Our treatment of veterans in this country is simply backwards.
Remember artist Valerie Leonard’s American Flag? Chilling when you think of these next to it.
In July 2009 Colorado Springs Gazettea published a two-part series entitled “Casualties of War”. The articles focused on a single battalion based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, who since returning from duty in Iraq had been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. Returning soldiers were committing murder at a rate 20 times greater than other young American males. A seperate investiagtion into the high suicide rate among veterans published in the New York Times in October 2010 revealed that three times as many California veterans and active service members were dying soon after returning home than those being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. We hear little about the personal hell soldiers live through after returning home.