Since my parents and grandparents and God knows how nine other relatives died by the time I was sixteen, I’ve always had this fear of premature death. You probably don’t need to be Dr. Freud to figure this out. So being diagnosed with cancer freaked me out in many, many ways beyond the rational, normal freak-out anyone would have. Cancer sucks.
I don’t like to write about politics on my blog because everyone does that and living in Washington, DC where politics is the national and the local news, you get sick of it. Nonetheless, when I think of all the money we spent on the war in Iraq and I think about all the medical research into cancer we could have done and all the cures we could have discovered, I want to scream. If we had spent a trillion dollars on medical research, how many diseases would we have learned how to cure? As it is, there are now over 28,000 wounded soldiers from the war, many with traumatic brain injuries. In previous wars, they would have died since medical technology and knowledge was not sufficient to save their lives. But now it is. I can only hope and pray that the Congress will appropriate billions and billions of dollars for research into treating traumatic brain injuries to help these wounded soldiers but I’m not very confident this will happen since we would have to increase taxes to do it.
This country has a good record of sending soldiers to war but after Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and little wars in between, we have all said how much we support our troops but when they come back with incapacitating wounds, PTSD, et al, we don’t do much at all except forget them. The worst kind of patriotism is to be for war then to forget to take care of the wounded and broken from the war. We have been doing a lousy job of taking care of veterans from Iraq/Afghanistan. It’s slowly getting better because we are spending more money on treating these men and women but let’s keep doing it. And if you think we can do this on the cheap then you are wrong. Someone has to pay for the expensive treatment these wounded soldiers need both physical and mental and that someone is the you and me — the taxpayers. And we will have to pay more in taxes to care for these wounded troops. I hope Americans will be willing to do that and if not then we should be ashamed.