Why Does America Treat Its Soldiers & Vets So Badly?

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Finding myself in an inquisitively philosophical mood, I asked the other day why America has draconian laws that lead to the imprisonment of casual marijuana users despite all the studies that show that marijuana is fairly innocuous, is not a gateway drug and can provide relief from the side effects of crippling medical treatments.

A vigorous discussion largely free of brickbats followed that aired out the question nicely.

So here’s another question:

Why do Democrats and Republicans alike pay lip service to supporting the troops, but that support dissolves when the troops – especially those with major physical and emotional injuries – come home?

Why have there been cutbacks in veterans benefits? Why is the care of veterans being increasingly outsourced to profit-driven corporations with little or no oversight?

Why is the military’s mental-health system on the verge of collapse?

Why was Walter Reed Army Hospital allow to slide into disrepair more typical of a third-world leper colony?

Why did three of the 12 stories given prestigious George Polk Awards for Journalism last week focus on the mistreatment, abuse or unnecessary risk to Americans fighting in Iraq?

How can such a great nation neglect and mistreat its own soldiers and veterans? And what does that say about Americans as a people?