Monday, May 12, 2008

Informal interview

On Saturday, a boat came barrelling past the marina, setting off a wake that did around $5000 damage to a very nice motor yacht. Two wildlife resources men came to investigate. After they had finished their paperwork, they stopped by to chat with us. One of the men had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been back in the states since late 2006. I took the opportunity to ask him some very frank questions:

1. Did he wish he were still in Iraq? He said yes, that things were black and white there and (ironically) very predictable. At home, he has to contend with a job, wife, family, bills, all of which feel like more pressure than war.
2. Does he have children? No, but his wife wants them. He is very afraid of having a daughter because he thinks there are too many things to worry about with girls. He would be fine if they had a son.
3. Does he think the service has adequate mental health services available for returning servicemen? No, he said, and the VA hospitals are an embarrassment. I asked were they manned by vets and he said they were staffed by people who did not have military experience for the most part.
4. Did he think that if better mental health services were available that returning military people would take advantage of them? He said he thought they would.
5. How did he feel about the current political climate? He is a Hillary supporter.

A couple of surprises, and also echoes of what we're heard from the media.

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