Monday, May 13, 2013

A Veteran's Story V: James Starowicz

In honor of Memorial Day at the end of the month the Insider Staff is putting out the call for veterans and those with military background  to submit essay's. We put out the call in a previously published article with some ideas and plans for this project. http://www.middletowninsider.com/2013/05/wanted-guest-blogs-from-veterans.html.
 
Below is an excerpt from the blog of military veteran James Starowicz, USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 from North Carolina. We wrote to Starowicz, but have not as of yet, have received an answer. We have chosen to include a sample of his blog below as it seems Starowicz has single handily created some what of an online digital library of resources for veterans via dozens of relevant news articles from the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom until now linked somewhere on his pages.  He also provides  a variety commentary, statistical information, and book recommendations on the subject of veterans.

Who is Starowicz and how did we find him? Starowicz's blog came to our attention because he commented on a story about Sen. Murphy  posted on a local media site.  Although only a name on a screen to us, we gain incite into his person via his online presence. Starowicz is a veteran who  is one of  thousands of vets who are using the internet and social networking phenomenon to tell his or her story.The internet is allowing incite into veteran's worlds, an area previously only available through published accounts,  autobiographies, and films. With the playing field a little more level because of the internet, every soldier theoretically can  have a soap box if they so choose, will those in charge be listening?

How are veteran bloggers changing societies views about war, policy and the way we view veteran's historically? Starowicz is a Vietnam vet, long home, but, how do soldiers blogging from the front lines play a role on our perception of war? Historians gain knowledge of wartime from soldiers via salvaged diaries and letters home, and the futures's historians will read online accounts, skpe videos, and emails to loved ones it seems. With veterans of WWII  now well into their 80's and 90's, time is of the essence to preserve their first hand accounts digitally.

Has the internet changed with way in which returning veteran's cope? Is it "easier" to assimilate back into civilian life as veteran today than it was 20 years ago because of the changes in communication? Or did we as a society provide better treatment of returning vets prior to the internet age?  

Perhaps some of our readers who are veterans can chime in.

Starowicz also addresses  the serious issues of soldier suicide and homelessness, both important issues that everyone should remember this Memorial Day.
His blogs are : http://honoringthefallenoifoef.blogspot.com/http://imagineaworldof.blogspot.com/

We would be honored to hear from more veterans to add to our month long project.The Middletown Insider staff thanks you for your sacrifice! 

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“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration
"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013
“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013
WHY? GOOD QUESTION THOSE SERVED SHOULD ANSWER!
Prior too this present Executive and Veterans Administrations and just touching on the problems:
Army Times Oct. 16, 2008 - VA claims found in piles to be shredded
CNN iReport October 25, 2008 - House Vets' Committee To Probe VA Shredder Scandal
Tampa Bay Times Oct 27, 2008 - Hundreds of VA documents improperly shredded, review finds {Tampa Bay Times search page and series of articles}
CBS News February 11, 2009 - Veterans' Claims Found in Shredder Bins
And more disturbing in relation to even before and through the early years of the Afghanistan, quickly abandoned missions of, and Iraq occupations, this:
ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."
Add in the issues of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans, by this Veterans Administration and the Executive Administrations Cabinet, what the Country choose to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTSAgent OrangeHomelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War IllnessesGulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans' that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA's and the whole Country and through their representatives!
How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!
These present wars have yet to be paid for, rubber stamping and rapid deficits rising started before 9/11 and continued with same for the wars. But especially in the early some six years of extremely little was added to the Veterans Administration budgets by those Congresses, and since obstructed by same war rubber stampers, as to the long term results of War, DeJa-Vu all over again. Keeping the VA under budgeted causes problems and of many grow worse, which costs more to correct much more, which is the goal of those seeking to privatize Government Agencies as they attack the people of and which was created by their own incompetence and ideologies, but doing those served will!

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln
"To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan" - President Lincoln

James Starowicz
USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

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