Tonawanda News

Breaking News

Columns

November 13, 2013

DUVALL: On Veterans Day, a chance to examine our support

Tonawanda News — On the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month all their sacrifices were finally realized.

Veterans Day, the day we set aside to honor the sacrifices large, small and ultimate, of the men and women who have fought to sustain this country.

So there is no better day to take a critical eye toward how we honor them — and the ways in which we don’t, but should.

Supporting our troops means much more than slapping a trite bumper sticker on your car. It should be a sacred duty. And yet we live in a political environment where we can barely keep the lights on sometimes, so it might go without saying sometimes we fail in that duty.

Are we effectively healing their wounds? In a literal sense, veterans hospitals are generally excellent medical facilities and the veterans health insurance plan gets higher marks for patient care and satisfaction than other portions of the health care industry. This is good.

We have finally turned a corner on treating the not-so-literal but just as painful wounds inflicted on combat veterans who have seen friends die and known a type of fear those of us in civilian life only see on television and in the movies. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious thing and for too long it was written off to insufficient machismo. 

Still, thousands of discharged soldiers suffer in silence, deal with sleepless nights or turn to booze, drugs and pills to keep the demons at bay. Better support for these men is necessary and the military itself has a long way to go in creating the kind of environment where asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.

There is the outrage of unreported sexual assaults on female enlistees. A recent “60 Minutes” report underscored the absurd disregard paid by the old boys club that is military brass to the plight of women seeking to serve our country. Signing up for service shouldn’t mean signing up for harassment or getting raped. And when it does happen, the military should take the matter as seriously as a civilian police force would, with full investigations and appropriate sentences for those convicted of the crime.

Text Only
Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo