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They're in the hospital and they're supposed to be either doing healing, either physical or emotionally, it sucks to be trapped somewhere so just being able to get out and about and only be surrounded by vets you don't have to worry about some psychiatrist or a doctor. You're just out there one with the guys again, having fun, cutting up and it's just being in the outdoors it seems to really progress their healing process and they get along so much faster to where the hospitals have now said, "whenever you want them, you just take them because when they come back they're on a high for about two or three weeks." - Chris Kyle on helping veterans when they return from war.
Tonight on the Glenn Beck Program, Glenn hosted an episode dedicated to honoring the troops and, in the wake of Chris Kyle's murder, finding real ways to help them when they return from war. He harshly criticized the lack of real care provided for our veterans when they return home from war, and advocated for an attitude shift towards veterans and PTSD .
"There's no greater act of love than deciding to lay down your life for another," Glenn said. "Chris Kyle dedicated his life to this country and when he was done serving on the battlefield and then he continued his life of service."
Following his service, Kyle became actively involved in charitable programs that counseled veterans who were returning from war and adjusting to civilian life.
Glenn told the audience they should be inspired by Kyle, not only for his service on the battlefield but for his efforts to help his brothers in the military.
"Our soldiers need your help," Glenn said. "They serve the country and the constitution with their dying breath. Their honor is at times so incredible it takes away your breath."
War is hell, Glenn explained. Soldiers are thrown into the belly of the beast, going from building to building and cave to cave looking for people who want to destroy America. Their sacrifices and hardship are often taken for granted by those who get to enjoy their freedom without having to fight for it on the ground. Even if they survive and come home, the scars last forever. Feelings of intense shame and guilt remain. Moral injuries far more damaging than any physical wound. These feelings don't leave when they get home and are not left on the battlefield.
When veterans return home, they get a pat on the back, a medal, and more often than not a diagnosis of PTSD prescription a dangerous side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts.
"These soldiers don't need wonder drugs," Glenn said. "They need each other."
Glenn said that veterans often rely on one another to understand what war was like and the difficulties that come when returning home. Glenn used his own alcoholism as an example. He noted it's easy for an alcoholic to lie to doctors but other alcoholics can instantly recognize the warning signs.
Men like Chris Kyle provided that support to fellow veterans and helped them get through the tough times just by being there.
"Only somebody who has been through it is helpful," Glenn said. "Whatever happened is not something I can possibly relate to or help. And quite honestly, neither can a doctor with all of his super-smart textbooks."
"Turning our vets into over-drugged, emotionless zombies is not the answer," he said. "It's a national disgrace. We have an obligation to the people who have done things in our name."
"Human beings are not built to wage a perpetual war with multiple deployments."
Glenn related a story of how he spent time with a Vietnam veteran when he was young, and Glenn promised himself at the time he would never be part of a generation that treated its troops like those during Vietnam. Glenn held a series of tour stops, Rally for America, that encouraged Americans to treat the troops like heroes when they came home. Glenn thought it was easy to just get people to treat them with respect, but respect wasn't enough.
"Because we think we are treating our veterans right, we are allowing another generation of Vietnam to happen."
Glenn said Washington needed to drop the red tape and that state leaders and churches needed to fill the gap in aid provided for veterans.
"We can do something," Glenn told the audience.
"Let me put this into perspective one last time, the vets we are talking about, most of them signed up after 9-11," Glenn said. "While you and I wanted to figure out what was going on with our country, these guys went to battle."
Glenn said we needed to change our attitude. Slapping veterans with a disorder label and giving them pills won't solve the problem. Glenn hoped that the lesson Americans learn from this tragedy is that veterans don't have a sickness that can be fixed by a doctor, but they simply need help that comes from the support of fellow soldiers.
Mercury One is now raising money to honor Chris Kyle. Glenn encouraged his audience to go to Mercury One to donate. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to The Chris Kyle Memorial and The FITCO Fund, a non-profit started by Chris Kyle to help veterans overcome PTSD. He hoped to raise over a million dollars to help veterans struggling with returning home.