The Argus

The Student News Site of Gresham High School

The Argus

The Argus


What is the best way to eliminate vaping in the restrooms?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Who is Helping Our Veterans? 

My uncle in Iraq, mounting an M249 in the early morning.



“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” – Lisa Borden


My brother and I visited our Aunt Mary and Uncle Joseph in Colorado at the beginning of November. A veteran, my uncle has served in Iraq and Korea; in Iraq, he would check cars for bombs, and everyone he saw he had to assume was an enemy. He still deals with that today. Anyone he sees is an enemy to him. His guard goes up whenever he gets into situations where people could be dangerous.

During dinner, Uncle Joseph rambled about how politicians send troops to foreign countries to fight. How these soldiers are just told to die, and if they don’t, congrats. Uncle Joseph was talking about how war not only ruins a soldier’s mental health but also ruins the earth; Infantrymen are trained to survive and kill. If they get out, they might get a medal or two. He mentioned that if you get shot, here’s a medal for your bravery. Then he went on to talk about examples he’s heard about; the US veteran benefits can’t help you get a therapist for your battle with PTSD because it doesn’t seem like it’s service-related. After hearing this, I realized that veterans are walked and spit on by this country.

While I was in Colorado, my uncle had a few episodes. We went out to our family land, and some nosey guy decided to make a big deal about how we were parked. He started yelling at us; we were in the middle of nowhere, and the Second Amendment exists in America. The guy left after yelling back and forth with my uncle. After the guy left, my uncle walked over to our vehicle, grabbed his firearm, loaded it, put it in a holster, and put his holster on his hip.

The night my brother and I arrived in Denver and went back to Aunt Mary and Uncle Joseph, we all talked about Uncle Joseph’s service. He was talking about how, in Korea, he and his squad leader were in a truck together. His squad leader was in the front passenger seat and Uncle Joseph was in the driver seat, and his squad leader rolled down the window and saw a spider. Uncle Joseph’s squad leader grabbed a service rifle and began to try to swat away the spider, all while they were across a canyon from North Korea. If he had accidentally discharged his gun, it would mean a very violent battle. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and they drove away back to base.

We also talked about how, in Iraq, my uncle was at a security checkpoint, and they had to make sure car bombs didn’t cross over. He mentioned how a guard lost his mind and went crazy there; Uncle Joseph was then appointed to watch over prisoners. After this trip, when my brother and I returned to Oregon, we talked about how watching over the prisoners could have

messed him up, too. He has seen some things that he will most likely take to the grave. After my uncle had put his holster on his belt and hip, my brother and I talked about how we heard the guy say, “Find out what happens.” before leaving. I could see in my uncle’s eyes that he didn’t feel a bit of fear.

My uncle said, “It’s fine, he won’t do anything.” I looked at my brother and realized things It could end badly if this guy came back. After that, my brother and I always watched for the guy’s car. Eventually, that exact vehicle returned; the guy stopped a hundred feet from us. I saw him reaching for something in his pocket, fumbling with something.

For a moment the world stood still.

Then I saw what it was–just a phone. The guy was recording us, and I calmed down, realizing it wasn’t anything threatening. He called the sheriff’s office and was told to let it be. Let’s be realistic. Cops deal with idiots daily; they don’t go out to situations like the one we were in because of a higher need for cops in more dangerous situations. The guy put his phone away, climbed back into his car, and drove away.

Aunt Mary is a hotel manager; she’s talked about how whenever she’s dealing with a customer who is disgruntled and rude, she goes to a good place in her head. However, Uncle Joseph mentioned because he has PTSD, he can’t go to a good place in his head. Before, he had to assume everyone was an enemy in Iraq; now, he still lives with that; he doesn’t like going out in public now. Later that night, my uncle was still upset about the situation; he was looking at maps around the land. My uncle mentioned how the guy could have gone fifty different ways but just wanted to come over to us to make a problem. That happens with my uncle; he thinks about those situations for a long time. My aunt seems to be the only one to calm him down.

While me and my brother were at their house, I heard my uncle and aunt talk about how they were finally able to get a therapist for him after all these years. I am glad he can get that help; I don’t like to see any veteran go unsupported. He yells a lot, not at my aunt, just yelling about something because he’s mad about it. He’s not abusive; he would never let himself be harmful. He tries to release the anger by yelling about it and not dumping it on someone else.

After hearing about how they finally just got the financing to get a therapist after a battle with the vet benefits, I realize we need to start talking about the veterans who aren’t able to get the help they need because of our government. We need to start raising our voices about this and protesting for every veteran to get those benefits. Post on Instagram or any social media app a picture of the veteran suicide statistics with the hashtag #helpourveterans. We need to show our veterans that we care about them and are grateful for their sacrifices overseas. The protests and Instagram posts could finally get the government to follow through on promises. It’s not an end to their trauma, but it’s a start. 




View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Argus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Josh CashDec 18, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    Pretty nice