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‘Wrecked’: US Army Tweet Backfires as Veterans Detail Post-Service Trauma

CC BY 3.0 / Matthew Woitunski / Effect of War, Iraqi freedom veteranEffect of War, Iraqi freedom veteran
Effect of War, Iraqi freedom veteran - Sputnik International
Responding to a tweet published by the US Army, former military servicemen and women provided candid accounts of their actual quality of life during and after their service.

Ahead of Memorial Day on May 27, the US Army's Twitter page issued a tweet featuring a young soldier who listed ways the military branch had impacted his life so far. The accompanying hashtags, with phrases such as "#ArmyValues," echoed the positive tone the account was attempting to convey.

Though the tweet gained a couple dozen mixed responses, it was not until the account asked the open-ended question that thousands of comments began to flood in.

Veterans from multiple branches of the US military shared first-hand stories about their own trauma, as well as what they have witnessed others endure following service.

Family members also spoke for their loved ones who are living or have lived with trauma, ailments and disabilities brought about in association with service.

In fiscal year 2018, the US Army failed to meet its goal of 80,000 new recruits, falling short by 6,500, according to the Army Times. This downward trend in recruitment came alongside the Trump administration's ban preventing transgender individuals from serving in the armed forces.

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The overwhelming response to this tweet shows just how profoundly let down some US veterans feel after their service. The recruitment problems the US military faces may not end anytime soon, if this response is any indication: considering that a large portion of recruits have a family member who served, witnessing a loved one being denied care excluded from veteran programs may guide potential soldiers and sailors away from that career path.

The Trump administration is preparing its Department of Veterans Affairs to roll out its "Mission Act" program on June 6, which looks to expand health care options for the millions of veterans in the US.

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"All during the campaign, I'd go out and say, 'Why can't they just go see a doctor instead of standing in line for weeks and weeks and weeks?' Now they can go see a doctor. It's going to be great," US President Donald Trump said during the June 6 signing of the bill in 2018.

In reality, the Mission Act will allow veterans to see a "community provider" only after they have waited at least 20 days for primary or mental health care, according to Military.com. 

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