The War at Home: Veterans Essay

1950 Words8 Pages
War is hell. War is misery, suffering, pain, and anguish. From the days of rocks and sticks to today’s high tech drones and aircraft carriers one thing above all others has remained the same; war is a terrifying, nightmarish endeavor. Unfortunately for those who fight for their nation, the battlefield does not remain in the far off land where the battle took place. In fact, those warriors bring back that battlefield, festering in the hearts and minds, sometimes long after their uniforms have been put in the closet to collect dust. It should come as no surprise that for a variety of reasons all stemming from combat experience, many of our nations Veterans will act in unconventional or perhaps even illegal ways, in an attempt to cope with…show more content…
This, of course, was not quite in time for Veterans of past conflicts. While the Department of Justice does not currently seem to track incarcerated Veterans, by era of service (WWII, Vietnam, Post 9/11 etc) or by any other category for that matter, we can see from their “latest” report (If one can call 2004 late) on Veterans incarcerated in state and Federal prison that inmates aged 55 or older make up 18.2% of incarcerated Veterans, while that same age range makes up only 3.5% of non-Veteran inmates (Noonan & Mumola 2007). These numbers are, sadly, almost useless for several reasons, chief among them is that, as of 2004, the war in Iraq was less than a year old, meaning that there were few Veterans from the conflict back home in the states, and who had separated from military service. Therefore, there couldn’t be many Iraqi Freedom Veterans in the criminal justice system. Despite being woefully outdated, the 2004 report by Noonan, a statistician, and Mumola, a Bureau of Justice Statistics policy analyst, does shed some light on Veterans in the criminal Justice system. For example, the majority of incarcerated Veterans served during a wartime period, 54% in state and 64% in federal, and 99% of them were male (Noonan & Mumola, 2007). This, is not to say, of course, that Veterans had some sort of overwhelming presence in our nations correctional institutions. Among adult males there were
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