Posted on Nov 12, 2014
SGT Ben Keen
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Tomas Young served as an infantry men in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Shortly into his first deployed he was hit by a sniper bullet resulting in him being paralyzed from the chest down. While an awful injury that resulted in him having to live the rest of his short life in a wheelchair, the problem I have with his story is not that he voiced his disagree with the wars but the fact that the US Media covered it so thoroughly resulting in the population only hearing negative things about what we did over there.

Young was quoted as saying he wished the government would "check all the boxes" before sending armed forces into combat. He spoke up about the issues he was having receiving pain medication from 2 different VAs. Sadly, he passed away on Monday at the age of 34.

While he and I didn't see totally eye-to-eye on everything, I do agree with him that the government should be ready to fully support the men and women who volunteer to put our lives on the line for the betterment of the nation.

What I don't agree with only speaking negative of our situations. These ideas have been beaten into everyone's head. And while I do not want to paint a false image of what we are going through; I question what can we as Veterans do to help showcase that while there are men and women like Young suffering as a result of their time in the military, there are ways that other Veterans are working to better the situation. No change will happen over night but there are several people here trying to make a difference.

How do we help spread that word as well?
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CW5 Desk Officer
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Edited 5 y ago
I agree, SGT Ben Keen. And while I don't have any specific examples right at hand, there are many similar cases where the wounded Soldier struggles through and becomes productive again - in some way. We should take those stories and publicize them, applaud them. When I say we should publicize them, I mean the media, and I think they do a fair job of that. This unfortunate story happens to be a case of the other side of the coin, but I think the media does report the good news stories as well as these sorts of stories.
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SGT Ben Keen
SGT Ben Keen
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It's no secret that "bad news stories" sell more than "good news". I know when I go out and speak at events and such, I don't sugar coat things but I try to find a balance. For example, I'll say something isn't working right but here is what we can (or have done) to fix it. My concern is that I don't want the public to see us as these broken people unable to benefit the community. Sometimes, it is the Veterans in the community making the biggest difference; now we just need to make sure that is a GOOD difference.
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Capt Richard P.
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SGT Ben Keen We must do what we learned in the military. Ductus Exemplo, Deeds Not Words, be the change we want to see in the world.

Trivia: one of those is a military school motto and one is a Dalai Lama quote.
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SrA Cable Installer/Maintainer
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Capt Richard P. Deeds not Words is the motto.

The, "be the change" quote I've seen thrown around before by music artists.

Edit: It looks like Deeds not Words is also the motto of the Merchant Marines
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Capt Richard P.
Capt Richard P.
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"Ductus Exemplo" which is Latin for "set the example," is the military school motto.
"Be the change" is the Dali Lama quote.
"Deeds not words" is a common motto, that I did not know was espoused by the US Merchant Marine.
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SPC David Hannaman
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There's a saying about the news "If it bleeds it leads". We're a curious people... we're hungry for the sensational exception. Catch a cop doing something bad and it's replayed over and over, but ignore the thousands of times they help people every day.
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