Well, I’m certainly not saying that vets shouldn’t be helped! I don’t know enough about the subject to say if the existing help is “enough” or not, but I absolutely agree that those vets who are need help and compassion should be given help and compassion.

Vietnam vets, in particular, got a seriously raw deal from many perspectives. I absolutely believe the government should have resources available for the emotional/psychological casualties of the wars that governments thrust people into.

The only reason I wrote that message was simply to make sure that I made it clear that I, personally, am fortunate enough to be doing fine, and I don’t resent anyone or anything.

I’m intrigued by the cultural differences you’re experiencing. in the midwestern United States, and the deep south, people tend to have those old-world big families with deep connections all around. I think this is the sort of thing you’re talking about?

I can definitely see how you would miss all of that. I don’t know how much of my own life experience is unique to me and how much fits into the American “norm,” so it’s hard for me to say much else about that.

I’ve never known anything else, so I don’t know what it’s like to be plunged into a brand new culture.

There certainly does appear to be a growing sense of isolation among Americans. I personally don’t feel it because I enjoy being alone, but I see it in others. I just don’t know what to do about it other than to offer to be there for my friends and family.

I do see the negative side of the individual streak you mention, particular in my male friends and associates. I’ve had people express to me in moments of pain their desire for someone to help…but then when I offer that help they’ll shrink away.

I think they simply see taking “help” as a form of weakness. That, to me, is where American individualism can take an unhealthy turn.

So, sorry you’re feeling this isolation, Farida, though it breeds such beautiful poetry :)

In my experience, the sort of tight-knit community you’re referring to does exist in America, but it’s mostly associated with memberships in church, synagogues, mosques, etc. Though, that brings up a whole new can of worms, of course.

Sorry for my rambling. I hate to hear someone feeling isolated. It’s in my nature to try to find solutions, even when they aren’t asked for!

P.S. nothing wrong with being a bleeding heart or a liberal. I don’t really lay claim to any political party. I believe individual freedom should usually be maximized, so I guess I lean closer to liberterianism, but that, to me, is just a word, and I’m not dogmatic about it. If universal healthcare can be achieved practically and successfully without impinging on people’s freedom, for instance, then I 100 percent support it, even though ti’s most definitely not a “libertarian” idea.

And I 100 percent support adequate care for veterans. No nation that sends people off to war should then abandon them.

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I’m not in the Matrix. I AM the Matrix.

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