Veteran Suicide and Hostilities Faced by Vietnam Veterans Upon Returning Home
Dear General Angus Campbell AO, DSC,
It has come to my attention that there is a growing disconnect between the soldiers under your command and yourself. Many serving and former-serving ADF personnel believe that only a major invasion, a war on our own soil, will make you and our misinformed civilians reassess your priorities. As a 5th generation Army stock, an Army doctor, and an Afghanistan veteran, I would like to offer you my appraisal free of charge, so that you may understand the concerns of your soldiers.
Currently, one of the cases that is being closely watched by both veterans and the public is that of CPL Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG. His case resonates strongly with many aggrieved veterans who have faced impossible battles on the frontlines and then at home, struggling with their individual human rights being contradicted by politically-motivated bureaucracies. Many of these veterans find themselves fighting for basic welfare, healthcare, and legal rights in order to avoid becoming one of the 1,600+ veteran suicides that have occurred under your watch.
Sadly, our civilians seem to be preoccupied with trivial matters while ignoring the plight of our soldiers. They prioritize meaningless conflicts surrounding race, gender, and climate, leaving no room for empathy towards soldiers who have fought and killed enemies at war. This mindset has been absorbed by you and your senior officers, resulting in a growing ideological divide between the military and the civilians.
This ideological shift can be traced back to the Vietnam War, where Australians initially supported the war against Communists, but eventually turned against their own soldiers. This puzzling change in public opinion raises questions about how easily civilians can be manipulated by media and propaganda. Propaganda, as we know, spreads information with equivocal versions of the truth for a specific cause. Recognizing propaganda is a global challenge, but what interests me the most is how it is spread.
During the Vietnam War, communism infiltrated our society, spreading its atheistic and anti-human errors through our wharves, universities, schools, and seminaries. Unfortunately, the impact of this infiltrated ideology on our soldiers returning from war led to overwhelming veteran suicides. The students who spat on our soldiers would eventually become our politicians, our professors, and our university lecturers. The same infiltrated ideology that harmed our Vietnam veterans is now harming our Afghanistan veterans.
This brings me to the importance of moral theology, philosophy, and ethics in protecting our military from destructive ideological errors. Those well-versed in these principles must be called upon to safeguard our military, which serves as our last bastion of self-defense.
In recent years, the top brass of our military seems to have aligned with socialist politicians who dictate politically appointed positions. Just like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), our military leaders have shown indifference towards those harmed while doing their jobs. The CCP’s response to those injured or killed by its Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) is comparable to the response of senior ADF leaders. This indifference stems from an ideology that values individuals solely based on their economic contribution, reducing them to mere cogs in the machine.
This ideology, however, does not consider the perspectives or rights of individuals. It prioritizes the collective good as defined by those in power, often disconnecting leaders from the needs of the people they control. Leaders who focus solely on those above them breed indifference to the harm caused to those below them. This entitlement and lack of accountability have resulted in the loss of over 1,600 Australian Defense Force members. Yet, our politicians and journalists continue to celebrate our leaders’ successes without addressing these issues.
It is time for Australians to recognize and challenge this morally-vacuous, anti-human ideology. Failure to do so may lead our country to fall like other nations that succumbed to communism, with much bloodshed.
There is a way forward, General Campbell. It requires a cultural and moral shift within ADF leadership that prioritizes the value of individual soldiers over political convenience. I urge you to take action and take steps towards re-establishing the bond and trust between the military and the civilians.
Dr. Daniel Mealey, Afghanistan Veteran