The American military system seems to be in desperate need of overhaul. After the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as mounting pressure to intervene in Syria, damning statistics about the way the military treats it's own – not to mention it's enemies – paint a dark picture of the military culture.
Here are some of those numbers:
65,000 military families are still awaiting death benefits from the military, ranging from $600 to $2,000 per family.
37,000 unprocessed medical claims folders, which were found stacked on top of file cabinets in Virginia.
The total number of unprocessed claims is 882,000 .
610,000 of those are over 120 days old.
53 veterans die while waiting for their benefits every day.
2015 , the year the VA says they aim to have cleared their backlog of files, at which point the standard wait time will be four months.
12% of female cadets in the military experience “unwanted sexual contact.”
59 women were assaulted at a base in San Antonio.
19,000 servicemen and women reported being sexually assaulted in an anonymous survey in 2010.
40% of those were men.
Only 13.5% of those were reported.
92% of those reported were dismissed before court.
These numbers paint a shocking picture about the military, one that makes it easy to believe an army nurse who told Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, “Ma'am, I'm more afraid of my own soldiers than I am of the enemy.” She was talking about the possibility of sexual assault, but you could confuse her with Paul Barron, who picked up Hepatitis C from military shots and is still waiting on benefits to treat his new disease and injuries sustained at war.
It seems pertinent that the military address it's issues, culturally and systemically, before entering another war, which will only prolong these problems, if not exasperate them.