Filner's foot

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 30, 2007

San Diego-area Rep. Bob "I'm a congressman, I can do whatever I want" Filner addressed the annual convention of the American Legion today.

Filner, I think, stuck his foot in his mouth, but I think most are too kind to point it out. Filner advocated more mental health care for members of the military returning from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"When you leave the combat zone, you can be in Baghdad yesterday and tomorrow you are taking your kids to a soccer game. There is no time for decompression," he said, pointing to high rates of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse as well as the highest suicide rate in the Army in a quarter century.

"We're releasing a time bomb to the community," said Filner, an eight-term congressman who represents a San Diego-area district.

Note that the military suicide rate is still below that of the public at large. I'm unsure if there's a lack of mental health care or troops who need it are not taking advantage of it, but nonetheless, I think Filner was out of line -- and stigmatizing members of the military -- when he likened returning vets as "time bombs."

I think an apology is in order.

0 comments on “Filner's foot”

  1. >> There is no time for decompression,”

    This isn't completely true. When I was working with the Army a couple years ago, they instituted a program where the returning soldiers got to hug their spouses when they got home, and they got locked back down on the post for "Reintegration training" that lasted for several days; after that they got to go home and spend time with their families.
    That program was the result of the suicide-murders in the 82nd Airborne after they returned from OIF I.
    I can't tell you how consistently this program has been enacted across the Army's other divisions, but it certainly was alive for 1st Armored Division in Germany in 2004.

  2. I'm looking at the crime rate for Congress, and asking myself why anyone would listen to these hypocrites. How about exiling them to someplace where nobody gets drowned or assaulted or propositioned or bribed or drives while intoxicated?

  3. Bob "Don't You Know Who I AM?" Filner should find better ways to work on that arrogance problem. Perhaps a year or two away from politics - let him find a real job

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