True Cost Paid By Veterans For Past Century Of Wars Exposed

Century of Wars

Benjamin KrauseThe new book on the past century of wars, Paying with Their Bodies – American War and the Problem of the Disabled Veteran, could prove to upend campaigns attacking disabled veterans pay.

The book exposes problems within America’s fetish focus on “rehabilitation” over reality that diminishes the real and shameful treatment of veterans in an attempt to erase the painful memory of war. It promises to force readers to address the true cost of war and longtime suffering our nations leaders force each new generation of cannon fodder to endure.

Books like this may be useful tools in battling ideas like those who preach against disabled veterans with TDIU claims: West Point professor says disability checks harm veterans.

Do you think books like this will help veterans fight back against those wishing to cut disability benefits?

Paying with Their Bodies was published by prestigious University of Chicago Press and written by University of Oklahoma professor John Kinder is considered the Top 10 must-read Academic Books for 2015. After reading the below quotes and preview on The Intercept, I plan to buy and read this text soon. There is much more to the text than my summation here, so be sure to read about it at The Intercept for a more detailed review.

University of Chicago Press provided great quotes from leading academics that compelled me to order this book after reading its summary:

Publishers Weekly

“Kinder mixes in sketches of well-known disabled veterans—including Harold Russell (WWII), Ron Kovic (the Vietnam War), and Tammy Duckworth (the Iraq War)—with bigger-picture issues involving the social and political impacts of veterans’ disabilities. It’s a well-written, though academically tinged, tome that illuminates the long-lasting human legacy of America’s wars.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“An unflinching look at the true cost of battlefield bloodshed. . . The sheer excellence of the writing and Kinder’s reliance on factual vignettes . . . give the text a sensuous immediacy. Kinder shies away from war pornography, but he refuses to gloss over the gruesome effects of battle. . . I was left at the end ofPaying with Their Bodies with the gnawing question implicit in the book: Is it worth it? What have we gained by our wars that counterbalances the monstrous death and disfigurement inflicted? At what point do war’s dividends of destroyed bodies and minds outweigh the gains? Kinder leaves us to answer these question for ourselves.”

Michael Sherry, Northwestern University

“Kinder convincingly shows the stubborn persistence of American discourses about disabled soldiers despite the extraordinary variations in the wars that produced those soldiers. He resists unduly flattening things out—things do change as the wars change. But anyone following discourses about the disabled of post-9/11 wars will find much that is familiar, and much that is powerful, in this account.”

Jay Winter, Yale University

“For the wounded soldier, the shadow of war extends long after the shooting stops. By placing the disabled soldier at the center of the history of American warfare since the Civil War, John M. Kinder has provided a disturbing and important account of this country’s engagement with war.”

Joanna Bourke, University of London

“We hear a lot about the ‘human cost of war,’ but Kinder’s book not only exposes us to its dismembering horror, but also asks us to follow disabled service-personnel back into the civilian world after the war, where they struggle to reinvent their lives. It is a compassionate account of terrible suffering, which many veterans don’t survive. The big question remains: why have we still not learnt the lesson of war?”

Mary L. Dudziak | author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

“Kinder has written a powerful and essential history of how disabled veterans came to be seen as a ‘problem.’ His unflinching accounts of battlefield injuries illuminate the social costs of war. The impact of disability—from Civil War amputations to World War I ‘shell shock’—was driven not only by changes over time in combat, but also by the way injuries were viewed at home. War injury was drawn upon in both pro- and anti-war political struggles, and scandals over veterans’ care periodically rocked Washington. Veterans organizations like the American Legion divided over whether veterans with disabilities needed paternal care or self-empowerment. Ultimately the ‘problem’ of disabled veterans went beyond the need for services. They embodied war’s ongoing impact, complicating cultural and political efforts to leave war behind. An important contribution.”


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  1. Ok, Lets Start with WW I, Disable American Veterans was founded in 1920. (10 Years Before) The Veterans Administration was put in place by the Govt. Even as far back as the Revolutionary war there were some drove “Mad” by the horror of war & fear of their own demise. After the Civil war I read somewhere, The state of Mississippi`s state budgets highest cost were making artificial limbs for veterans that lost limbs in battle. Hooks & clamps to hold a spoon. Jumping to “The Greatest Generation” WWII, Men AND Women by the Millions scattered across the globe Came back if not Disfigured on the outside but, Had that look like Vietnam vets 1000 yd stare Many Drank themselves to death or stayed Drunk all nights & weekends slapping their wife & kids around was a common way of life. in the 50`s Going back to work like nothing ever happened Many Killed themselves. Most Driving drunk, Some with a gun. but, No one was keeping any records. Vietnam Veterans Are STILL Killing themselves every day (Today). But, No one is counting these either. but, The numbers are far more than the Veterans killed in action the 58,385+ Known or so. Veterans of today that are being counted because of technology and These are just the ones under care at the V.A.`s or self reported by family`s.To Police as; (They just were`nt right after they got back) Being disable is no badge of honor to the disabled themselves. After Vietnam we came back one by one. Single Uniformed Ghost & those that shed their uniforms into trashcans in restrooms Jumping in their Civies Disguised as civilians but packing their Duffel with not only their Names but their SS # Or Service # painted on the side. walking thru airports in the middle of the night to catch a standby flight home. You could tell by the haircut they were from “That place” As long as we have war THAT Generation will suffer. Even some Veterans today look at these “damaged goods” as a Fraud, Milking the Govt because they did`nt pack the gear or Could`nt hack it. “Bitches” “Pussy`s” But they themselves are hiding something and Casting a negative light on the damaged to distract from their own pain. But, It always comes out sooner or later, In one form or the other. Always. Yeah, There are a few that come back and are able to pick up some form of a life But, You can`t live thru Combat and get off “Scott free”. We`re not made that way. Normally, If it don`t bother you to kill, You`re more likely a Sociopath. Some Produced by the Military, Some that are before they Enlist..

    1. @Handcannon72vet-
      “[…Normally, If it don`t bother you to kill, You`re more likely a Sociopath. Some Produced by the Military, Some that are before they Enlist…]”

      There was a ’60 Minutes’ program I recall where it was specific to how the Bush Admn. LOWERED the standards in order to get warm bodies in start of this post 9/11 mess, and they found that MANY gang members, people with arrest records and such, that would never before been allowed past the recruitment office.

      This of course was done in lieu of enacting the Draft by the VERY TYPES that would like to disavow Disabled Veterans, while at same time these same Corporate Entities want those warm bodies to fight their wars, but have the insidious thought process of not wanting to keep the contract and attend to what comes back broken…just as long as it’s not their sons and daughters. Sociopathic is correct.

  2. I would dare Dan Gade to try to walk an entire DAY in MY SHOES…one full day…and he would have a taste of what one’s disability limitations are like…matter-in-fact, I think Gade should walk in my shoes for a full week or an entire month to perhaps get an ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.
    It’s people like Gade whom are on their knees before War Profiteers like the Koch Brothers and yes, Pres. Bush and all his cronies…he is an opportunist trying to slam Disabled Veterans to somehow in his mind justify his being pain handsomely to teach the new generation of Officers to turn their backs on Veterans as well as how to purge your conscience without feeling any remorse.
    Dan Gade is a hypocrite and is too drunk on the Kool-Aid he’s willfully consumed.

    Traitor is a really great word for your special kind of ilk…the kind that makes YOU a liability to other soldiers in time of war…and peace.

    Again, if Gade could only walk in mine and other Veteran’s shoes…I bet your prostrate position and perspective would greatly change. If not, well, it must really suck every morning waking-up knowing you’re a d^ck and get paid for being a d^ck each and every month but be so full of yourself that you do not have the capacity for empathy or compassion.

    Will look into the book as well but will read nothing written by the hack named Gade.
    Those sections would make great liners for my cat box.

  3. Hi folks. At some point the video of my comments will be posted, but the solutions I recommend are simple: 1) rehabilitate any veteran to the maximum extent possible, to include medical and vocational training 2) return them to productive work. There’s tons of research that shows that work has a protective effect against all kinds of mental and physical illnesses.

    The VA is fundamentally broken, no question about it. Re-thinking its mission and purpose would be a huge first step to getting Veterans the help they deserve.

    1. That’s all well and good **on paper**, but when a person has quite a list of health issues that keep such a Veteran as myself practically living in a bathroom any given day, it just sheds light on how you cannot just lump ALL Veterans into the same cookie cutter plan…most if not all of us have had to swallow our pride after *trying to work* and because of our own various health issues getting in the way of “reliable work”, losing job after job…swallowing pride and applying for Disability Compensation, only to be made to be homeless while waiting for the very benefits we indeed *earned*!

      The process of even applying for such benefits is an incredibly stress-induced process. Most Veterans I know did NOT immediately file for Disability after their Active Duty Military Career. No…MANY sucked it up and lived with the physical and often, mental pains and did out very best for a decade or two or even more before finally realizing we were only making our health situation WORSE by letting pride get in the way.
      The VA may be broken BUT it IS fixable…the PROBLEM is NOT we Veterans…the PROBLEM is the ENTIRE UPPER MANAGEMENT OF THE VA.

      Please do not vilify we Veterans as if we are “working the system”! You, Lt. Col. Gade, are STILL Active Duty, which means it’s a HUGE conflict of interest in you pushing YOUR views/agenda or agenda of those you owe something to. Your very ‘position’ immediately skews your perspective on things. Try addressing change where it’s actually needed–upper management of the VA and the VA Employees Union.

      We do not need a “video of your response”…funny how some things come out from under the rocks they hide under whenever their name comes up. Some heavy psychology going on there or something.

    2. You`re pretty full of yourself You must be knocking down a lot of Bucks as a Colonel. Could you pay your bills on a grand a month? You could if you cut back on a few things I`m sure you enjoy. Live in the EM on post Housing, Eat at the Mess hall etc. Hell you could probably do without a lot. Officers get. That We pay for. You could get a Marketing job on the side at 8 bucks an hr. “Mr Fix it” A guy with all the answers. You`ve never went to bed hungry have you Colonel? Someone pulled some strings to get you all the way to the Academy. Ol Dad Saw to it you`d grow up just like he wanted you to. All you had to do was show up. Dad, Bought your first car Right? I`ll bet a weeks pay You`ve never changed a flat tire.You never lived next door to a Black family. Or even road a bus to school. Somebody probably did your F*&^in For you, What do you Really Know about Working for a living? You`ve probably never drove a Nail, Much less did it all day every day in the 100+ degree sun to build a house for 8-10 bucks an hr. I`d bet You have never changed the oil in a car. or Took a neighbor something because you heard they were in trouble. Work…..What the hell do you know about work? Or about life for that matter. Not much, I`m thinking. You think Disability is a handout. How in hell did you get that cushy Govt Job? Could it be because someone helped you? I don`t care if this gets me kicked off this sight, You need someone to rewire your head to your ass. Colonel.

    3. I do not have access to the video, but it would be great to view so that the veteran community can at least have a sense of what is being supported for this policy change.

      1. Damn That felt good! I`ve never had the chance to unload on a Colonel before. That was Therapeutic. I must have been laying for one to ambush. Thank you Ben for ALL Of your work, And For giving me an Opportunity to “Vent” on Yet another Self Serving Bureaucrat living on taking even more from Disable Veteran`s blood & treasure. Especially this Cheese D#%$ Pencil pusher.

    4. Not sure if this will show a reply to our little Col. or not but…Disability checks harm vets? It seems you have only been reading VA press releases where they like to highlight paid compensation to a vet rather than the medical care most want. In fact, I would rather return my disability check to the Treasury if a few things changed like getting decent medical care. Going to a 3rd world trained, barely English speaking quack ain’t it. In addition, if I didn’t see my tax dollars pissed away on so many frivolous things like arts grants and party cronies, I might think differently. If Gade would respond, it would be interesting to hear how a young veteran with TBI should be rehabilitated and given a job worth his non disabled earning potential in order to raise his family. If he can flip burgers, he should be off disability raising his family in squalor? The vet earned benefits that have not been delivered, particularly VocRehab which is well documented here. True, they are often anecdotal and not the esteemed research Gade has, but why discount them? How about enforcing federal law regarding hiring disabled vets? In my opinion, civilian companies do a much better job than the feral goobermint. No matter if he responds. Clearly his mind is made up on disabled lazy vets and how we are living large on Uncles dime. For once it would be nice to see these champions of fixing veterans actually resolve to fixing many other things that should be much higher on their list. Things such as $6 billion wasted. Things such as VA employees committing blatant fraud.

    5. Hello Dan. Don’t you think the U.S. government is fundamentally broken? Every dept. and agency? Productive work? I know many people with graduate degrees from top noch B-schools and Computer Science majors, and chemist majors who had a bad time finding work, let alone all other majors that ain’t worth a crap. Jobs and careers as we all knew them for the last 30-40 years are not taking grip these days. Do you live in a time warp? What is your plan to “rehabilitate any veteran to the maximum extent possible, to include medical and vocational training 2) return them to productive work”? You seem to be missing a few cylinders of How this will be done all the time in all of your comments. I challenge you to debate me on this issue; I’ll bet you I will shoot holes the size of basketballs in anything you have to say.

  4. The is the same vitriol vomit that was put on injured workers across this country.
    These are same folks who directly WITH impunity, benefit from calling or laying blame on the disabled for being disabled through no fault of their own. These same folks like DADE are put onto specific boards, commissions, and in office to continue to spread the BIGGEST of all lies. He drank the fraud corrupt Kool-Aide for his self interest only JUST as the others do & screw the rest and most of us. They get theirs off of us.
    While the DOD/VA deny injuries or illnesses, the SSA/Medicare will eventually say you are disabled as are done us civilians, who’s employers do not pay out on their disability claims or medical care.. WE’RE paying for our own injuries or illnesses at the less amount owed to you by the DOD/VA.. SSA/Medicare are the last two biggest pots of gold to steal from because it is taxpayer money, our money and yet now those who help continue the lies want to privatize both, so these same folks can collect the investments.
    Without SSA/Medicare, what will the injured or ill receive to live on or get medical care? Because the first is in denying IS from the VA or DOD claim payouts, jut as is done by corporations. There are billions if not more to glean from, to continue to raid all of these DOD risk management claims The trail of fraud & corruption starts with those in the congress. They created it. and of course, that means as disabled, we are a class that goes unrepresented ad Dade helps secure that notion as well as by the others whom we elect into office. To them, it’s gravy train, nothing more.
    We’ve gone to the right agencies & to our gov’t officials and take my word, that those who take an oath in protecting the constitution, that these same folks violating the constitution, it doesn’t raise even an eyebrow, much less a constitutional response.

  5. The truth of the matter is, the VHA just isn’t geared (so to speak) towards “rehabilitation”, hardly. Veterans require a unique form of medical care based on rehabilitation. I think they (VHA), lost focus on that several generations ago. As a consequence, disabled vets are put into a no man’s land when it comes to rehab and we’re forced into fending for ourselves in an apathetic society with an adversarial bureaucracy (VA)….As a ‘Nam vet, I still find it difficult to forget the way that I, and the way most of us were treated in this country going back 46 or 47 years ago. You can call me whiney or whatever. I don’t care. It’s kind of difficult to deal with being called names for going over there and giving your best for your country and willing to sacrifice your life for your country and then be called a coward for not winning the damn war. Wouldn’t anybody find that difficult to accept?

  6. My case in point:

    Why is it that attacking Veterans benefits is such a hot topic? There are police departments and other public servant jobs where personnel are hurt for whatever reason and then found unfit for the physicality of their duties. They then get medical severance, only to be rehired by the same organization in a desk position…..WHILE RECEIVING DISABILITY PAY!!!

    There are a multitude of jobs, even civilian where the personnel is hurt physically and can now only work within the limits of their physical capabilities.


    AT the end of the day we are also stimulating the economy with the money that we do obtain., as we can no longer do the physical activities that we now pay for.

    Mr. Gade is a typical out of touch Commissioned Officer who is well off and is not in touch with what it is like to be a soldier that lives check to check. he is a Corporate Officer who made his living on the backs of hard working Joe’s and happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

    Rather than attack the benefits, become solution oriented on what we can do to better fix the broken mechanisms that continue to fail.

    Why is it that the VocRehab program pays for you to go through college, but does not foster relationships with organization for better internships and job placement? They just want you off their books ASAP, so they can state they have “rehabilitated” yet another soldier and they entice you with two more months of stipend pay to do so.

    Gade, what’s your level of disability Sir ( and I use that term loosely)?

  7. I read about Lt. Col. Daniel M. Gade, on FB this weekend. This guy really chaps my hide. He has this cushy job at West Point and then says Veterans getting compensations is, “financially dependent on monthly disability checks, ” Excuse me, Lt. Col.; by that same logic, if you draw social security income you are also being dependent on monthly checks.

    People like this hurt Veterans more than they realize. He has not had to rely on the compensation due to his job and I am sure other benefits. This same person would deny others from doing the same? What a hypocrite!

    As for the book, “Paying with Their Bodies” I intend to buy a copy and encourage other Veterans and friends to buy it too. The more the word gets out on how we are treated with contempt and lies, the better chance of real change. Also I hope it will encourage other investigative writing to also look at the VA and how Veterans are not being cared for.

    I am very positive about all this, and hope the treatment of Veterans will become top discussions by the media and in Congress.

  8. When did “disabled” become an defining identity? This is something you have, not something you ARE. When one refers to their limitations in every reference to themself, its no wonder some veterans don’t go back to work. If this is your identity, you are essentially degrading your own potential with every reference to yourself. I have to agree with Mr. Gade on this one. Sorry guys.

    1. DISABLED means you are somebody to be labeled for ugly reasons, primarily to identify anyone to BE categorized as a fraud and thus to deny any benefits. This is the insurance risk management entry mantra for anyone who applies for any benefit, IS an automatic fraud & DADE proves this. It’s another reason for govt employees who are indoctrinated to look at vet patients the same ugly way, as frauds. Your character assassination is done on purpose, turning you into an automatic fraud, thus a criminal AND WHY vets don’t get their paid or medical benefits.
      This has been done to millions of civilians now its our vets…

  9. This Daniel Gade is dead wrong on a lot of things about veterans disability. I don’t know where he gets off on criticizing disabled vets since he’s a disabled veteran also. Let me explain something about this TDIU he likes to criticize. I for one forced myself to work in spite of my disability until it became painfully obvious to me that my disability is what was causing me to be unemployed most of the time, unable to earn a decent wage, and unable to support myself. Getting TDIU isn’t very easy either. Disabled veterans are forced into having to go up against a very adversarial VBA in order to get a rating in the first place . Professor Gade doesn’t seem to appreciate his fellow disabled veterans. I think he’s wanting to run for political office in the near future, and it seems to be that he would be quite willing to offer us disabled vets up as the sacrificial lambs to the power hungry wolves that endorse him in order to get himself some political office somewhere! I respect his service in Iraq, but I don’t respect Daniel Gade. PERIOD!

    1. Dan is not a Veteran at this time. He is still on Active Duty in the US Army teaching at West Point.

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