Oh, so it looks like the ever beloved New York Times has nobly volunteered itself to be the Piniata o’the Month for unleashing yet again – in the words of Maxwell Smart “the old Krazed Killer Veteran Story”. You know, the same old, same old pathetic round of stories that those of us over a certain age saw in the 1970s – and not just in the news but on every damn cop show; the freak who got a taste for killin’ and brought it home with him after the war. Honest to key-rist, NYTimes-people – what is your assignments editor these days smoking these days? I am a little late to joining the predictable pile-on from every quarter, which looks like it includes just about everyone short of the VFW.

At least it’s nice to know legacy media drones can do a google search these days and assemble a laundry list of whatever it was they were looking for in the intertubules. A step up from a couple of years ago, all things considered. But… and that is a big but there, almost as big as a Michael Moore butt…it is just that – a laundry list of incidents where someone who was a military veteran of a tour in Afghanistan or Iraq was subsequently involved in or thought to be involved in a murder. Or manslaughter, or something.

No context, no analysis – just OMFG, the Krazed Killer Veterans are Koming (and it’s all the military’s fault!) Look, NYTimes-people, coincidence is not co-f**king causality. Sometimes, it is just a co-incidence, and laying on a smarmy layer of sympathy and glycerin tears over the poor *sniff* innocent *sniff* widdle misdiagnosed *sob* veterans does not make your s**t-sandwich of a story any more palatable. Not to veterans and their families.

Not only can we remember this kind of story post-Vietnam, but the very senior among us can remember it post-WWII. I am reliably informed that there was even a certain amount of heartburn over an anticipated propensity for free-lance violence on the part of returning veterans from the Civil War – and no, I will be not sidetracked into a discussion of how the still-expanding western frontier managed to provide an outlet for all of those Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs seeking post-war excitement.

My point would be that when this same-old-same-old went down post-hostilities every other damn time, the experience of military service was a bit more evenly spread among the general male population. The general reader had enough friends and relations in his immediate circle to take the whole Krazed Killer Veterans are Koming narrative with a large handful of salt. They knew enough veterans personally to not take what they read in the papers as necessarily the whole truth, and to put the sensational stories of post-war veteran crime into context. And they could blow them off as just another grab at the headlines.

But service in the military these days draws on a smaller sub-set of the population – and unfortunately that set does not include the media or cultural elite. Tripe like the NYT’s Krazed Killer Veteran – if it is not challenged and countered robustly- will soon solidify into conventional wisdom, just like it did with Vietnam veterans. And that, my little scribbling chickadees at the NY Times – is not going to happen again. Welcome to attitude adjustment, Times-folks. I can promise a real interesting and educational time for you over the next couple of days. Take notes. They will come in handy, especially for the next time you are assigned a story about military veterans.

Later: (Update from Iowahawk, too delicious to leave unlinked. Beware, NYTimes- this one is gonna leave a mark!)

Still later: And so will this blast from Col. Peters. My advice to the NYTimes writers is to load up on Midol, as well as taking notes.

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