U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

'Unit cohesion' in a time of discord

'Unit cohesion' in a time of discord

I’ve recently started accompanying my husband on the VA shuttle buses to the Baltimore VA hospital. It’s always an interesting ride — a mix of hospital staff and veterans of various ages and wars.

Mike says it reminds him of the many bus, plane, jeep, etc. rides of the Army: an unlikely mix of men of all types all crammed together, all united as they try to cheer each other up and fortify each other’s courage as they head toward some difficult, terrifying and possibly fatal ordeal. Back then they were facing bullets in a jungle or desert.

Now, in the VA van, these ex-soldiers are riding to a different, but just as deadly, battlefield. Each veteran on that bus knows that he and...