If You Are Reading This, Lend Me A Few Minutes

17
Jan
2014
Posted by: Anonymous   /   2 Comments

A recent article published by the Huffington Post touched a nerve with several members of our Staff, and knowing that many of our users are Veterans themselves, presumably them as well.  The author, William McNulty, a Co-Founder of an excellent organization called Team Rubicon, really struck a chord with his words.  Maybe it was not the words, but the feelings conveyed through those words that jumped off my screen and into my soul.

PTSD is not new, as Mr. McNulty points out early on, but rather it has a name now.  Veterans are losing the shroud of shame they had coming home from War, they are realizing that there is nothing wrong with the way they feel, and that there are many out there just like them

But then we make an unexpected turn, we dive into the unknown.  Why are Veterans of our 2 most recent wars in Iraq & Afghanistan suffering worse than Veterans of Wars past?  Why is a Veteran taking their own life an average of every 65 minutes?  The clear marker, addressed by Mr. McNulty, is the unclear goals of both Wars, from their start up til today.  Our Veterans sacrificed so much to go serve in hostile areas, those who were fortunate enough to return alive did not leave the War ‘over there’, they brought it home with them.  In the days/weeks/months upon their return, understandably, they would replay in their minds the experiences they had.  During those replay’s, I think it would be only natural to start asking questions, and there is where the onset of depression & despair may start.

Mr. McNulty is not pinning the situation on a Politician or Political party, which many people are quick to do nowadays.  Admirably, the focus shifts to Civilian leadership, and their inability to clearly outline the goals of our 2 most recent Wars.  The percentage of Americans serving in the Military is at its lowest point since the 1920’s according to Mr. McNulty, so fewer of us have any idea what the others are going through.

Why?

Why are so many our cherished & deserving Veterans suffering, and feeling as if there is no answer?

Why did these Wars take as long as they have?

What is a Veteran returning to America supposed to do?

You see, when questions start to spring up, more will follow right behind them.  When left to your own thoughts, it can be overwhelming.

On behalf of the PTSD United staff, thank you Mr. McNulty.

2 Comments

  1. DarkBeta February 22, 2014 5:25 pm / Reply

    I would like to comment on your astute blog. It spoke to all the underlying themes of my life, but let me speak of my deceased father. He returned from WWII a much decorated war hero. He had a trunk full of medals, newspaper articles, and uniforms with many bars, etc., which my mother showed to me at various stages in my life. His buddies from the war, his co pilots, etc. would come and visit him, and would tell me how dad had saved their lives from burning planes, from getting them to safety from behind enemy lines. Dad was a man of few words, and would either quietly respond to their admiration by reflecting their strengths and heroism to themselves. That’s the way he was.

    Behind the scenes, my father returned from the war a walking skeleton of 6’4″, weighing in at 140lbs, and a shaking nervous wreck, that never abated, even with “therapy”. Our sleep was disturbed at nights with his recurring nightmares, and his helpless screeches of terror coming from his subconscious, and everything else he repressed during the day to provide homes, great food, advantages, and his presence. He thought and struggled his way through university being a test pilot, and then a successful space and aeronautical engineering physicist. The nightmares persisted, it was impossible for mom to put any weight on his bones. Fourteen years passed, and dad began the battle against shingles, nightmares, and panic that he never showed to anyone. But, I knew.

    This is a preview of what I grew up with. There was NO therapy for veterans. There was NO support. There was NO reality about what our heroes were facing behind polished mahogany doors, locked bedrooms, even though many of their faces were still gray with stress and fear, years later.

    As I grew up I often asked him if there wasn’t a “Reverse Bootcamp” where soldiers were automatically sent to reverse the behaviors they had learned in combat, to get help for the nerves and other health problems. He would look at me with his gray, lined face, and shake his head. This is my point. The VA helps, but not enough.

    It is my point of view, that, to combat the effects of boot camp and active battle, our soldiers should have a reverse boot camp if you will, completely paid for, and with total military pay, that they are required to complete, before they return to daily activities, and life in family and society. This program would “untrain” the violence that was necessary, address the underlying rage, fear, panic, and other features of returning vets, and essentially give them their lives back, before they have the stressors of returning to humdrum activities, and issues of daily living. THIS program would be done with gentleness, kindness, the warm milk of compassion. It would include rebuilding trust, how to feel safe and secure, how to get one,s life back. How to transition from being a war machine of one, into one complete, whole, integrated individual.

    I know this is not a new idea, but something like this must be required, and available for our vets, as surely as bootcamp is required and available for training.

    Just my thought for today. I grew up with a hero/victim of WWII, my dad, and there was nothing available as he shook, nightmares, and white knuckled his way through life after war. It wasn’t pretty. There was nothing available for him.

  2. Pierre Beauregard April 8, 2014 9:14 pm / Reply

    Thanks Darkbeta for you contribution to this subject. I am looking to put my efforts to help other Vets to find healing. My success in EFT Emotional Freedom Therapy, other words: Tapping has brought me back from the sudden pitfalls of PTS. I worked with ACVOW American Combat Veterans of War at the La Jolla, CA VA Hospital. I felt they were in the wrong direction in helping fellow vets with their peer group settings basing there search for healing by using the warrior mentality in combating the effects of PTS. We called it PTS only because this condition is not considered a disorder but a very natural occurrence to the human mind and soul after experiencing overwhelming horrors. So I began tapping and found instant relief to an oncoming episode of PTS. Thanks for you input, and I hope to see more from you. Beauzozx3

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