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 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.