Saturday, October 15, 2016

Combat PTSD Comes With Moral Injury

They Grieve Because They Love
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 15, 2016

I was in a rush to get "Residual War, Something Worth Living For" up on Amazon because the script was already registered and was being read by more people than I was comfortable with. Right now I am doing some editing to fix my infamous typos and work on the past and present tenses. Not as easy as I thought it was since the script part is in the present tense yet the two chapters of the book are in the past tense. 

It is possible to rewrite the story of the lives within the pages of the book/script. I just delete words and replace them with others that make more sense. Add in information that was missing. Put in more substance to help explain how these soldiers ended up where they were. What isn't easy is for them to do the same in real life. 

I said "not easy" but it isn't impossible as long as we get the bullshit out of the way. When folks have based their efforts on bumper sticker slogans with a number, their intentions may be begin with a good heart but do not produce good results. Now it may be easier for some to just jump on the wagon and gain a feel good attitude for themselves, the results have shown the effort did not do anyone any good other than make the doers feel better about themselves.

You'd think something as serious as suicide would require them to actually take the time to discover what the truth is within Tweets and Facebook posts, but they didn't bother. That says something right there. I've gotten to the point where I want to slap someone defending their use of the reported number of suicides as "its just a number" instead of lives lost. They claim to care but they don't even care enough to learn what the truth is.

When asked to explain the results of their time, they have no answers other than "well I'm raising awareness" as if that in itself would do any good for anyone. We've seen the deadly results on this.

Back in 1999 the VA reported veterans were committing suicide at 20 per day. There were about 5 million more veterans in this country back then with WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, along with Gulf War veterans committing suicide, yet most of the folks getting attention believe all this is new just because it is news to them.

For all the efforts, the result is still being reported by the VA at 20 a day taking their own lives over a decade after PTSD hit the news.

Now we have new "experts" running around the country claiming that "moral injury" isn't part of combat PTSD. Yep, stunning!

Aaron Throckmorton was the subject of an article on the Texas Observer, "Combatting Moral Injury" with a subtitle of "For some veterans, guilt and shame can linger years after combat — and it’s not PTSD."

Aaron Throckmorton decided to join the military the day the Twin Towers fell. A standout high school linebacker at Midland Lee (of Friday Night Lights fame), Throckmorton quit his team that very afternoon. He doubled up on his schoolwork so he could finish early and become a Marine. There were military men in his family. His grandfather served during the Korean War, and an uncle was a “river rat” in Vietnam. But Throckmorton didn’t know much about their experiences.
It is easy to figure out the "experts" telling him it isn't PTSD know very little about trauma and even less about the type of PTSD military folks get. It is a whole different type than what civilians get. (But then again, what would I know considering I've read real experts for the last three decades topped off with living with it every day.) Real experts not only discuss different types of PTSD, they talk about the different levels of it.

What is obvious is that this next section of the article is discussing what we know as survivor guilt.
It wasn’t combat that had sparked his troubles, he told me. He had taken part in several firefights and so had naturally worried about his safety, and he described the “gruesome” deaths of several Afghan policemen killed during these fights. What haunted Throckmorton about his time in the military was not what he did, but what he didn’t do. “I should have been there for them,” he said of Marines he trained who later died in Iraq. “I could have trained them better.”

At this part is bullshit too,
Rita Nakashima Brock, director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite, the only program in the United States dedicated to educating the public about moral injury.
"The only program" maybe on the street it is on but far from the only one since the group I belong to has been repairing souls since 1984. Point Man International Ministries has been working with veterans and their families since a veteran/police officer noticed his fellow Vietnam veterans needed help healing from war. 

Is she aware of the fact that people walk away for "it" not as victims but as survivors of it? Is she aware they either walk away believing God spared them or did it to them? The "moral injury" is what follows them and it the number one factor that has to be addressed in order to actually give them something worth living for.

They can edit their own history but not the truth. They can change things around to make it sound as if they are doing something new, but when we see it has hardly improved for all the veterans they take a walk for, do pushups for or raise awareness for, it is time to change the conversation. So when do we talk about what actually works? When do veterans actually hear what they need to know in order to not become a number within those we grieve for but become a member of those we rejoice with?

These are the same men and women who believed there was something worth dying for. They survived everything attached to the horrors they endured in combat yet could not survive with the memories of it? Why? When do we talk about that?

When do we talk about the stupidity of researchers trying to remove memories with drugs instead of helping them find peace to live with those memories and begin to see that they are worthy of keeping? To forget the horrific moments is to forget those they served with. Those they loved enough to risk their lives for. That level of love is worthy of healing not forgetting about.

They are not damaged or broken. They do not deserve what some are willing to settle for but they are worthy of our time and devotion to help them see just how strong they really are. They grieve because they love. 

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