Sunday, October 9, 2016

"We live in deeds, not years." Fighting the Residual War of PTSD

They Live In Deeds of Courage
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 9, 2016

RESIDUAL WAR, Something Worth Living For is based on reports within the over 26,000 articles on Combat PTSD Wounded Times and over thirty years of covering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by military service. It is also from living with and spending most of my free time with veterans.

With all the publicity PTSD and suicides have received, you'd think that the truth would matter, but it doesn't. Until we actually see these men and women carrying the unique burden of serving this nation with everything they have, we'll never really change anything for their sake.  Frankly, I'm sick and tired of seeing them used.

Their suffering, their agony has been used for attention getting stunts by folks claiming to be doing something about raising awareness. The truth is, they are more like people taking a video of someone dying instead of calling 911.

So I decided to jump on the fiction bandwagon and try to tell the truth in a lie.

General David King is based on what I think most Generals with PTSD would do in order to really take care of those who have paid the price for their heroic actions causing them to make bad decisions for the right reasons. He sent them to Fort Christmas to serve out their time before retirement. 

Generals with PTSD? Yes and there is an example of that in a report from the New York Times about Brig. General Donald Bolduc, Commander of Special Operations talking about his own struggles with PTSD. He isn't the first to do so. Other Generals came out with a lot of courage in 2009 because the lives of those they were in charge of really mattered so much they put them first instead of their own careers.

It is about a female Colonel, Amanda Leverage, suffering after showing great courage and blaming herself for what came afterwards.

A female with courage in combat? Yes, like Spec. Monica Lin Brown, who at the age of 19 received the Silver Star for saving lives in Afghanistan.
After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said. "I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there," Brown said Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern province of Khost.
Another female showing great courage during the Civil War received the Medal of Honor. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was a surgeon. 
"We live in deeds, not years." – Mary Walker, title page of Hit
The men Amanda was in charge of were much like the Special Forces members in the following reports.

Special Forces suicides reached a record in 2014 but according to men like Donald Trump, they must not have been tough enough to take it. What is worse is that the head of the Army at the time passed off suicides as if they were not mentally tough and lacked intestinal fortitude. 

That was said by General Raymond Odierno during and interview on suicides with Huffington Post reporter David Wood.
"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations."

He wasn't thinking at all and that is the biggest problem of all. He he even considered all the veterans and those serving under him, he wouldn't have fed the stigma beast and maybe, just maybe he would have issued orders to make sure these men and women were taken care of to heal instead of betraying them with this claim of weakness. 

In April of 2014 there were reports of Special Forces soldiers committing suicide. 

U.S. special forces struggle with record suicides even after all these years of the DOD saying they were taking care of the men and women serving this country. Even after suicides and attempted suicides went up. Even after even the "toughest" of the tough suffered. Anyone know what is going to change? How to change it? Who is accountable for it?
Joe Miller, then an Army Ranger captain with three Iraq tours under his belt, sat inside his home near Fort Bragg holding a cocked Beretta 40mm, and prepared to kill himself.
Staff Sgt. Jared Hagemann, 25, of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, killed himself June 28 (2011) at Lewis-McChord. Staff Sgt. Hagemann had orders to return to Afghanistan for a ninth tour of duty.
Crowley-Smilek, 28, a former U.S. Army Ranger who suffered from combat stress and physical injuries from service in Afghanistan, was dead; shot multiple times by a police officer outside the Farmington municipal offices on U.S. Route 2.
Staff Sgt. Charles Reilly, is a Special Forces soldier who has been deployed six times in the past decade. She said psychiatrists have diagnosed him with PTSD, and he's assigned to Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion, where soldiers recover from physical and mental wounds.
Sgt. Ben Driftmyer was discharged and betrayed. Survived."I had spent eight years serving the military. I never got in trouble. Never did anything bad. And I got treated like I was a piece of crap because of it," said Ben Driftmyer, discharged U.S. Army Sergeant and Cottage Grove resident. Driftmyer was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder by Eugene doctors after he was chaptered out from the special forces unit in Baghdad. He suffered several mental breakdowns during his service, but his discharge was classified as "other than medical." "Because the military didn't want to pay for me for the rest of my life," said Driftmyer.
Chief Petty Officer Jerald Kruse, served 19 years in the Navy. He was a SEAL, an elite warrior sent to fight in some of the toughest situations around the world, including in Iraq. “His problems really began in ’05. That’s when I really began to notice something was wrong,” she said. He drank excessively, stayed up all night and lashed out at her and their three kids.
Navy Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, died Saturday while serving as the commanding officer of SEAL Team 4, a special warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo returned from Iraq, he feared seeking treatment for PTSD would endanger his career.
US Special Forces Struggle With Record Suicides(Reuters) - Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, a U.S. military official said on Thursday, citing the effects of more than a decade of "hard combat."
So while you are paying attention to the veteran in New York carrying around a skeleton dressed in a uniform to raise awareness of suicides, you need to be reminded of the most important fact of all. Lives of others matter so much to all of the above they were willing to die to save them, but they could not find hope to save their own.

They ended up on the "wrong side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell."

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