Saturday, April 27, 2019

"War is bad for the brain"

Two sides of death

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 27, 2019

Tonight I finally had time to watch one of my favorite shows, Seal Team and I have been having trouble getting this one out of my head.

Brett Swan was having a hard time coming to terms with having PTSD, yet when he thought it was more a matter of TBI, he was not ashamed of saying he thought that was his problem.

At the same time, the Team was searching for a fallen service member. They were risking their lives to recover his body. They knew he was already dead, yet, not leaving him behind was a priority to them.

While Bravo Team is on a recovery mission in Mali, their friend, former Navy SEAL Brett Swan (Tony Curran), continues to struggle with his mental health. (TV-14 L, V) Air Date: Apr 24, 2019
Clay, (Max Thieriot) still trying to recover from being blown up, had been trying to help Brett as he was being overcome by memory loss.

As the TEAM was trying to locate the remains of Capt. Washington, Clay was getting Brett to the VA.

The VA scenes were typical of a lot of VA hospitals, but not all of them. Long lines, long waits and "soldier's reward for serving" the country.

Watching the TEAM go through the recovery efforts, then watching Brett and Clay at the VA, stuck with me.

How is it that we seem to accept every effort being made to recover the fallen to honor their lives lost in service, yet, cannot manage to do the same for those who are wounded while serving?

How is it that, as Brett seemed to find no problem with being in the grip of TBI, he had such a hard time with PTSD? That happens all the time...still and it shows that after decades of research, education and claiming they are doing all they can to get rid of the stigma, it is still stronger than PTSD itself?

Clay was there for Brett, but Brett gave up. It is obvious that the writers had been paying attention to the latest news reports of veterans committing suicide at the VA. It would have been great if they had paid attention to the rest of the things going on at the what they have been getting right.

Brett's doctor said he could not treat him for TBI without medical evidence he had it and could not order and MRI since it was not documented in his service record.

Well, that is wrong and frankly, BS. No veteran would be treated and compensated for PTSD, or a long list of other disabilities, if that was how they were determined.

They also got the "therapy" session wrong. That would be more like a first session, not one that happens after multiple visits. Since Brett was on a lot of medications, it would not be a first for him.

He kept getting upset with "mental disorder" term being used, and then tried to change it to TBI because he understood that to be a wound. As Brett was trying to explain that he was sure he had TBI instead of PTSD, he said "war is bad for the brain" and he was right.

This again, shows that is also a problem for too many veterans because they still do not understand what PTSD actually means. It means after they were wounded. "Post" is after and "Trauma" is Greek for wound.

The TEAM found Capt. Washington and continued to risk their lives to bring his body home, while Brett was planning on leaving his body behind.

Clay found him in the parking lot.

This is one of those shows that will not be easy to just let go of.

After the episode, CBS did a message about needing help and that was great too. At least, they are talking about a lot of things that happen and I hope as the series goes on, they cover more of what really happens at the VA that does work.

They need to know they matter just as much as the fallen and no one gets left behind.

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