Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American Sniper Heavy Silence Because No One Listens

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 27, 2015

There has been a lot of debate about American Sniper. Maybe it is a good thing since there is a lot that isn't getting talked about, or at least it could have been. The trouble is when you have people taking political sides the troops and veterans are slammed right in the middle and the movie is more important than the one playing in their dreams every night.

"The View" Co-hosts Agree "American Sniper" is a Seminal War Film

"There was heavy silence at Walter Reed."
"Bravery has consequences."

This is from what Mike Barnicle wrote about American Sniper
At a screening in L.A. and New York, the crowd cheered. In Dallas there was no cheering. And when the film was screened at one site in Washington there was only a heavy silence.

Where was that location? Walter Reed National Medical Center, where the wounded, the limbless, the brain damaged are treated for injuries that linger forever and are largely forgotten by a country and a culture where more attention is paid to deflated footballs than the needs and cost of caring for men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paul Rieckhoff said that veterans have been trying to get attention for a decade. Really? Seriously?

What about the decades other veterans not only tried to get attention but fought to put everything in place that was available for their generation? Oh, I'm sorry it isn't popular to remind anyone how long all of this has been going on. All you have to do is sit and talk a while with a Vietnam veteran who had to wait years for a claim in the 80's and 90's, months for an appointment with a VA doctor or even longer for a fee base outsourced appointment.  Ya, that's right they were doing all of this way back then.

Hey why not add in the fact that there were caregivers way back then too? We had to figure out how to raise our family, work, take care of our husbands and usually our elderly parents (mostly veterans as well) and then figure out how make sure it was all held together while we fell apart without any money or help to do it. I lost count how many jobs I had in the over 30 years I've been with my husband.

As stupid as the reporting has been saying Afghanistan has been the longest war, and everything else they seem all too easily to forget, none of this is new and that is what pisses off other veterans the most.

For all the bills, all the money, all the news, all the claims made about addressing it, the numbers of lives lost to suicide increased. The number of veterans trying to kill themselves increased. These numbers went up even though there is a growing list of organizations begging for money and attention. Even though there is the Suicide Prevention Hotline with thousands of calls a year. Even though there are reporters all over the country telling heartbreaking stories of them facing off with police officers and SWAT Teams every week.

Watch: 'The Nightly Show' Aims at 'American Sniper' Debate with War Veteran, Critic and Comedy Guests

We're not talking about the fact that PTSD hits all generations and older veterans have been waiting longer, suffering longer and begged for something to be done before others followed them into the abyss.

What the hell is going on here?

We're not talking about how veterans are not able to go and watch the movie if they have PTSD because they won't sit in a huge, dark room with strangers behind them especially when they know their past is going to kick up its heels and smack them in the head.

I talked to a friend of mine and he said he's waiting for it to come on cable so that he can watch it and walk out of the room if it gets to be too much for him. Other veterans said they don't need to see a Hollywood movie, no matter how good it is supposed to be, since they just watched their own movie last night.

Wives like me won't go to see it either. While I totally appreciate it, I just don't want to watch it. I haven't watched any of them in years. Living with it on a daily basis and covering their stories for Wounded Times has zapped my emotional core to the point where sitting in a movie theater to watch more suffering is the last thing I want to do.

I do think you should see it if you want to get some kind of idea what it is like. Friends have seen it and said they understood more and they cried.

This is one of the first videos I made on PTSD. It is from 2006.

Our generation has been trying to help the younger generation catch up to what it took us decades to learn. They didn't want to listen. Our generation tried like hell to get Congress to change what they were doing. They didn't want to listen. We tried to get reporters to pay attention long before Afghanistan and Iraq but they didn't want to listen.

It seems as if everyone is talking about their opinion of this movie without listening to what is still happening because no one listened before.

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