Showing posts with label Australia Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia Military. Show all posts

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Warning on royal commission cover-ups on suicides

why is this all still happening?

‘I have nothing to lose. My son is dead’: Warning on royal commission cover-ups

Sydney Morning Herald
By Melissa Cunningham and Angus Livingston
July 8, 2021
“I am concerned there will still be cover-ups, or people not talking about the issues that have caused some of the suicides." Julie-Ann Finney

Julie-Ann Finney campaigned for a royal commission in veteran suicides after her son David took his own life.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
The mother of a navy sailor who took his own life is promising to come out swinging at the federal government if it allows more cover-ups, demanding whistleblowers get protection if they give evidence to a royal commission probing veteran suicides.

Former deputy commissioner of NSW Police Nick Kaldas will lead the national Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicides, which was formally created on Thursday. The commissioner will be aided by James Douglas QC, a former Queensland Supreme Court judge and Peggy Brown, a consultant psychiatrist.
War veteran Rob Campbell said he had struggled “enormously” when he returned to Australia after serving in Afghanistan and East Timor and had watched his close friends grapple with PTSD and mental anguish, following years of serving in the army.
read more here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Australia Military Suicides Increased

More than 200 military personnel committed self-harm in five years
News Corp Australia
Ian McPhedran
October 17, 2015
The highest rank involved was a RAAF Wing Commander followed by an Army Major and several Captains while there were a number of Warrant Officers and Sergeants included in the disturbing statistics.
THE Australian Defence Force recorded 212 so-called ‘self-harm’ incidents during five years including 58 last year.

Secret internal defence documents obtained by News Corp Australia show a disturbing jump in the number of self-harm incidents and suicides in the military with the Australian Veterans Suicide Register recording more than double the number of deaths between 2012 when there were 10 and the 25 so far this year.

A high-level source said that top defence brass didn’t even know that the self-harm list existed.

“When an ADF member is identified as being at risk of suicide, self-harm or harm to others, Defence mental health professionals undertake a comprehensive mental health and risk assessment,” Defence told News Corp.

The Service Police document entitled ‘self-harm and suicide attempts 2008-2014’ shows that the army dominates the list with 175 individual incidents followed by navy with 20 and the RAAF with 17.
read more here
2008 (six months) = 7
2009 = 21
2010 = 29
2011 = 35
2012 = 37
2013 = 25
2014 = 58

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Australia Rolling Thunder Vietnam More Than Music

Rolling Thunder Vietnam delivers history via the big hits of the era
AUGUST 23, 2014

The show features screens that play archival footage from the Vietnam War.

WHEN musician Wes Carr was ­approached about performing in Rolling Thunder Vietnam, it was the thought of his two-year-old son one day being conscripted into national service that brought home the project.

A “concert drama” about the Vietnam War, told from a predominantly Australian perspective, Carr plays a young Sydney man who is conscripted in the ­National Ballot.
Almost 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam between 1963 and 1973.

More than 1000 were wounded and 521 were killed.

“Although I studied the Vietnam War growing up, ­essentially (I knew about it) through the music (of the era),” Carr says.

“Then I read the script and ­I started thinking about how if in 17 years time they called my son up to go to a war where they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into, as a father they’d have to lock me up before they could get to him.”

Subtitled Songs That ­Defined A Generation, Rolling Thunder Vietnam boasts a kick-arse selection of 20 ­classic hits including War, The Real Thing, Born To Be Wild, Killing Me Softly With His Song, Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy, All Along The Watchtower and We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place.
read more here

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Solder from Australia missing in New York

With deep sadness, update

Body of missing Australian Paul McKay found in mountains of upstate New York; former solider suffered PTSD

UPDATE January 12, 2014

Australian soldier Paul McKay still missing in US

Aussie soldier Captain Paul McKay missing in frozen US Australia
JANUARY 12, 2014

US authorities are searching for a missing Australian Army soldier who was last seen in freezing conditions on New Year's Eve.

New York State police say the soldier, Captain Paul McKay, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Forest rangers and a special response team are conducting the search.

Captain McKay, an Afghanistan veteran, emailed his father from a Best Western motel in Saranac Lake on December 30 to say he was leaving him all his possessions, Fairfax Media reports.
read more here

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

'Tis season of joy as our troops come home from Afghanistan

'Tis season of joy as our troops come home from Afghanistan
Sydney Morning Herald
David Wroe
December 17, 2013

Homeward bound: Leading Aircraftman Noel Klaehn has a welcome message for his family in Australia. Photo: ADF

Last Thursday, Trever and Raelene Klaehn got the call they had been waiting for. Their son Noel, one of Australia's venerable air-ground defence guards serving in Afghanistan, would be home by Christmas.

''My wife broke down and started crying and all that,'' Mr Klaehn said on Monday. ''We'll have a big do for him. He's very humble. He doesn't want a fuss about anything. But we'll make a fuss, don't worry.''

The news was official as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister David Johnston announced that after a decade of war in Afghanistan - including eight years based at Tarin Kowt - the last Australian boots were off the ground.

The remaining troops flew out of Tarin Kowt on Sunday. About 400 Australians will remain in Kandahar and Kabul in training and advisory roles, but the Australian troops have farewelled Oruzgan province, where most of the fighting was done and most of the casualties suffered.

''We know they've paid a high price - 40 dead, 261 seriously wounded - but that sacrifice has not been in vain,'' Mr Abbott said on Monday. ''Oruzgan today is a very significantly different and better place than it was a decade ago.''
read more here

Monday, November 4, 2013

War Hero in Australia Not Welcome PTSD Service Dog

War hero Reece Maloney refused entry to Coogee Bay Hotel over assistance dog
November 4, 2013

War veteran Reece Maloney and his assistance dog Buddy.
AN ARMY veteran suffering post-traumatic stress disorder says it was a 'slap in the face' to be refused entry to a popular venue at the weekend when they wouldn't allow his assistance dog to come in.

Reece Maloney, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, says he was refused entry to Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel on Sunday after he arrived with his assistance dog Buddy.

"I arrived and told them 'this is my assistance dog'. They said 'you can't have a dog in here'. I explained that it's an assistance dog and has the same rights as a guide dog and that it's against the law to not let me in because of him," he said.

"Security said 'we'll get the manager'. I explained the same thing to the manager and he said 'we can't have dogs in here'. He said 'we let guide dogs in but we won't let assistance dogs in because we serve food'.

"This dog is trained in public places. He comes into restaurants with me and everything. I explained that to him but he didn't want to hear it."
read more here

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Australia troops take on war games look

Superhero or supervillain? Soldiers dressed for futuristic battlefield AU
OCTOBER 30, 2013

The equipment is designed to save the soldiers in modern battlefield situations.
THEY look like superheroes or supervillains from the big screen, only they are real life soldiers.

New high-tech equipment and body armour developed for armies around the world is turning troops into flesh and blood versions of video game warriors.

The science fiction video game-style equipment is designed to save the lives of soldiers in modern battlefield situations, such as roadside bombs or close combat with high-powered assault weapons. read more here

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Combat PTSD:You can't take out a tube of Krazy glue and fill the cracks

Combat PTSD:You can't take out a tube of Krazy glue and fill the cracks
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 8, 2013

This is a good example of being careful about what you say.

This was a good thing to say,
Dr Nash says post-traumatic stress disorder is not a sign of weakness, it's a psychological injury.

Followed by a bad thing to say,
BILL NASH: Of all of the ways I've talked about post-traumatic stress with especially marines and other warriors, the thing that gives them the most relief is to explain to them - and not in a way that's untrue, but based on science - this isn't you, it's your brain; you blew a fuse.

Followed by a good thing,
BILL NASH: They're the same kind of neurones that are in the inner ear that can be damaged by too much sound; the same kind of neurones in the retina of the eye that can be damaged by too much light. So these parts of the brain can be damaged by exposure to overwhelming experiences, but you can't turn away from, you can't close your eyes to these things.
Followed by yet another bad thing,
So it's not you, it's not a weakness of you - you're a fragile being, you're breakable, and you were broken.

This is from a report on Combat and PTSD.
As the UN commander in Kigali in 1994, Romeo Dallaire was left powerless to intervene as between half a million and a million people were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide.

He returned home from the horrific deployment with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

General Dallaire is now a senator in the Canadian Parliament. He says politicians, bureaucrats and military brass have failed veterans with PTSD and their families.

This article is about three nations trying to come to terms with Combat and PTSD. A good place for them to start would be to actually understand there is a huge difference between Combat PTSD and the other types. The only one that comes close is the type of PTSD members of law enforcement are hit by.

This is a good thing for me to say,
They are not broken.

This is sort of a bad thing to say,
You can't take out a tube of Krazy glue and fill the cracks.

They just don't understand that it is the fact their emotions are so strong, they feel pain more strongly than others do. We need to face the fact that civilians end up with PTSD from natural disasters. In other words, nothing they did other than picking the place they lived in. Then there are veterans that decided they were willing to risk their lives to save a bunch of strangers, go away from family and friends they had in civilian life, push their bodies and their minds past where anyone else would bother with to enter into the one of the tiniest minority groups this country has. Veterans are only 7% of the population. Ignoring the fact they are that rare forces people to find words like they are "broken" instead of grieving.

They are not victims. They are survivors.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Iraq war veteran angry at memorial protest

Iraq war veteran angry at memorial protest
Northern Star Australia
Steve Zemek
7th Sep 2013
Returned Iraq and East Timor veteran,
Ben Millmann, is disgusted that somebody
stuck an anti-war plaque on the
Nambour cenotaph.Brett Wortman
AN IRAQ war veteran said he felt like he had been "kicked in the guts" by anti-war protesters who hung a placard at the Nambour cenotaph.

Ben Millmann said he was disgusted by the sign which decried the wars waged by the "criminal" American governments in the Middle East.

He discovered the sign at Quota Park on Thursday morning and promptly tore it down.

Mr Millmann, who completed tours of East Timor in 2004 and Iraq in 2004-05, said his problem was not with the sentiment, but that it had been hung at a place of remembrance.

"It's one place where political opinion has no place," he said. "My problem is where it was placed. People have their right to free speech in a democracy.

"It was placed right underneath the part of the memorial that's for people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and peacekeeping missions."

Mr Millmann, 29, said that the incident left his blood boiling.

He was left with psychological and physical injuries after being the victim of a car bombing in Baghdad on Australia Day in 2005.
read more here

Friday, August 9, 2013

Australia study finds increase in psychological trauma tied to service

By defence correspondent Michael Brissenden
August 9, 2013

A Defence Force study into the health of soldiers deployed to the Middle East over the past decade shows those who have served in combat roles are at greater risk of psychological trauma.

The report into more than 14,000 soldiers found significant increases in mental health problems were experienced with increasing exposure to traumatic events.

It also showed greater combat exposure leads to greater risk of subsequent mental health problems, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is now recognised as a significant issue for veterans, and it is estimated between 15 to 20 per cent of veterans will return home from deployments with some form of PTSD.

However, symptoms may take many years to present.

The report states "significant increases in mental health problems were found with increasing traumatic and combat exposure, with the adjusted risk for some problems increasing five to fifteen fold.

"These findings covered PTSD symptoms, major depressive syndrome, panic and other anxiety syndromes, and alcohol misuse," the report stated, and found "greater combat exposure does lead to greater risk of subsequent mental health problems, including PTSD."
read more here

Monday, August 5, 2013

Multi-nation veterans come together to heal body and mind

Saskatchewan Wounded Warriors Weekend helps war veterans heal
August 4, 2013

War veterans from Canada, the U.S., Britain and Australia have gathered for a special weekend retreat – Saskatchewan style.

Nearly 200 soldiers from the four countries are in Nipawin for the second annual Wounded Warriors Weekend. The soldiers spent time fishing on Tobin Lake and golfing, but above of all, building relationships.

Fishing was among the activities war veterans participated in during the Wounded Warriors Weekend in Nipawin, Sask.

The event aims to provide support and help with rehabilitation from the effects of war.

It also opens up conversation about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – something many of the attendees silently suffer from.
read more here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Special investigation into link between ECM and cancer after soldier died

Former soldier's cancer death sparks AMA calls for investigation into bomb signal jammer
Updated Tue Jun 11, 2013
ABC News

The Australian Medical Association wants an investigation into the military's use of a special bomb-jamming device after a former soldier died of cancer.

Kevin Dillon, 28, died after returning from Afghanistan, where he carried what is known as an electronic countermeasures (ECM) backpack.

The backpack contained radio transmitters, which are used to scramble the mobile phone signals insurgents use to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton says there needs to be follow-up for soldiers who use them.

"These people have put their lives on the line for Australia," he said.
read more here

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Soldier takes on the devil within

Soldier takes on the devil within
The West Australian
May 12, 2013

When John Rankin was five years old, he watched his mother try to take her own life.

Then, placed in the care of relatives for years after that traumatic incident, he was sexually abused.

Later, while serving with the secretive and elite SAS Regiment, he experienced incidents and witnessed horrors he is still reluctant to talk about.

On home soil in Australia, he survived a plot to murder him and walked into the middle of the grisly climax to one of the nation's worst gun massacres.

Death, and the worst that life can throw at a man, are familiar adversaries for the 58-year-old retired soldier.

But the war Mr Rankin almost lost was not against enemy fighters or those who wished him harm.

It was a war against what he calls "the devil inside".

He fought it when he went on to help train the Sydney Swans and the Fremantle Dockers.

He fought it at home. He is still fighting it today.

Mr Rankin's story is not about winning or losing. It is about finding moments of joy and love while the battle still rages.

The details of his extraordinarily hard life, and how he has managed to survive and find reasons to smile, are topics he will share next month at the annual Men in Black Ball to support men's mental health. He hopes his story of survival will help others keep fighting.
read more here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Concern over anti-psychotic drug given to soldiers

Concern over anti-psychotic drug given to soldiers
ABC News
Lateline By Michael Vincent
April 24, 20113
Updated 11 minutes ago

Psychiatrists in Australia and the United States are calling for a review of the use of anti-psychotic medications to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

Australia's Department of Defence has confirmed an almost 600 per cent increase in the use of one particular anti-psychotic, Seroquel, in just five years.

Soldiers have told Lateline the drug, originally intended to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is being prescribed just to help them sleep.

Lateline spoke to special forces soldiers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. All have PTSD, and some have received psychological counselling, but others have not.

All say military doctors or GPs sanctioned by the Defence Department prescribed them Seroquel as a sedative.

One soldier, who Lateline has called Trooper M to protect his identity, has been a user of the drug for the past year.

He is only 23 and served as a special forces soldier on one tour of Afghanistan that left him with anxiety and nightmares.

Trooper M sought help when the nightmares became too much.

"So the mental health nurse liaised with one of the medical officers and from that... before I saw a psychiatrist or anything like that, they decided that Seroquel would be the choice of medication."

He says he does not know why, and just followed what he was being told.

One night, he accidentally took 400mg.

"I didn't wake up for over 24 hours. It was a bit of a wake-up call," he said.
read more here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Combat PTSD, the "psychomoral" wound around the world

The UK has been working on Combat PTSD and suicides. So has Australia and Canada. The truth is, it is a human issue that has been documented throughout the centuries. As long as there have been wars and war fighters, there has been the psychomoral wound. I didn't spell it wrong. I didn't just made it up. It is actually a great way to explain the difference between Combat PTSD and Law Enforcement PTSD. There is a huge difference between what these groups suffer from and what "victim survivors" have to overcome.

This isn't from the USA. It is from India.
Definitions This Conference on “Urban Catharsis: The Psycho-Moral Cleansing Effects of the Literatures in English” has a dual purpose: First of all it is a sincere attempt to encourage research and aesthetic study of literatures in English rediscovering or focusing the elements /situations or characters or incidents that bring out the moral, spiritual or emotional cleansing of the reader resulting into a certain positive change. The equally important second purpose is to appreciate the value of those literary creations that employ this therapeutic modality and to acknowledge and honour their creators for their conscious or unconscious contribution towards the human welfare. For the very purpose, join our venture to dive into the depths of the ocean of Literatures in English to pick up the pearls of humanitarian values of Literature.
This isn't from the USA. It is from Turkey.
The General Staff has launched a training program designed to provide psychological support in a bid to tackle the increasing number of suicide cases within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Based on a protocol between the Ministry of Defense and the Rector’s Office of Ankara University, the newly commissioned and non-commissioned officers are being trained in areas such as “skills in interpersonal communication and assistance, noticing a soldier with problems and providing the relevant guidance,” Anatolia news agency reported April 8.

The move by the General Staff apparently comes as part of a recently launched campaign in response to growing public awareness of the high number of suicides and controversial deaths occurring among conscripts engaged in compulsory military service.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gillard hears "tidal wave" of PTSD vets needing care

Australia is talking about a "tidal wave" of veterans with PTSD. Compare the 39 killed in Afghanistan to the 2,191 US troops killed. Their wounded of 249 to the thousands of US wounded. If Australia is already talking "tidal wave" what does that have to say about the US? When you consider how many more US forces are there compared to Australia, that should send the most powerful message of all.  If Australia is dealing with a "tidal wave" we are dealing with a tsunami.
Gillard confronted by soldier with PTSD
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been confronted on talkback radio by a soldier who complained about a lack of support for mentally ill veterans.

The man who identified himself as "Adam" says he returned from Afghanistan with post traumatic stress disorder but he has found the discharge process confusing and stressful.

His comments follow a warning from retired Army Major General John Cantwell that Defence will be bombarded "thousands" of mental illness cases as troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Adam said he had a bad experience with the Department of Veterans' Affairs and asked the Prime Minister what she planned to do about it.

"My experiences with DVA, [Department of Veterans' Affairs] is a very jagged field and nobody can give you direct answer of where you're going to be and where you'll end up, which adds to the stresses of the discharge process," he said.

"Now what is your plan... for the return guys that are coming with those problems? Because they are going to come back and things are going to be different for them."
read more here

Australia withdraws Afghanistan troops
At least 1,000 soldiers to be home by end of 2013 as security in Uruzgan province is handed over to Afghans
Associated Press in Canberra
Tuesday 26 March 2013

Australia has announced two-thirds of its troops in Afghanistan will be home by the end of the 2013 when the international military base at Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province closes.

The defence minister, Stephen Smith, said at least 1,000 of the 1,550 Australian troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn by the end of the year.

Australia has the 10th largest national force in Afghanistan and is the largest military contributor outside Nato. Australia also has the largest number of special forces in the campaign after the United States and Britain.

Military involvement is supported by both the Australian government and opposition but its popularity among the Australian public has plummeted as the war has dragged on for 12 years. In that time 39 Australian troops have died and 249 have been wounded.
read more here

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Diggers say Defence 'all talk, no action' on PTSD

Defence 'all talk, no action' on PTSD
Ian McPhedran
Defence Writer
News Limited Network
March 14, 2013

TWO diggers seriously injured in Afghanistan have slammed the Defence Force's treatment of soldiers suffering post traumatic stress disorder.

Army Engineer Michael Clarke and infantry soldier Tim Wilson were left with shocking physical and mental wounds in separate bomb blasts while fighting the Taliban.

Now members of a community-based support centre, they have warned there are no adequate systems in place in the army to manage PTSD, with wounded and damaged soldiers so scared of the stigma attached to mental injuries that they self-medicate rather than risk being labelled a malingerer - or a "linger".

The pair said that for every soldier suffering from genuine PTSD, there was one faking it to try and rort the system.

Mr Clarke, 29, from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, sustained horrific leg injuries when the Bushmaster vehicle he was driving triggered a massive bomb.

"I looked down and saw my right leg sticking out at right angles and I thought it was severed and that I was going to be a hop-along," he said.

He said he went on an alcohol and pain killer binge on his return to Australia rather than seeking professional help because he was afraid of being accused of faking mental illness.

"My rehabilitation was going out on the piss and having fun in my wheelchair with the boys carrying me up stairs. At one point I was doing a litre of bourbon a night," Mr Clarke, from Tweed Heads in NSW, said.

He and infantry soldier Tim Wilson, 26, from the 6th Battalion, said the army's top brass talked a lot about PTSD and the support available to soldiers but the reality was much different.

"If you are diagnosed with PTSD you feel your whole career is over, because it is," Mr Wilson, who lost part of his hand to an enemy bomb, said.
read more here

Monday, February 25, 2013

Australia Defense Ill Prepared for PTSD Time Bomb

Defence 'ill-prepared' for PTSD time bomb
Sydney Morning Herald
February 24, 2013
Tim Barlass

Soldiers who have served in Afghanistan say the Defence Department is unprepared for the number of servicemen who will return with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ray and Pam Palmer, the parents of commando Scott Palmer, who was killed in Afghanistan, are among those who believe the impact will be much higher than Defence's estimates of about one in 10 serving staff.

Private Palmer was among the first on the scene when his colleague Private Damien Thomlinson drove over an improvised explosive device, which was to claim both his legs.

Mrs Palmer, from the Northern Territory, said she noticed a big change in her son before he returned for his third tour of Afghanistan in 2010. He later died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.

''He developed a twitch, a sense of nervousness and was reluctant to go out in case a car backfired,'' she said.

''The government is not ready for the number of people that are going to come back with PTSD. They think it is going to be a ripple but it is going to be an enormous wave.

''The government should realise they stuffed up with Vietnam; not helping the guys when they came back. Let's not make the same mistake twice,'' she said.
read more here

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reliving the pain of war: military deployment and PTSD

Reliving the pain of war: military deployment and PTSD
The Coverstation
16 January 2013
David Forbes
Director, Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Professor of Psychiatry at University of Melbourne

Importantly, current research informs us that the risk for mental health problems does not rise with increased deployments per se. Rather, the risk of PTSD is determined by the frequency and severity of the potentially traumatic events to which serving members may be exposed on these deployments.

Serving on operational deployments in conflict zones carries not only the obvious physical threats, it also poses significant mental health risks. While depression and anxiety disorders are common among returned service personnel, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is perhaps the most commonly considered mental disorder in this group.

Approximately 8% of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members report current PTSD, though the rates of PTSD following specific deployments have not yet been published.

A parliamentary committee is currently investigating this issue as part of its inquiry into the care of ADF personnel injured on operations. The release date of the final report hasn’t been confirmed, but so far submissions and public hearings have raised concerns about the risks of PTSD, disclosure of mental health problems and when it’s safe to redeploy soldiers who have experienced mental ill health.
read more here

Saturday, December 29, 2012

General Cantwell's Battle With PTSD Leads Him to the Brink

General's Battle With PTSD Leads Him to the Brink
Associated Press
December 29, 2012 (AP)

In the exploding hell of battle, a single hand poked through the earth.

John Cantwell could see the ridges and calluses of the skin, and the pile of desert sand that had swallowed the rest of the Iraqi soldier. The troops Cantwell was fighting alongside in the Gulf War had used bulldozing tanks to bury the man alive.

This hand — so jarringly human amid the cold mechanics of bombs and anonymous enemies — was about to wedge itself, the Australian man would write decades later, "like a splinter under the skin of my soul." It would lead, along with other battlefield horrors, to the splintering of his mind and to a locked psychiatric ward. And it would lead to the abrupt end of a 38-year military career that saw him ascend to remarkable heights as the commander of Australia's 1,500 troops in Afghanistan.

In the process, Maj. Gen. Cantwell would become two people: a competent warrior on the outside. A cowering wreck on the inside.

He hid his agony to survive, to protect his loved ones and — he admits it — to pursue professional glory. But in the end, the man with two selves found he had lost himself completely.

A disheartening number of veterans suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. What made Cantwell so extraordinary was his ability to hide his escalating pain for so long, while simultaneously soaring through the military's ranks — eventually taking charge of an entire nation's troops in a war zone.
read more here

Major General John Cantwell