Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dark Memories They Carry

The Dark Memories They Carry

Transfixed by the ’08 election news mainstream media frame (myself included), we need to keep in mind that there is other news to report.

Yesterday, The New York Times published a feature, “Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles,” that should be required reading for every American. This stunning report details the horrors our brave service men and women must endure after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The feature focuses on the fact that “at least 121 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after returning home from war.” However, Deborah Sontag and Lizette Alvarez, who authored the piece, go into greater depth about “combat trauma,” “survivors guilt,” “PTSD,” and the history of veterans returning home who carry with them the horrors they have seen.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report reveals that although we know more about PTSD and how it affects our veterans, there STILL seems to be a huge problem with diagnosing and evaluating this disorder BEFORE something horrible happens. In fact, sadly enough, diagnoses and evaluations often come after the fact: after a suicide, after a homicide, after another internal war that the brave veteran must experience and may possibly lose.

Addendum: Check this out at The Huffington Post.

1 comment:

Jolly Roger said...

1947 was a horrible year in a lot of ways. The recession (+) demobilized soldiers with nothing to do made for an explosive crime rate. Rapes, especially, shot through the roof.

It is amazing, what never gets touched on in our history classes. #1 among such things is that the crime rate always explodes among people who have seen war. If we knew of these things though, we'd start asking WHY that happens, and we can't have that now, can we?