PTSD and the US Soldier

More on what the Military ISN’T doing to help the Troops, from Frontline


 

What do you mean when you say they (the  military) underestimate the destructive nature of war?They think it goes away; it just goes underground. It doesn’t go away. And 50 years later, it can reemerge. What have we done in those 50 years to that family? …

…I think what the military doesn’t invest in is the responsibility to assist with the adjustment of the veterans to the emotional reactions to war. I think they’re investing in the wrong product. They should be investing in their most valuable resource, which is their people.

And how you protect that is by allowing at-the-minute help. You don’t postpone it. You don’t say, “It isn’t there.” You don’t say, “You’ll get it when you become a civilian again.” You say: “We really care about you, and here’s somebody that we want you to talk with. We [don’t want you to have] this ’emotional blood.’ We want you to function in a way that you can function better. We’re really interested in helping you with that, and … we’re not going to punish you if you seek that.”

I think that in American society in general, there is a real difficulty with acknowledging that [in addition to] medical illnesses, we also have mental illnesses. … Then, if we can look at the military as just an extension of the society bias, then we really ought to take a look at how we prepare soldiers for war and how we prepare soldiers to become civilians again. And I don’t think we do justice to the middle all that way. …

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