Monday, February 23, 2015
When they never come home
We mourn soldiers who die in a war zone. There are many who physically die, but there are more who return home physically but not mentally. Those who lost their lives, well their trials and tribulations are over, there can be closure for families. Those who die emotionally, their problems are simply just beginning. Loved ones can grasp a physical death, while the emotional and many times, mental deaths are much, much harder to come to grips with.
It has finally been determined that many veterans from every war ever fought have suffered from this condition. The difference in those past wars, to present, is that PTSD was shoved under the carpet until our modern era. Many liked to name the condition shell shock, that way no government officials felt any responsibility for admitting that the war itself caused it. This was one way of just being off the hook for government officials and military officials. For if they did admit it might be service related, they knew they would be wide open to a host of payments for a service related condition. When it comes to money, well, military and government officials are very good at dodging that bullet, so to speak.
This is the story, my story, of living with PTSD at its heights. It is a story of how, for years, no one would acknowledge that this troublesome condition even existed. If it were up to government officials and armchair generals, it still wouldn't exist. First off, my hat goes off to Vietnam Veterans who got the ball rolling when it comes to not allowing it to be swept under the rug. Also to the present day veterans who didn't drop the ball and who now carry the torch of justice for all veterans who come home with this condition. Only those who have lived with it, spouses, parents, children and most of all, the veterans themselves, really know and understand the nightmare that is PTSD.
While the world is applauding a new movie about a famous sniper, what happens to the everyday veteran who is not famous? Is he or she any less value? No, and this series of blogs is dedicated to the men and women who went into the unknown, who felt a calling to serve their country, who have refused to 'go gently into that good night' quietly. For their lives are of major importance whether you know their names or not.