Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Recognizing the obvious

…HA often wonders when this country is going to grow up and get some smarts. Not all that nuanced nonsense, but real commonsense smarts.

…Yochi J Dreazen, writing in the WSJ, May 13, 2008, reports that the military is thinking of giving purple hearts for post-traumatic stress—a wound you cannot see on the outside.

…Reportedly Secy Robert Gates is sort of for this, saying it needs to be looked at (that’s for, right, since it’s not against?).

…There is no formal proposal at the moment, though.

…They just said enough to set off the blogs.

…Awarding the Purple Heart to those with PTSD would take away some of the stigma of the disorder, proponents say.

…Men with PTSD, said one man who works with these patients, paid as high a price as someone with a brain injury or shrapnel wound.

…Purple hearts are to be awarded for a wound received “in action with an enemy.” Mental wounds can be faked, opponents say.

….Mental problems have been associated with war since the beginning of history. Shellshock, the thousand yard stare. Three hundred thousand Iraq and Afghanistan vets have been diagnosed. Similar numbers suffered from it in Vietnam.

…Maybe this recognition would help remove the stigma somewhat. Then we can get going on getting the VA up to speed on support groups and treatment.

…A lot of soldiers and their families are suffering because the servicemember cannot hold a job, support a family, sleep, stop drinking or taking drugs, or even drive down a busy street.

…This is pain, people.

...All of this.


Lily_otv said...

I agree 100% Star.
PTSD is certainly a wound received "in action with an enemy." The soldier sure didn't have it before their service. I truly believe that Mental Health disorders, left untreated, continue to wound the soldier and society. A Purple Heart won't repair the damage, but it sure would go a long way in acknowledging the sacrifice made.

Star Lawrence said...

Yes, some of this is a life sentence as much as an amputated limb.

Star Lawrence said...

This morning I read some VA admin twit told his staff to diagnose "adjustment disorders" not PTSD--too many people were getting disability, he said.