There was a debate going on in the talk radio world the last few days about whether soldiers should receive a Purple Heart for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most of the callers I heard said no and the military has now agreed with them. I did not hear a single caller express sympathy for those with the mental problems. I think many people, even former vets, don't accept the fact that some soldiers cannot cope psychologically with what has been required of them in the scenes of war. Some apparently think there are some vets using it as a ploy to get disability.
I don't know whether the former soldiers with PTSD would even want a purple heart but personally I think they all deserve some recognition and help if needed for going to a foreign land to kill for the lies of war. Perhaps they were uneducated as to the real reason why they were there but for many the experience ruined their lives.
I haven't talked to that many Iraq/Afghanistan vets so I can only speculate as to their problems but I have known and talked to hundreds of Vietnam returnees since 1966 and the picture isn't pretty.
I don't think I ever met a single Vietnam vet who wasn't scared by that war. Most have gone on to productive lives but not all by a long shot. Sometimes the scars weren't healed in an outward way for years and sometimes never.
Alcohol and drug abuse after returning was the norm for many.
Nightmares, the sweats, yelling in one's sleep was common.
Marriage problems and divorce were typical.
The symptoms were many, the cures were few.
Reports are that over 200,000 vets are now homeless with many from the Vietnam era.
There's a veterns hospital that treats long term disabilities, both physical and mental, near where I live. I've been there many times visiting. It's an eye opener if one cares to look.
Killing and seeing ones comrades killed and maimed does something to most every soldier.
Getting over it and going on is not that easy.
The sickness in our veterans is a refection of the sickness in our society that allows wars for profit and for the few to benefit.
It is a sick psychopathic government that send the youth to wars based on lies. At least 935 lies have been documented as being told by our 'leaders' in the run up to the Iraq invasion following Sept. 11, 2001. A great number of people think our attack and occupation of Afghanistan was justified but they too have been deceived.
No war in our lifetime, if ever, has been based on truth.
And the bastards that sent our troops to die and be damaged quibble over 'Purple Hearts.'
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US soldiers will not be eligible to receive the Purple Heart for the invisible psychic wounds of war, the Pentagon said Thursday, reserving the medal for those wounded in combat.
The decision was reached following a review suggested by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates after touring a mental health center at Fort Bliss, Texas in May.
"The conclusion then is, as it is now, that PTSD does not qualify, given the 76-year definition of what a Purple Heart recipient is," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary.
He said Gates thought the issue was worth re-addressing when asked about it in Texas, but accepted the conclusion of the panel that reviewed the requirements for receiving the award.
"But I don't think anybody should assume that that decision is in any way reflective on how seriously we take the problem of PTSD in this department," he said.
"I think we will spend about a billion dollars on research, development, treatment, preventative measures. And I think you will see more and more money being spent to combat this very real problem that we are all terribly concerned with," he said.
About 300,000 service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD or major depression, the Rand Corporation estimated in a study in April.
Source: American Free Press