Photo by Master Sgt. Kevin Milliken

Major news organizations have a long history of tying acts of violence to military service and post-traumatic stress disorder regardless of their relevance to the events that unfold. In 1995, after Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City, reports about his service and potential stress as a result of his involvement in the Iraq War filled the headlines. After the Fort Hood shootings that took place in 2009, the media linked the story to the dangers of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, although Nidal Hasan had never deployed. And after the 2014 Fort Hood shootings, media coverage focused on Ivan Lopez’s “mental Issues” and the fact that he had been assessed for, however not diagnosed with the disorder, even though Lopez never saw combat during his four-month deployment to Iraq. Just days after the 2014 Fort Hood shooting, known criminal, racist, and suspected murderer Frazier Glenn Miller (who also goes by the last name Cross) shot three people outside Kansas City, Missouri. Again, reports were quick to paint a picture of veterans as being on the verge of extremism.

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Photo by Saalik Khan

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the spring 2014 edition of Student Open Access Research by Inferpoint.

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