Modern Veterans Share Their Thoughts On PTSD

Community
Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Stroud

Editor’s Note: Two goals of Task & Purpose are to offer veterans and military community members a place to articulate their voices and to counter the skewed narratives surrounding veterans that often dominate the mainstream media. Therefore, in recognition of June 27, PTSD Awareness Day, we asked our contributors to share some words of wisdom that shed some light on the myths surrounding post-traumatic stress. To each contributor, we posed a simple question, “What is one bit of information about post traumatic stress that you think civilians and/or employers should be aware of?”


Related: This Marine vet overcame his PTSD and rediscovered his sense of purpose.

“Not hiring a soldier because there's a chance they could have PTSD is like not hiring an overweight person because they might have diabetes. Just because they could have it doesn't mean they do. And if they do have it and it's managed properly, you would never know, nor would you need to.” ---Desiree Ahmann

“There are three things you should know about PTSD. First, not all veterans have PTSD. Second, not everyone with PTSD is a veteran --- in fact, veterans make up only a small portion of those who are diagnosed with PTSD. And third, those who get help for PTSD usually go on to live happy, fulfilling, productive lives.” ---Crispin Burke

“Seeing death and destruction blow up in front of you affects everyone in a different way. Keep your head together, seek treatment if you can get it, and drive on. It will get better if you let it.” ---Stephen Carlson

“Depending on your reaction to it, trauma can powerfully open the door to deep empathy for others.” ---Lydia Davey

“As a society, we're thankfully becoming less tolerant of prejudice in general. It's unfortunate that PTSD is becoming one of the last things that people feel alright discriminating against. Admitting one has a problem isn't a weakness. It's a strength.” ---Carl Forsling

“We all --- not just veterans --- fight invisible battles. Some have scars from combat, some from other rough patches. Nobody has a greater appreciation for life, the world, and the people in it than someone who has faced losing everything.” ---Anna Granville

"PTS is an inaccessible term. It does not evoke emotions that are familiar to us. Often in war, the very best of our country are forced to make decisions with tragic consequences or a close friend is lost. The result can be traumatic levels of grief, guilt, and shame. Suffering is therefore not the result of fear, but the direct result of the high standards held and deep love felt. Those are exactly the type of people you want on your team, those who live bigger than themselves." ---Zach Iscol  

"Modern veterans are less likely to commit violent crimes than their civilian counterparts. In typecasting and mythologizing these young men and women, who raised their hands to wage incredibly complex wars in the spirit of America’s security, the media is jeopardizing the future they risked everything for." ---Brian Jones

“PTS (no D) is perfectly normal. Most ‘normal’ people would be a little traumatized and saddened from witnessing such human carnage. PTS just means that you are a perfectly functioning human who cannot simply walk away from witnessing human suffering without it bothering you a little. If a person felt absolutely nothing from witnessing human suffering, I would argue that is perhaps more worrying than a person working through PTS. Let us get away from the ‘suffering’ concept. As General Mattis would say, this makes us stronger and more compassionate to our fellow humans.” ---Mario Mangiameli

“Is it a correlative or causative relationship that veterans with PTSD have a greater chance of being fired from their job than the rest of the population? It’s easy for employers to blame PTSD for negative behavior in the workplace; its negative perception is a known value.” ---Rick Schumacher

“Many health officials I've interviewed advocate for dropping the ‘disorder’ and referring to the condition as post-traumatic stress. As one psychiatrist explained to me, when you break your leg, you don't have a ‘bone disorder.’ Post-traumatic stress is a natural reaction to a harrowing event. We need to drop the stigma of labeling it a ‘disorder’ and treat it for what it is.” ---Andrea Signor

“PTS affects more women (rape) and children (abuse) than combat veterans. It's not something unique to combat veterans.” ---William Treseder

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Defense Department's authority to prosecute retired service members for crimes they commit, even after retirement.

The court on Tuesday chose not to hear the case of a retired Marine who was court-martialed for a sexual assault he committed three months after leaving the service in August 2015. By not accepting the case, Larrabee v. the United States, the court upheld the status quo: that military retirees are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Read More Show Less
A formation of U.S. Army soldiers with III Corps and Fort Hood honor the American flag as they lower it during the Retreat ceremony March 27, 2014. Retreat is conducted at the end of the day, every day, to honor the flag, which is raised during the Reveille ceremony each morning. All activity on the base stops for the duration of both ceremonies as soldiers pause, face the flag, and salute. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ken Scar)

Soldiers and their spouses told Fort Hood brass and housing officials Thursday night about horrific conditions inside on-post housing, ranging from blooms of mold and lead paint to infestations of snakes and cockroaches and dangerously faulty window screens.

Read More Show Less
c1.staticflickr.com

When President Trump spoke of Islamic State last week, he described the group as all but defeated, even in the digital realm.

"For a period of time, they used the internet better than we did. They used the internet brilliantly, but now it's not so brilliant," the president said. "And now the people on the internet that used to look up to them and say how wonderful and brilliant they are are not thinking of them as being so brilliant."

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.

Read More Show Less
KCNA

HANOI (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the U.S. secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North's weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Read More Show Less