Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Primacy of Healing: Politics and Combat Stress in America

This is perhaps the best writing and analysis I have seen on the issues of readjustment after combat, PTSD and political activism. Boudreau (former Marine captain, OIF veteran) is obviously a very insightful and thoughtful man and I told him so through his web site (link follows essay). Please pass this along, as you think proper.
--Dave Collins

From the page: Iraq war combat veteran US Marine Dave McBee holds his two-year-old son Aiden McBee. Tyler E. Boudreau writes: 'combat stress is, in its own way, a political statement. It is a silent judgment of war (and of society), and that is why the understanding and treatment of it remain perpetually stifled.'"

This is a 'must read' for those who are interested in the nature of our combat veterans' issues upon returning home.

It always amazed me when I encountered people like this when I was in the Air Force. Sgt. Frank Gomes comes to mind. I remember sitting in the back of the flight line crew van at 2 a.m. having wide-ranging discussions on politics, culture and philosophy as the other guys looked on in bewilderment. Just like then, I once again have experienced an 'eye-opening.'

I remember my childhood friend telling about nights when he would be awakened by his WWII D-Day veteran dad's screams in the middle of the night as he relived his experience through nightmares. Only until years later did it occur to me why he might have had the garage closet stocked full of Jax beer. He was an honorable, stoic man who I only saw lose his temper once. It never, ever occurred to us to dilly-dally around if he told us to do something.

Rest in peace Mr. Lewis.

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