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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PTSD in the 21st century

On December 6, on MTV at 6 PM, there is an episode of True Life which illustrates the pain of PTSD for the veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 20 percent of these veterans have reported symptoms of PTSD, a disorder that can haunt them for years as illustrated by studies of World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans.
(click on title for You Tube link)

Lifetime of Post War Suffering

A sad article about a World War II veteran who landed on Omaha Beach and fought through to Germany. His younger sister said her brother came home physically, but not mentally. He spent his entire post war life in a VA hospital, barely speaking. After he returned home, prior to his hospitalization, he paced the floors silently and continually. He died at age 86, having been living with war trauma for 62 years. (click on title for link)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The More Things Stay The Same

A recent news story made me particularly sad and made me realize that even though there is lip service to treatment of PTSD, the reality does not match. An army medic whose photograph cradling an Iraqi child in 2003 made him a symbol died of a drug overdose. We must do more than just call someone a hero; there has to be recognition that war trauma is difficult to deal with at home alone. Click on title for link to article.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Forgotten Children of World War II

I have recently been made aware of an entire group of forgotten children of World War II. These are the tens of thousands of children fathered by American GIs during the war in countries such as England, France, Netherlands and post war in Germany and Austria. Many of these children grew up fatherless - in many cases, their American fathers either died in the war or returned home not aware of the existence of their child. Over the years, there was little or no notice in the mainstream press of the existence of these now aging children, some of who still continue to search for a link to their biological families. More of the mythologizing of World War II as "the best war ever" without recognition of the 183,000 American children left fatherless by the war and the multitude of children fathered by American servicemen on foreign soil.