October 27, 2015
I had some rare down time this afternoon and did some basic Facebook checking on the "experts" on PTSD. Few seem to really know what they are talking about, leading me to honestly understand when young veterans say they are suffering from information overload.
A couple of weeks ago I had my car in the shop for service. The tech wanted to know what the sign on my car was all about and I told him it is a news site for veterans. "I'm a vet" he told me and naturally, we had plenty to talk about. When we were done talking he wasn't happy. He wanted to know where all the information was because he hadn't heard any of it before. Then I told him it was because he was looking in the wrong places.
That's the trouble with something that could be so beneficial is being used by mis-guides with huge followings taking veterans right off a cliff.
When 9-11 hit, there wasn't and army of Facebook users splashing the headlines all over the place. It didn't start until 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg decided to start it. By 2004 I had already been working on PTSD for 22 years. (plus living with it)
Mark Zuckerberg, 23, founded Facebook while studying psychology at Harvard University.Which means he was about a year old when I was going to the library reading clinical books using a dictionary to understand what the hell I was reading. It was termed in the 70's long before most of the "experts" were even born. (Yes, the library, I'm old and didn't have a computer in the 80's.)
So lesson one is PTSD existed long before Facebook and even longer than 2001.
Lesson two is really simple as well.
PTSD Forgotten Warrior Project Forgotten About was about a study commissioned by the DAV on Vietnam veterans coming home with the same wounds, seen and unseen, as their parents and grandparents and all the other generations before them.
"In its efforts to help these veterans, the million member Disabled American Veterans (DAV) funded the Forgotten Warrior Project research on Vietnam Veterans by John P. Wilson, Ph.D. at Cleveland State University. That research resulted in formation of the DAV Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program to provide counseling to these veterans in 1978. With 70 outreach offices across the United States, this DAV program served as a model for the Veterans Administration (VA) Operation Outreach program for Vietnam era veterans, which was established approximately a year later."What was learned from what Vietnam veterans were talking about is directly responsible for how civilians are treated after trauma, police officers and firefighters are better understood because of the nature of their jobs and how everything that was available for the post 9-11 veterans needed. The trouble is that Congress failed to learn from the decades of research.
It is really bad when reporters get history wrong but even worse when politicians do it. They seem to love to just take the easiest way out of a lot of things.
One is the "22 a day" but it is so much harder for them to state the fact that number is false or mention that veterans commit suicide double the civilian population rate after all these years and this money spent, under their "leadership" it has gotten worse.
Lesson three is just because it is repeated, it doesn't change history.
It is also apparently hard for them to end the false claim that Afghanistan is the longest war in American history.
Doesn't the "end of combat operations" still mean a war is over?
President Obama read these lines May 27, 2014 in the Rose Garden
And today, I’d like to update the American people on the way forward in Afghanistan and how, this year, we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end.This was the headline on TIME back on December 28, 2014
U.S. Ends Its War in Afghanistan
The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan ended its combat mission Sunday, marking the formal—if not real—end to the longest war in American history.But the math just doesn't work with this.
“For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan,” President Obama said in a statement. “Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.”The problem is if reporters start counting dates with boots on the ground and then off them to declare a war over, then that would make Vietnam the longest war in history. After all when you read the facts on The Wall they have a lot of facts the press does not seem able to learn.
The Department of Defense acknowledges this death
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956.And this one
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.Just as they recognized this death as the "last"
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.It is recognized as the last battle of the Vietnam War
Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.And then there is the Encyclopedia Britannica adding 2 more years.
The last pilot casualty in the country of Vietnam occurred during the Embassy evacuation in Saigon, William C. Nystal and Michael J. Shea both died on the helicopter on April 30, 1975 approaching the USS Hancock in the China Sea (both are located at 1W, 124). The last pilot killed in the Vietnam war was Air Force helicopter pilot Second Lieutenant Richard Vandegeer who was killed on Koh Tang Island, Cambodia. This occurred during the Mayaguez incident when his helicopter crashed on May 15, 1975. It is considered the last combat action of the Vietnam War.
Vietnam War, Tet Offensive [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.] (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Called the “American War” in Vietnam (or, in full, the “War Against the Americans to Save the Nation”), the war was also part of a larger regional conflict (see Indochina wars) and a manifestation of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies.The trouble is, wars never really do end for those we send and those we send never seem important enough to get a story straight.
Lesson four is get it right before you type. Once you put something up reporters may use it and spread it as if it is the truth. That's how we ended up with everyone thinking the "22 a day" is true and it only involves veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The real story is that after everything has been posted and reposted the percentage is the key and it isn't pretty. Veterans outnumber civilian suicides 2 to 1 and most are over the age of 50. Younger veterans are triple their peer rate. It is even worse for female veterans at 6 times the female rate and 12 times higher than young peer rate.
It is time the post-awareness posters grew up out of pubescent-know-it-alls and actually started to learn something before they decide to start a road show of incompetent misdirection. They may have great intentions but fail to understand they can do more harm than good.
When Facebook started suicides tied to military service were lower than they are now.
Suicides, Mental Health Woes Soar Since Start of Iraq War, Study Finds By CARRIE GANNABC NEWS MEDICAL UNIT March 8, 2012
The study, an analysis of data from the Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment, shows a striking 80 percent increase in suicides among Army personnel between 2004 and 2008. The rise parallels increasing rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions in soldiers, the study said.By 2008, they surpassed civilian suicides
From 1977 to 2003, suicide rates in the Army closely matched the rates of suicide in the civilian population, and were even on a downward trend. But after 2004, the rates began to climb fast, outpacing the rates in civilians by 2008.By 2012 military suicides broke all records with the report that came out in 2013.
According to AFMES data as of 31 March 2013, there were 319 suicides among Active component Service members and 203 among Reserve component Services members (Reserve [n = 73]; National Guard [n = 130].2012 Reported Suicide Attempts
As of 31 March 2013, there were 869 submitted suicide attempt DoDSERs among Active duty Service members for all services in calendar year 2012. Active duty includes members of the Active component and members of the Reserve components who were in a Title 10 status at the time of the event. Since Service members could have had more than one suicide attempt during the year, he number of unique Service members and the number of DoDSERs differ. The DoDSERs described suicide attempts for 841 unique Service members: 815 with one DoDSER, 24 with two, and 2 with three. The distribution of suicide attempt DoDSERs across the services was as follows: Air Force – 26.4%, Army – 42.0%, Marine Corps –19.4%, and Navy – 12.2%. All DoDSERs were included in the tables, figures, and summary text.The final lesson is, just because you read it on Facebook doesn't mean it is true but it could be deadly.