May 27, 2017
Reporters didn't care over three decades ago, when I got into all of this. I never read about them unless it was a report on one of our veterans getting arrested.
My research was about Vietnam veterans coming home and suffering. Soon I discovered that no wound of war was new. All generations came home and were infiltrated by what they thought they left behind them.
I tired to get several to let the country know what was happening to veterans and their families. None of them were interested. One reporter told me it sounded like "sour grapes" after I told him about PTSD and how claims were being turned down and veterans were being turned away from the VA. Back then there was a huge backlog of claims but the VA had started to work on PTSD.
Now there are reporters all over the country trying to get this right. They have been failing because they are outnumbered by other reporters doing a simple Google search to find the easiest answer on what our veterans face after surviving combat.
Margie Fishman found an amazing female veteran with a powerful story to tell. She wrote the article as if she cares, and it is a good story to read once you get past this part where she blew it.
"An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide each day, or one every 65 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs."WRONG Here is the link to the VA Suicide report from 2012 she is still using and within it, the VA had a warning about using the "22 a day" but the headline was grabbed and even I believe it until I found the actual report and read it.
"The estimated number of Veterans who have died from suicide is based on data obtained from 21 states and has been calculated using service history as reported on death certificates. An assessment of Veteran status on Washington State death certificates identified a measurable amount of error among those with history of U.S. military service. Therefore, estimates of the number of Veterans who have died from suicide each day based on proxy report of history of U.S. military service should be interpreted with caution."WHY
Limitations of Existing Data Currently available data include information on suicide mortality among the population of residents in 21 states. Veteran status in each of these areas is determined by a single question asking about history of U.S. military service. Information about history of military service is routinely obtained from family members and collected by funeral home staff and has not been validated using information from the DoD or VA. Further, Veteran status was not collected by each state during each year of the project period. Appendix B provides a listing of the availability of Veteran identifiers by state and year. Further, this report contains information from the first 21 states to contribute data for this project and does not include some states, such as California and Texas, with larger Veteran populations. Information from these states has been received and will be included in future reports.PLUS, forgotten in all the reporting is that it is older veterans who need the most help but are getting none of the attention from reporters.
Specifically, more than 69% of all Veteran suicides were among those aged 50 years and older, compared to approximately 37% among those who were not identified as Veterans.ANOTHER FACTOR OVERLOOKED AND UNDER REPORTED ON
We are also in the peak seasons for veterans committing suicide.
There also appears to be a seasonal trend with more suicide events in the spring and summer months noted in 2010 and 2011.Fishman wrote this part and got it right
"Female veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate as other women (they're 33 percent more likely to use a gun than overdose on pills). They are also two-to-four times more likely than civilian women to be homeless, according to federal statistics."BUT LEFT OUT
This is from the LA Times Suicide rate of female military veterans is called 'staggering' by Alan Zarembo.
The rates are highest among young veterans, the VA found in new research compiling 11 years of data. For women ages 18 to 29, veterans kill themselves at nearly 12 times the rate of nonveterans.In every other age group, including women who served as far back as the 1950s, the veteran rates are between four and eight times higher, indicating that the causes extend far beyond the psychological effects of the recent wars.So if anyone asks, I'm glad reporters care now, but greatly saddened by the fact too many just don't seem to care enough.
For Delaware female vets, every day a struggle
The News Journal
May 26, 2017
This Memorial Day, Petters wants you to remember the soldiers who died on and off the battlefield."Our American Hero" wears military fatigues, an M16 and a perma-smile next to two emblems of freedom — a waving American flag and the Statue of Liberty's blazing torch.
Delaware Air Force veteran Kim Petters sneers at the framed photograph, which she retrieved from her garage at a reporter's request. Her photo album, capturing a decade of service, is missing in action.
Since retiring from the military in 2012, it's been a daily struggle for the Dover mother of four, who feels robbed of her freedom by a war she still doesn't fully understand.
"We went in looking for weapons of mass destruction, right?" the petite brunette grumbles. "Did we find any?"
Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Petters can't pass an American flag in a flower bed without her mind racing to flag-draped coffins. She thrashes so hard during intense nightmares that her husband must hold her legs down.
"All I can see is 20 bodies," says the former medical administrator, who was tasked with shepherding fallen soldiers home during the Iraq War. "I can almost smell it again."
read more here
This video is from 2006 and re-uploaded on PTSD and what it looks like.