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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Beyond The Call Of Duty WWII Veterans "Titanic Sacrifices" and PTSD
Beyond the call of duty
The Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff August 19, 2017
“Many of the stories have such great impact that I would reread them again and again during the editing process even when I didn’t have to. These were not extraordinary people. They were ordinary folk who accomplished extraordinary things.”
A World War II veteran Gehle went to interview in a motel room had hung sheets on the wall. Some 70 years after imprisonment and torture by the Japanese, the veteran still wet his bed at night.
This is the Grand Canyon of awareness looming between generations. The younger may have little conception of the great struggle to defeat tyranny on two sides of the world and the titanic sacrifices made to do it. The older lived it.
We need to make sure members of the Greatest Generation lay down their often agonizing memories before they’re gone completely, so that present and future generations, like them, never forget.
Problem is, back in the days before we knew anything about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – back when a general like George Patton might slap a “shell-shocked” soldier for supposedly being a coward – you didn’t talk out your trauma. You buried it with the honored fallen, came home and quietly tried to somehow integrate back into a civil society where the guy around the corner wasn’t out to get you and the customer walking in a restaurant wasn’t looking to shoot you.