Monday, December 18, 2017

We are horrified for what is coming on PTSD

Is This The Season to Heal?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 18, 2017

There was a time when we were forced to be silent. Don't complain. Get over it. Deal with it. After all, when those responses came from WWII generation parents, we figured that was what they did.

The only thing is, while they did not complain much, they didn't get over and they surely didn't deal with it. They stuffed it.
The Vietnam generation came home and decided they would not settle for the way it had been done before.

As for families, like mine, we had no clue what was going on. No one was talking about it. Sure, we talked when wives got together while the "guys" were in the other room. It wasn't until one of us learned more than the others, and then, then we knew there was not just something we could do, but something we had to do. 

First, we started to explain it to each other and then to our own parents. Soon we tried to explain it to the world, but the only way to do it back then, was to get a reporter to print it. Few bothered to even listen.

So, we gathered together at funerals when one more survivor of combat could not survive being home where he was supposed to be safely living a normal life. Then we wondered what it would be like when the time came for us to be the one standing next to the coffin. But we weren't just worried about them;

In Australia, research showed that our kids were at risk too. 
Vietnam Veterans' Children At Risk! 
Study Reveals Illness, Deformity,700 Unnecessary Deaths Through Accident and SuicideMedia Release - 20 March 1998 
The Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia (VVAA) today announced that the recently completed Vietnam Veterans' Health Study shows clearly that their children are at risk, confirming what veterans have been saying for 20 years. Apart from greatly elevated rates of spina bifida, cancers and a range of other normally rare diseases, the study reveals that the number of deaths of Vietnam veterans' children from the combined causes of accident and suicide is 250% higher than for other young Australians.

"We are horrified," said Mr Clive Mitchell-Taylor, National President of the VVAA. " 
Australia has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world, but this is worse than anything we could have imagined! The statisticians have told us that they would have expected about 440 of our children to have died from accidents or suicide, but the questionnaires completed by our Vietnam veterans reports over 700 more deaths from those two causes alone.   
How can anyone explain this, or the range of genetic illnesses and deformities?"Mr Mitchell-Taylor acknowledged the role of Minister Bruce Scott and officers of Department of Veterans' Affairs in commissioning and conducting this study. He said the study would not have been possible without close co-operation and support. The magnitude of the results have surprised all concerned, even the veterans, who had anticipated most of the reported outcomes. 
The Vietnam Veterans' Morbidity Study, completed by nearly 85% of all Vietnam veterans, shattered all Australian records for response to a Government survey. The VVAA was formed on the basis of concerns about the health of veterans and their children, and this comprehensive survey has been a goal for almost 20 years. 
The overwhelming response confirmed beyond doubt the Vietnam veterans' commitment to the study.The responses themselves show beyond doubt that veterans, their spouses and their children suffer from a range of illness at rates undreamed of by other Australians. 
Examples include leukemia and prostate cancer (300% of the expected rate), cancer of the colon (350%) male breast cancer (2500%), ischaemic heart disease (200%), motor neurone disease (6000%). The reported incidence of spina bifida in children is more 1000% of the expected rate, cleft lip or palate over 400% higher and absent body parts 1000% higher. A high percentage of veterans' partners have sought treatment for stress, anxiety, depression or sleep disorders. read more here
Our husbands decided to get proactive for all generations. For those who told them to just get over it, and those they knew would follow the same road to misery if nothing changed.


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Just as back then reporters are not really interested in letting veterans and families know what they should know, any more than they guide to the help they need to not become a number, or yet one more widow standing near the coffin.

As it is, reporters still hardly ever mention that the majority of veterans committing suicide are in fact over the age of 50. Some of my friends are wondering what it will be like when the OEF and OIF veterans reach the age of retirement considering how few are actually going for the help they need.

We watch, we fight, we fear how this generation with instant access to answers, never seem to take the time to find them. What will it be like when they have to stand next to the coffin of their child?