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October 06, 2007

Ginmar On Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Ginmar, who returned from Iraq two and a half years ago, has written a long, grim description of her struggle since with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as the VA:

One night I got on the bus and my vision had abruptly changed. It was blurry and too sharp, and my ears were ringing. I could barely breathe and my chest felt like it had a belt around it. My chest hurt. My stomach felt so bad I was afraid I'd throw up or worse. I finally got off the bus at a stop sign near a fast food restaurant and threw up in their restroom. I caught the next bus and hung on with white knuckles till I got to my stop in downtown, near a gas station. I threw up there, too.

Read it all.

(Thanks to Anna for the pointer.)

Posted at October 6, 2007 11:56 PM | TrackBack

Ah, but real Über-Soldaten never feel anything except the recoil of their rifle, no? This must be one of those phony soldiers I've been hearing about.

Posted by: Non Nato at October 7, 2007 08:39 AM

The entire population of Iraq has PTSD now, except there is nothing "post" about it.

At least US troops have a functioning home, with functioning utilities, and functioning family and a functioning community to come home to.

At least she did not have to worry about getting off the bus and getting shot at by foreign troops or foreign mercenaries or criminals run a muck or a sectarian murderer, developed by the foreign invaders.

My sympathies lie mainly with the Iraqi civilians who have not picked up a weapons to kill their fellow humans. They are the innocents.

Posted by: Susan at October 7, 2007 11:31 AM

SOME VAs are ok, (and I have been through the doors of several), but I've seen enough to KNOW I don't want to be treated in one except as an emergency if no other choice is available. (Of course my Brothers and my Father, while he was alive, go to the VA and seem satisfied with the treatment. (Physical problems as opposed to mental problems) The VA near me (Northern Wyo.) treats those types of problems, PTSD, and, I suspect is geared to that end, although I'm not really sure how effective they are.

Ginmar: Sincerely, THANK YOU for serving. PLEASE BELIEVE ME, you are NO MORE GUILTY than the rest of us after all WE PAID for you to fight.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 7, 2007 01:51 PM

I agree with Susan 100 percent. My sympathy is with the victims in Iraq. The internet is full of news reports of Iraqi people murdered by our military if you do even a basic search. While it is true that the real criminals are in Whitehouse and congress there always seems to be people willing to help them out with their murder and larceny either wittingly or unwittingly.

Posted by: rob payne at October 7, 2007 04:04 PM

I agree with Mike Meyer that the troops are no more guilty than the rest of us who paid them to fight and elected the a-holes in office right now.

I do wish more of the US military would refuse these illegal orders,however, and more citizens would refuse to pay the taxes - and I really wish our citizens were better informed and of higher moral standing, then these a-holes would not get elected.

I likely will be moving to Canada next year because I cannot stomach paying taxes for all this useless slaughter.

Posted by: Susan at October 7, 2007 04:25 PM

Yes, we are all guilty but as long as so many people continue with this military worship that is engrained in American culture all we are doing is adding to the violence. That the military is fighting for America or freedom is a crock. And if we keep insisting on this nothing will change not that I believe anything will change anyway. The military serves no purpose but to make a few people rich, that is their function, that is what they do.

Posted by: rob payne at October 7, 2007 04:56 PM
...Dennis Kucinich, the Lion of Cleveland

Hear, hear. Another guy heading for a Paul Wellstone. And every yob has a moral component and hazard that needs to be overcome at the personal level.

You send bullets downrange, you sometimes get these feelings; but as long as our defense budget is out of all whack relative to reasonable reality, I can't really feel too sorry for the participants all around.

I couldn't believe that some recent poll had more than 50% of the Iraqis preferring the occupation & ouster of Saddam and preferred conditions now to then. But there it was, so I can't help thinking that there's a different calculus at work, from what most people would consider normal.

Posted by: Ted at October 8, 2007 09:13 AM

I worked at the SF VA hospital at Fort Miley from 1974 to 1979. We saw a lot of WWII vets who were coming in for those things that men in their late fifties and on would start suffering. But we had plenty of recent Vietnam vets. Wars ruin people, and the younger someone is the more likely he or she is going to be badly affected. Substance abuse, mental illness, suicide attempts.

None of this should come as a surprise. The same malleability that allows the military to train young people to kill also leaves those people scarred.

War isn't just hell. It's a personal hell for all those who've survived.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at October 8, 2007 10:36 AM

@rob payne and others: There's only so much compassion to go around, eh?

Posted by: Nell at October 8, 2007 02:29 PM

ALL those who enter the war, they won't EVER forget what they've seen.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 8, 2007 03:57 PM

Sadly, much like us, they'll just forget the LESSONS LEARNED.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 8, 2007 03:59 PM

I learned the lessons, and never forgot them, without ever going to war.

The lessons are:

"war is not the answer, and we damn sure had better find out how to solve our problems without going to war, because we are now at the point where we can choose non-violence or non-existence as a species"

I don't know why other people don't learn or don't remember.

Posted by: Susan - NC at October 8, 2007 06:00 PM

"There's only so much compassion to go around, eh?"

Apparently there is only so much interest to go around too - since about 99.999% of Americans are obvious to the suffering the Iraqi people (both inside and outside Iraq) are going through.

I suppose we should be grateful if they happen to notice what is happening to the veterans. That's at least an improvement over the status quo.

Posted by: Susan at October 8, 2007 06:03 PM