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Military Veterans and
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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BULLETIN - On January 14, 2013, the Associated Press reported military suicides for calendar year 2012 set an all time record of 349.  During the same period of time 295 active duty personnel died in combat.  In other words, more military men and women are dying by their own hand than by the hands of our enemies.

For the first time since Vietnam, more than two million Americans have served in overseas combat zones. Studies reveal that one in three of the men and women who return from Iraq and Afghanistan will suffer emotional problems.  This site is devoted to helping them and their families recognize and adjust to the lingering trauma of their war experiences.

Many of today's veterans, especially those engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, are on an emotional path already walked by those of us who served in Vietnam.  Both generations of veterans share the fact of having served in a controversial war.  Both wars engaged a largely unidentifiable and unseen enemy.  Both wars shared the intense violence of close-quarter combat among small units.  And finally, in both wars young volunteer soldiers shouldered the burden of combat duty disproportionately.

The lessons learned by my generation of veterans during our difficult years of readjustment can be used to help those of you who have most recently stood in harm's way.  One generation of veterans should never neglect the opportunity to help their fellow veterans who served before or after them.  This site acts on that opportunity.

In addition to providing free basic information to veterans, this site is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for practical ideas to help them and their families.  War forever changes those who survive.  Perhaps Edwin Starr's angry 1969 pop song “War” described it best:  War [has] shattered many a young man's dreams.  Made him disabled, bitter, and mean."

“Why?,” “Why me?,” “Why not me?,” and, “Was it worth it?” are just some of the questions war survivors ask themselves.  In their war experiences, and in these questions asked by all survivors of trauma, germinate the seeds of PTSD.

"The stuff that haunts a guy is the stuff he wasn't ordered to do."

Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino, 2008

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