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PTSD


Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

Don’t Marry A Soldier : CM : email withheld by request : 2013-03-24

I am not going to be rude. Everyone has their opinions, but there are a couple of things that stuck out to me that was WOW NOT RIGHT! I will list the number and discuss them.

2)Suicide. Not all soldiers who commit suicide do it because they are ashamed of themselves. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a serious thing. Anyone, not just soldiers can get PTSD. Over 50% of soldiers get PTSD and are afraid to recieve help because the military sometimes makes you feel like you are weak. And it could be how they was raised as well. Most men were raised to not show emotions, not speak about feelings.

In WWI (World War I) and WWII (World War II) PTSD was an even bigger problem. They called it shell shock back then. The casualties were much higher. People suffered even worse form PTSD than today with catatonia. They were berated even worse than today as cowards. Yet suicide was rare. Today suicide is the leading cause of death for soldiers, ahead of enemy action and disease. Something has drastically changed. I contend it is guilt. There absolutely no justification for the mayhem in Afghanistan or Iraq. If soldiers don’t know that before they leave for overseas, they soon find out the enemy are no threat to the people back home. I have heard a number of PTSD sufferers interviewed at length on the radio. They express an anger at their country for betraying them by tricking them into killing innocent people. Why would they kill themselves if they did not hold themselves responsible for the atrocities they committed? You don’t kill yourself just because you are angry. You kill yourself either because you think you don’t deserve to live or because you are convinced your life will be utterly miserable from this point on.

3) Leaving for work. I know most firemen who can’t come for a week-2 weeks at a time. And some of my friends husbands work out of town. Yes it does get lonely and my kids miss out, but when he comes home, it is like christmas to them. He is working. Not vacationing. He enlisted knowing he would have to deploy, but he did it with pride.

I know what you mean. I remember how my lover would be all over me like a puppy when I came back from a week’s business trip. However, soldiers are going away for years at a time. George W. Bush decided that if he enacted a draft, the war would quickly become unpopular, so he decided to go with an all-volunteer military. The catch was he had nowhere near enough manpower for two large wars. So he did not let soldiers go home after a reasonable tour of duty as was customary in previous wars. Obama did the same. Even if a soldier got to go home, he was quickly ordered back into combat. This caused all kinds of problems, the wife feeling abandoned, adultery triggered by extreme loneliness, couples feeling like strangers when they finally got back together, and not time to psychologically recover.

6) We raised 3 children on E4 paycheck. Was it hard? Yes. But we made it. It has nothing to do with high rank, it has to do with living within your means. There are alot of wives who want this and this and coach and gucci and all that. I shop goodwill. I will buy new clothes every once in a while, but while my kids are continuing to grow every 2 weeks it seems, I will shop goodwill. Its not hard to live within your paycheck

In Canada, military wives complain they have to live on less money than their husbands been on welfare. Picking a soldier for a husband is, from an economic point of view, like living with a husband who is chronically unemployed. If you marry a high-ranking soldier, this does not apply.

7)Moving. Yes I hate the moving! I hate the fact my children cant have the same friends. But I look as moving as an adventure! Its a new place! You make it what you make it.

Talk to any adult army brat kid who never got a chance to make lasting friends. It royally screws them up. You have no right to do that to your kids.

8-9) I will address these the same. You are more likely to be killed in the United States by a car hitting you, a stray bullet, whatever than you are over there. I have a link for the statistics if you would like it. A cops wife could get the knock on her door, a firemans wife, why aren’t they getting this same essay?

Granted, the military has done a tremendous amount of research to make war safer for American soldiers, e.g. drones and armoured vehicles. Soldiers no longer die of wounds that formerly would have been fatal because of Kevlar and field medicine. Today, you are more likely to be stuck playing nurse to a disabled, bitter, brain-damaged man, lacking legs and a penis than pine for a dead one as you would in previous wars.

10)PTSD. Is honestly not that bad! I mean it can be serious, but its like any other depression. It can be treated as long as you willing.

You sound like a recruiting propagandist. That not the story of the many people telling their stories on the radio. PTSD comes in quite a variety of strengths. You were lucky.

13)My brother in law drinks until 10 am, does more pills in one shot than I can count on my hand. My husband will open a beer and maybe drink half of it. Not all soldiers fall under this stereotype. Just like not all single mothers live on welfare. They are stereotypes. Don’t judge all for a few mistakes

Granted, but a soldier is much more likely than a civilian to succumb to drugs and alcohol. The appeal of alcohol and drugs are they temporarily deaden emotional pain. Further, drugs and alcohol are part of the military culture of bravado.

15)Could become a parapplegic. So if they do become one, they should say I JUST MARRIED YOU FOR THE BEST. Or. I WANT TO JUST MARRY YOU FOR THE BEST. SCREW THE WORST. NOT FOR ME? What if you are a civilian and are married and your spouse was hit by a bus and became paraplegic, would you divorce your spouse because of that?

Granted, if you have already made your choice, you pretty well have to live with it. But if you get to choose between two suitors, one likely to remain healthy and one with a non-neglible chance of becoming a paraplegic, you are a masochist if you pick the soldier.

22)Killing children. My husband would never say that! A soldier who said that, or someone just entering, has never been to war. I am honest. The 7 years my husband has been in, not once have I heard someone say I DON’T CARE AS LONG AS THEY ARE A FOREIGN CHILD. That is an idiotic statement. Coming from an idiot.

Your husband has killed children and helped others kill children, either directly or indirectly. You are naïve to deny it. When he enlisted, he agreed to kill anyone he was ordered to. Soldiers are routinely ordered to kill children. Your husband is lying to you if he claims he has never killed a child.

23)Addicted to killing. My husband is not addicted to killing. His first job was a combat engineer. Blowing up things. He changed his MOS later on to supply. So if he was to deploy again(which he did) he did not leave the FOB. He didn’t want to have to face what he did during his first deployment a second or third time.

Even if he did not pull the trigger, he did things necessary in the chain of events necessary to kill kids. The point of his actions were to cause as much suffering as possible. In my view, anyone who dedicates his life to causing innocent people to suffer is sick and should be shunned. I saw soldiers ordered to kill children who were in the street when convoys drove by on the grounds they might be suicide bombers. Your husband aided and abetted that. You might excuse him on the grounds of self-defence, but he had no business being there. It is a capital war crime to attack another country unprovoked. I saw bombs dropped on residential areas where over 50% of the people in the homes were children. Your husband aided and abetted that too.

30)Mental basket cases. Not true at all. My husband has PTSD, but you wouldn’t know it. He gets treatment. He loves to leave the house with us, his family and go fishing and camping. He loves his video games, he loves to hang out with friends. He hardly shows aggression.

Not everyone is a basket case. Just because your husband has a mild case does not mean everyone else is so lucky.

36)Marriage to the military. Not necessarily true. I was having a minor surgery on my gallbladder to be removed, but his chain of command allowed him to come home during the deployment for 15 days so I could have my surgery and recover. Whenever our kids have a doctors appt, he is allowed to go with me(if its an important appt). His chain of command is always allowing him to be with us if its truly needed. He is at home by 6 pm. Thursdays, he is home by 315.

You do realise that is the exception.

45)My husband tells our children DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY. He wants them to do something different with their lives. He is not wanting them to mimic him in everyway. Not all fathers are pushing their kids to kill to make sure they please them!

You husband realises he made a terrible mistake. This is his way of admitting it.

48)There are rules of engangement. My husband and his chain of command has mentioned several times, they are not allowed to shoot any enemy unless the enemy is firing first. If they fire first, they get in trouble. (US soldiers)

There are many examples of atrocities where the rules are ignored. Talk to any soldier. They laugh at them. Your husband has you bamboozled that he is a Boy Scout.

My husband admitted he joined for college money and because 9/11 made him angry. Once he joined, he along with a lot of other soldiers found out the truth about the war.

There was never any evidence Iraq or Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11. Even Bush said it was bin Laden, a Saudi. So your husband’s claim he enlisted to fight the perpetrators of 9/11 does not ring true. I suggest his enlistment had nothing to do with 9/11. He just wanted to kill people, any people, or he wanted the adventure of combat. I would refuse to share living place with such a person. I think you are living dangerously to do stay with your husband.

Just like not every point you made is for every soldier. Things have changed since you have wrote this(I was just shown this a few hours ago), so I am hoping your mind on some of these points have changed. I wanted to discuss it even more, but I won’t. These are the ones that stuck out the most. And some I have said HMM HAS A POINT. I hope I didn’t come off as rude. I wasn’t intending to. I just wanted to discuss some things that came off as NOT RIGHT not to me. I would like to remain anonymous please. You can use a nickname for me or my initials-CM.

You were not in the least rude. You made your points without any ad hominem attacks, something rare these days.

In my essay, I simply want to bring up drawbacks to consider. In the hormone rush of the excitement of the attention of a handsome athletic soldier, it is easy to overlook common sense. Only you can evaluate which risks apply to your case.

Thanks

CM


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