posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 03:55 PM
After the Gulf War they really bent over backwards to identify and take care of those of us suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I thought
they did a great job. Unfortunately, they've reverted back to their old ways.
Combat is not a video game; it is real and it can be traumatic. Does the US Army understand this?
By Gerald Rellick
When a police officer kills someone in the line of duty, he is put on temporary leave and given psychological counseling. The reason for this is
simple psychology: killing another human being is emotionally difficult, even if it doesn’t feel that way at first, and even when it’s justified.
In the July 18th Los Angeles Times, staff writer Charles Duhigg explains that this emotional coping assistance is not available to our troops in
combat, many of whom have to deal with gruesome deaths and the killing of innocent civilians. According to Duhigg, “The Army defends its approach,
saying that if troops think too much about emotional issues in combat situations, it could undermine their effectiveness in battle.”
Said one soldier in Iraq: "I'm confused about how I should feel about killing. The first time I shot someone, it was the most exhilarating thing
I'd ever felt. We talk about killing all the time. I never used to talk this way. I'm not proud of it, but it's like I can't stop. I'm worried
what I will be like when I get home."
Indeed, after returning home is when the problems typically arise in the form of a variety of mental and emotional disorders. Army Lt. Col. Dave
Grossman, who taught at West Point and who works with police officers and special operations troops, says that “the military could train soldiers to
talk about killing as easily as they train them to pull the trigger. But commanders are in denial.” Grossman added, “This is complete negligence.”