reply to post by usmc0311
I strongly relate with this:
status of our country and the needless wars are their biggest stressors
I think part (and I own that it may be a less significant part than I realize) of what aggravates PTSD is what I've come to think of as Joe/Jane's
In relation to armed conflict I define the Joe/Jane ethical crisis as such: the expanse between what a person believes
is ethical in
relation to foreign policy far removed from that person's ethical beliefs.
I would not limit this definition to foreign policy only. Religious schisms may widen the expanse as well. For instance, in the case of Christianity
there are Evangelicals who are not hesitant to call for bloodshed in the name of God. These folks comprise what I describe to be Torah
Christians--Christians who think and/or act according to an Old Testament mindframe rather than Christians who embrace the Beatitudes of the one whom
they call their savior, Christ. Moreover, Christian influences are strong in the United States. Because of these strong influences the Joe/Jane
ethical crisis may be further expanded.
I refer to is a qualitative metaphor. The metaphor's chief purpose is to recognize that stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia,
etc. may be related to a crisis of ethic(s) rather than brain chemistry. I don't discount that combat can be a traumatic experience, but
I will concede that "subjectively so" is not too different from describing the conceptual idea of my Joe/Jane ethical crisis. My point is that if
someone believes that he or she is working against his or her ethical belief while in the performance and/or support of combat ops then there is a
qualitative measure or standard from which to identify with others & possibly set matters right. The problem is that there seems to be no universal
standard that establishes, once and for all, what is wrong and what is wrong. To (hopefully) make this point I submit that U.S. servicemembers are
collectively guided by the Law of Land Warfare and their branch's values, but these guidelines are determined and/or interpreted according to
political interests. Political interests are sold
in such a way to have the appearance of aligning with commonly held ethics, and yet it is
not always feasible or prudent to act according to a commonly held ethic during the course of a TIC (i.e. combat). To illustrate my perspective I
believe it is ethically "okay" to defend against aggression. If I happen to be patrolling in, say, the Pech River Valley then I'm ethically
"okay" with killing another person if he or she tries to kill me first. But I think violence is, for the most part, blind. By that I mean the
intended target of my violence is probably never limited to the specific target I have in mind, but stretches out in ways I'm not even aware of. And
then there is the quasi-first princple matter of why I'm even patrolling a stretch of valley that is largely independent of Kabul's government to
begin with. Am I, strictly speaking, defending the people of the homeland? Are these folks in this valley responsible for the 11 Sep 01 attacks? Do
I think these folks in this valley have the means & ability to stage future attacks against the homeland? Might these folks prefer that U.S. and/or
Coalition forces just leave the area so they may live without threat of potential violence that our presence begets?
In private circles during private conversations it is okay to ask these questions. Out in the open, among party-line adherents (the folks who pull
strings so to speak), it is about as near as you can get to religious blasphemy to ask these questions. But I am convinced
that we can
expect zero resolution about matters of PTSD until those folks who pull strings start evaluating outcomes according to some of these quasi-first
princple questions that I've mentioned. The going trend that I most often see is that the branches seek to provide assistance by mitgating internal
conflicts within parameters that do not venture toward these quasi-first principle ideas. It has become--it chiefly is
a matter of
coping rather than correcting.
I'll close about by saying that I think one of the most dangerous groups in the world is that part of the U.S. electorate which beligerently presses
for armed conflict. They are really pressing for nothing more than semi random, indiscriminate executions. So yeah, the status of our country and
needless wars are my top stressors as well.