Wednesday May 22, 2013
Military Hazing, PTSD, Alcoholism, Murder and Suicide: It's Everywhere and DangerousDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
For Veterans Medical care, the philosophy seems to be “delay, delay, delay until the Veterans die!”
(PORTLAND, OR) - All branches of the military have an ignominious history of extreme hazing. The Marines seem to be proud of the dictum “We break down (the recruits) so we can build them up.” The Army certainly has a similar philosophy and the Army Infantry is even as stringent as the Marines but obviously does not the press coverage.
My grandson recently went through basic training at Fort Benning after going through a similar training in a year of High School in the National Guard Army-style program. He was graded top of his class of 100, but he came out with grade 3 PTSD. He then spent a year in the Middle East and became totally disenchanted with how the Army ran and the absolute obedience demanded of lower ranks with the Privates at the bottom of the “snake pit”.
I had warned him of my own previous, similar, experience in WWII. I was a college graduate in Chemistry when I volunteered and ended up as a Combat Infantryman, Battalion Scout, Pointman and Forward Observer, all of which were frequently suicide missions.
I was taught a dozen ways to kill an enemy with the dictum, “Shoot first and ask questions later”. As far as I was concerned, I was trained to be a psychopathic killer with a hair trigger with my finger on the trigger and a microsecond to reflexively act. All the Combat Infantrymen in my Battalion and Regiment were trained the same way.
We had disdain for the Cannon Companies, Anti-Tank Platoons, and amusement for the guys in Service Companies. Anyone behind Battalion Headquarters in Regiment Division, Corps or Army Headquarters were considered sissies.
What happened was that the Combat Infantry suffered 70% of the dead (about 300,000) and 1,000,000 of the wounded. The rear echelon S.O.B.’s had a real laugh on us macho fighters and killers.
The joke didn’t quit after we frontline “soldiers” got out of the Army and got home. There have been no real statistics about what happened to us WWII Veterans. The Vietnam War did produce good statistics. About 60,000 Combat Infantry got killed but about 150,000 died of outright suicide, “accidental overdoses”, police confrontations, alcoholism, tobacco caused cancer and other related causes. The WWII statistics must be similar with wussy names like, “battle fatigue”, “shell shock” or other euphemisms. ALL MEAN DEATH!!
More to the present, today about 18 active service and veterans are killing themselves daily. Alcohol and tobacco are killing many more and the V.A. Medical Centers are being overwhelmed with PTSD victims of all current and recent wars. The worst thing about this is that the Armed Services and the V.A. don’t seem to care much about it.
For Veterans Medical care, the philosophy seems to be “delay, delay, delay until the Veterans die!” With 18 plus per day committing suicide, its certainly seems that way.
IS SUICIDE A NORMAL SEQUENCE OF MILITARY SERVICE?
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More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
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