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PTSD, PTSD, PTSD, Continued: Battle Veterans Cruel Deadly Plague: Alcoholism is the ResultDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
The VA is still not taking proper care of any PTSD Vets of all wars. Alcoholism is killing hundreds of thousands because VA drugs have bad side effects and are not tolerable.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Yes, I created the above title on purpose. I have written many stories about this; search this link salem-news.com. to read numerous articles about PTSD
I had heard of SHELL SHOCK and BATTLE FATIGUE which are “waste basket diagnoses” even before I went into the WWII Army. In 1943, I even read that there were about 15% “”Battle Neurosis” casualties in America’s invasion of N. Africa. The Army even sent a medical doctor Brigadier General to N. Africa to investigate what was wrong with those enlisted men SISSIES. Then they discovered well trained, experienced officers got it also (behind front lines?).
They began to more heavily sort out recruits at Draft Boards and up to 30% of possible recruits FAILED the mickey mouse evaluations. Furthermore a lot of Mommies Boys flunked out in Basic Training. They probably wouldn’t be suitable foxhole buddies anyhow. A lot of them got as far as the front lines. That’s where the 15% Battle Neurosis came from.
I knew that I had PTSD after 3 months as a Battalion Scout, pointman and forward observer. Those were frequently suicide missions but I was lucky.
PTSD was not named and diagnosed as such until about 1980 when Vietnam Vets started falling apart. They were perhaps the most widely studied group of Veterans ever studied. I am not saying they were any different than any other Veterans but it is a fact.
A study of all Veterans in 2008 brought forth the following VA statistics regarding compensation/pensions for Veterans with PTSD:
World War II 24,000
Korean Vets 12,000
Vietnam Vets 229,000
This brings the question, were there differences in the various Veteran groups?
In U.S. Military history not much has been printed about PTSD. We do know the Civil War Veterans had Soldier Disease which was probably a combination of alcoholism and opium addiction and it was wide spread. Alcoholism has been with The Army since 1776 and today 85% of Army Medical Therapy is for alcohol abuse. The Spanish-American War did not have many physical casualties, but the boys who went to Cuba discovered Cuba Libres – Rum and lime juice – and they brought them home. In the Philippine Insurrection, the troops rediscovered opium. In World War I, American Soldier Boys discovered French Cognac - but came home to Alcohol Prohibition - which fostered bootlegging on a massive scale not overturned until 1933.
World War II was vastly different. Finally beer was available on every Army post and 18 year old boy soldiers were introduced to and apparently encouraged to drown their sorrows in beer (it worked!). In Europe and elsewhere U.S. Troops drank, drank and drank. It was one Hell of a War. Then they came home to Veterans (drinking) Clubs. I wrote about this!!
Most recently there have been stories about fraud by Veterans seeking pensions, et cetera for PTSD and some think they are Faking It. PTSD comes in several sizes, from one to ten. The tens commit suicide or murder, the 7, 8 & 9’s get divorced and become homeless, about 300,000 of them.
One WWII Vet recently posted an article – PTSD: GET TOUGHER SOLDIERS – by Bob Wells of Portland, Oregon condemning the fraudulent claims (of post WWII Veterans)! Bob Wells had a tough time in Italy with the Blue Devis 88th Division and I will say he is/was LUCKY. He does not consider the 300,000 WWII Infantry dead. They no longer have PTSD. Another statistic he doesn’t know is that 504,000 soldiers were lost (discharged?) for psychiatric collapse (from the book ON KILLING by Lt. Col. .David Grossman). This puts a different perspective of the 229,000 PTSD Veterans from Viet Nam.
The VA is still not taking proper care of any PTSD Vets of all wars. Alcoholism is killing hundreds of thousands because VA drugs have bad side effects and are not tolerable. About 300,000 PTSD Vets are homeless for the same reason. It is estimated that at least 1,000,000 PTSD Vets are mistreated or untreated.
DOES ANYBODY CARE?!?!
Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
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