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Jun-12-2010 05:18printcomments

PTSD, PTSD, PTSD, Continued: Battle Veterans Cruel Deadly Plague: Alcoholism is the Result

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.

Man with drink
Image courtesy: The BBC

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Yes, I created the above title on purpose. I have written many stories about this; search this link 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

                  Iraq/Afghanistan Vets 55,000

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. 



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Osotan; June 13, 2010 10:16 pm (Pacific time)

Raymo? The "Raymo" rescued by Rasta Marines from a Haystack Rock mound of slashed opium poppies in Afghanistan the same year James Brown danced into the next life? Cosmic man! Raymo.,how you doing mon? Got some nice star rubies and saphires here! Have you met Dr. Leveque and what do you think about makng ganja available to the general public as well as those with PTSD? Your comment will be kept confidential,trust me.

Raymo: Here today, ganja tomorrow, that's my slogan!  Just because you came out from a broken Indiana Jones plate inside of a crypt doesn't mean I have to accept your wild guesses of my life graciously, or tenaciously, titter tatter!  I'm gone!  The mad hatter, as my thoughts scatter I remember your mustache, only Tom Selleck has better!  I hope all of your stash is still good!  Burn one for me, twiddle dee twididdle dee dee!

Osotan; June 13, 2010 9:49 pm (Pacific time)

time to twist one up and ease the stress a bit. P.T.S.D. from what I've observed is for the duration. I am going to deal with it rationally. 4/20 over.

Editor: Sitting here with a big hippie named Raymo who agrees; the old slogan, 'just say mo!'

Colli June 12, 2010 7:19 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for having the courage to tell the truth and the persistence to re-tell it again and again. One of the biggest problems we have to overcome is that most people do not understand stress. They do not understand that both good stress (like buying a first home or having a child) and bad stress (like losing a loved one or a job) can add together in the same stress-bucket (if you will) and become too heavy a load to carry. They do not understand that stress can cause your hair to fall out and cause long-term memory lapses and these are just a couple of the symptoms brought on by stress. Stress can push the human brain beyond what is considered normal functioning causing it to hyper-function or burnout. We are no longer in the dark ages of medical science. We know for a fact that not all illness has a physiological basis that can be seen, felt, or measured. Why then will our government not step in and feed sufficient funds into programs to help those who gave so much for our country. Even half of the funds delegated to the pork barrel projects that fill every bill congress generates would be a giant step in the right direction.

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