Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day and PTSD: Remembering the Dead and the Living

Good Day World!

This Memorial Day weekend I’m thinking about those who have served with me in Vietnam, and who died there.

Yes, I’ve thought about all the men and women who have served and died for our country, but I can’t ignore the poignancy of recalling dead comrades.

It underscores the reality of those who are still alive…and suffering from PTSD. Our military forces are seeing more suicides now than ever before in American history.This is a stunning number: Every day in this country, an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives! I’m sharing the following excellent article on the subject today because it’s so timely.

Ancient warrior myths help veterans fight PTSD

A soldier returns home from battle but has brought the war with him. He stares off into the distance, unable to take joy in his family or friends, still hyper alert to threats he no longer faces. Unable to heal his invisible wound, he takes his own life.

This isn’t a tragic news story about a veteran coming back from Afghanistan with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a summary of the Greek play "Ajax," which is more than 2,000 years old.

The Greeks didn’t call it PTSD. But they understood that war brought trauma (from the Greek word meaning “wound”), which left some warriors with a “thousand-yard stare,” a phrase used by Sophocles, long after they returned home. Advocates and the military itself have found that ancient myths and stories like “Ajax” can help veterans and active-duty soldiers cope with the overwhelming psychological stress that the country’s longest war has put on its relatively small volunteer force.” 

- Read the rest of this article by Liz Goodwin, at Yahoo News

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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