2010
07.23

I’m tempted to say, ‘serves them fucking right,’ but an objective analysis demands we understand that these are psychologically-wounded men and women who, for better or worse, followed what were presented as lawful orders. And they’re back home now, part of our society, so like them or not we’re all better served by treating these people and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
As posted on alternet.org:

The Department of Veterans Affairs has finally recognized that it’s not just events during combat that can cause Post-traumatic stress disorder, but any number of the horrors of war. It is a much-needed change that brings the VA up-to-date not just with the current medical research, but with the nature of modern warfare, in which violence extends far beyond the combat zone. To qualify for PTSD related benefits soldiers no longer have to prove that they went through a specific combat event. The fear “related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity” is enough.
But there is another cause of trauma that should be added to that list: the witnessing or participation in detainee abuse. Even though unrelated to combat, the torture and abuse that happened at prisons like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are a form of “hostile military activity,” which we particularly rely upon in the War on Terror…

Read the full article here.

And please, if you have anything to give, help out organisations that are working hard to treat PTSD and to help these deeply-wounded soldiers heal:
Talking 2 Minds — Our favourite charity here at GML, run by people who understand PTSD in a way one who hasn’t experienced it simply cannot.
Help for Heroes — Another great organisation that helps wounded soldiers every day in every way possible. Andy McNab is a big Help for Heroes supporter, and you should be, too.