Archive for December, 2009


On December 6th the front page of The Denver Post featured the story “Children of Fallen Fathers.”  I learned from it that “nearly half of the 83 soldiers with Colorado ties who have died in Iraq, Afghanistan or in training exercises at home were married. Just over a third had children.”  (I assume from the article’s headline that none of those twenty-seven parents were mothers, though I wonder how many U.S. soldiers who have died were mothers.)   I am grateful to The Denver Post not only for running this article but for doing so on the front page of a Sunday edition.

Because it is easy to go through the day, through the week, even a month, without once remembering that we are at war, that women and men are putting their lives on the line to defend us.  Today have you thought of the service people in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Since we went to war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and then Saddam Hussein in Iraq has the war affected you?  Altered your life?

In World Wars I and II almost every single able bodied man was drafted into the military.  In WWII not only did women step into jobs left vacant by the men departing for boot camp, but every family received ration cards for even staples such as sugar and meat, as the country’s resources had to serve fighting the Axis powers.  No one’s life remained untouched.

Even with the Vietnam War, every family became acutely aware of the war, as the government relied on a draft to provide the forces.  When accusations increased that the draft was administered unfairly, a draft lottery began in 1969 for about 850,000 young men.  Opposition to the war increased dramatically.

Since the draft ended in 1973, the U.S. military has relied solely on volunteers.

Since we went to war in 2002, many people have questioned the morality of relying on a volunteer force.  Because if there is no question of our own children, siblings, or spouses  having to fight and risk their lives, doesn’t that make our  relationship to the war different than if we personally could lose a loved one?

I believe that those of us who do not have a loved one in the Armed Forces must make a determined effort to support our troops- not just with a bumper sticker but with action and money.  Since my first work with this web site I have met amazing people in numerous public and private groups across our country who dedicate their energy, their passion, to improving the situation for our service people- both while they are in the forces and when they return from war.  Some of them are focusing on collecting and distributing creature comforts to our soldiers- items like cell phone minutes, thick socks, candy, books.  Other groups are helping veterans readjust to civilian life after discharge or to provide support for families who lose a loved one.  Others are focusing on how to marshall and provide the increasingly necessary resources to address PTSD.  I suspect you won’t be surprised to learn they every single one of the groups is under-resourced.

Please click to and under “Other Resources” you will find some of these groups- such as Veterans for America, Veterans and Military Families for Progress, Soldier’s Heart.  When you write up your holiday gift list, include a check to one of them.  Join one or two or three of these groups.  You will make a difference to the women and men who are making a difference for us, who are allowing us to go through a day or a month without worrying about the war.

The Multigenerational Ripple of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Many of the American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are children of Vietnam veterans, and the Vietnam vets are children of World War II and Korea vets, and the WWII vets were and are children of World War I vets, who were children of Civil War vets who were grandchildren of veterans of the Revolution. Our history wraps around many wars that connect us all. Yet when I search the web for blogs and websites on the legacy our veteran parents have bequeathed to us, I find much about growing up in the shadow of Vietnam and little about WWII. Is this because the term PTSD first came to be during the Vietnam War? I don’t think so. The spiritual wounding of a soldier has always been recognized, only given different names: “soldier’s heart” during the Civil War, “battle fatigue” during WWI and WWII.

I think we have needed the sense of a good war, a just war to serve as a touchstone for our making the case for going to war at all. And if any war was just, it was World War II, when the Nazis sought to erase all Jewish people, enslave peoples of many nations, and take over the entire world. And it seems that when we deem a war just and unavoidable, it becomes difficult to acknowledge the spiritual and emotional damage that followed it. Only in the last couple of years have we begun to admit that the “greatest generation” suffered terribly from fighting the Nazis and the Japanese, that no one came away free of scars. It seems the casualties of Vietnam were easier to admit because we never had the chance to idealize that war. So the children of Vietnam vets have had a longer time in which to become honest about the war’s toll on them.

I think my generation is much slower to recognize the toll a popular war, a glorified war, took on their childhoods and continues to have on their adult lives. This seems ironic, given that as young adults we redefined rebellion and then normalized therapy. But this was long before we could begin to see what was working deep under the surface of our suburban families. Now, in our 50’s and 60’s, having raised our children, perhaps we have too much invested in the world view we have held all these years to begin reconsidering the family dynamics, that what we always attributed to a parent’s intolerance of alcohol or an inability to manage anger or a deficit of love might actually have been war’s ghosts sucking the vitality out of the house.

We can learn from the brave children of Vietnam vets who are summoning up the courage to ask their parents, to travel to Vietnam, to look into their own wounds and speak the truth to the rest of us. I recommend to you www.unitedchildrenof veterans, a blog for Daughters of Vietnam Veterans, a blog written by a Vietnam vet’s daughter during her trip to Vietnam, and the Facebook group discussion for Children of Vietnam Veterans.

The Multigenerational Ripple of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Category : Uncategorized | Blog
مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی دهان بوی بد دهان