If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

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If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Cynical Idealist » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:36 am UTC

http://bostonreview.net/BR34.6/mckelvey.php
During the Iraq war, however, the great difficulty veterans experienced in getting psychiatric care—greater than before—was not a product of cost-cutting, but of conviction: many Bush administration officials believed that soldiers who supported the war would not face psychological problems, and if they did, they would find comfort in faith. In a resigned tone, one prominent researcher who worked for the VA, and asked that he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, explained that high-ranking officials believed that “Jesus fixes everything.” Benimoff and the others who returned with devastating psychological injuries found a faith-based bureau within the VA. At veterans’ hospitals, chaplains were conducting spirituality assessments of patients.

Sullivan was working as an analyst at the Veterans Benefits Administration in Washington in early 2005 when he was called to a meeting with a top political appointee at the VA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michael McLendon. McLendon, an intensely focused man in a neatly pressed suit, kept a Bible on his desk at the office. Sullivan explained to McLendon and the other attendees that the rise in benefits claims the VA was noticing was caused partly by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were suffering from PTSD. “That’s too many,” McLendon said, then hit his hand on the table. “They are too young” to be filing claims, and they are doing it “too soon.” He hit the table again. The claims, he said, are “costing us too much money,” and if the veterans “believed in God and country . . . they would not come home with PTSD.” At that point, he slammed his palm against the table a final time, making a loud smack. Everyone in the room fell silent.


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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Guy_At_A_Keyboard » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:43 am UTC

Gah. I...just fuckin' wow.

This is truly apalling. I'm much less erudite than most of the forumites here, but I delurked simply because, well, fuck, man. I really don't know how monstrously unsympathetic and ignorant you can get.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Ralith The Third » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:11 am UTC

Have I mentioned that many religious conservatives are stupid?

I think most people know.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Gonzo » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:36 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:I have no words.

I have some. What. The. Fuck.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby AJR » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:53 am UTC

I thought we'd worked this one out 90 years ago, when it was realised that maybe, just maybe, there were better ways of dealing with "shell shock" than a court-martial and execution for cowardice.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby psyck0 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:36 am UTC

But shell-shock is un-american!

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Vieto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:45 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:But shell-shock is un-american!


No, it's Very American!
who wouldn't need therapy after seeing that?

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby dedalus » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:56 am UTC

I raise the motion that anyone who says things that blatantly stupid should be conscripted into the military for 2 years service on the front lines. Let's see how they find the blood and gore.

All in favour?
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Bulvox » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:56 am UTC

dedalus wrote:I raise the motion that anyone who says things that blatantly stupid should be conscripted into the military for 2 years service on the front lines. Let's see how they find the blood and gore.

All in favour?
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Vieto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:00 am UTC

Bulvox wrote:
dedalus wrote:I raise the motion that anyone who says things that blatantly stupid should be conscripted into the military for 2 years service on the front lines. Let's see how they find the blood and gore.

All in favour?
Aye!


does it matter which military? Could we put them in whichever army is doing the most fighting?

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Aikanaro » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:09 am UTC

You know, I realize that it's actually a very, VERY un-Christian thing for me to think and/or say, but dear LORD, sometimes I swear I just want to go up to people like this and scream, "GTFO OF MY RELIGION, YOU IDIOT!"
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Vieto » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:15 am UTC

Aikanaro wrote:You know, I realize that it's actually a very, VERY un-Christian thing for me to think and/or say, but dear LORD, sometimes I swear I just want to go up to people like this and scream, "GTFO OF MY RELIGION, YOU IDIOT!"

2nded.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Walter.Horvath » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:23 am UTC

Vieto wrote:Image

Which is, actually, a Dutch company. Yeaaahhhh.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Feddlefew » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:34 am UTC

...

WTFH?

I can't even decide wether this goes under "Lawful Anal" or "Stupid Evil".

Why? Why would anyone say anything like that? I mean, are these people even capable of basic acts of empathy? How the hell do they manage... To....

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Malice » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:44 am UTC

I don't see what the big deal is. Obviously killing somebody, or seeing somebody killed, or almost getting killed, isn't traumatic as long as it's for a good cause.[/sarcasm]
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby folkhero » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:19 am UTC

McLendon is right on the money, but why only focus on vets with PTSD? If soldiers were true patriots they wouldn't come home other injuries like missing limbs, blindness, and traumatic brain injuries either. Rehabilitiation and treatment for those injuries are very costly as well, and Jesus fixes everything, so why do the VA hospitals need to spend any money treating any of those wretched non-believers. (i hope that sarcasm is obvious)

Seriously though, if you look at the PTSD numbers and think "that's too high," you're probably right, but the proper response is to try to figure out how to prevent it in current and future service men and women instead of insulting those who have served and are suffering for it.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby kgirlfae » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:50 am UTC

I'm usually a lurker, but this article just made me sick to my stomach.

I have a friend who is a very, very devote catholic. He's done 3 tours overseas, the first one of which started 24 hours after 9/11 - he went into the Army assuming we'd never actually be at war, only to be one of the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan. He is an incredible patriot. He has done more in the last 5 years of his life to defend and protect this country than most people have done, or will do, in their entire lives. I may not agree with the war, but when I see his conviction and belief in the soldiers he has fought alongside with and in some cases watch die around him, I am amazed.

And he has some of the worse PTSD I have ever encountered. I lived with him for a month and was usually the person he turned to when the nightmares became so intense he lost track of if he was here or there.

I honestly want to meet the person who came up with this idea and punch them in the throat.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Gears » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:58 am UTC

Hmm should I rethink going to the Navy for this? I'm going in as a Corpsman.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby folkhero » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:24 am UTC

Gears wrote:Hmm should I rethink going to the Navy for this? I'm going in as a Corpsman.

It says that this is an opinion that was held by members of the Bush administration and one would hope that those in the Obama administration feel differently on the issue. Of course one would hope that those in the Bush administration didn't feel that way either.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby scrovak » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:07 am UTC

This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world. It's a sad, sorry state of affairs, but unfortunately, it's true. Which is why a high percentage of the homeless you'll find throughout the major cities (or at least a decade ago) were veterans, fought and served, then were forgotten about and ignored by our glorious government.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Dream » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:32 pm UTC

scrovak wrote:This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world.

It's evidence that both of those assertions ring very, very hollow.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Aikanaro » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Ah, found what I REALLY meant to say:

The Great Hippo wrote:You know, there are times that I fervently wish there was a God - just so when people like this die, God would promptly seize them in a fucking sleeper hold and proceed to pile-drive them through a stack of bibles while screaming "YOU DID NOT READ MY BOOK! YOU DID NOT READ MY FUCKING BOOK! FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING SHITHEADS, I WILL END YOU!"
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:33 pm UTC

You know it's bad when the same story could be hilarious as political satire.

Seriously, re-read this and imagine you're reading The Onion, and you realize that this is something they would come up with.

Kind of a weird metric of badness, but I find that it works. If it's funny as fiction, then it's downright evil if its true.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Grop » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

This really sucks. Also, if that wasn't so wrong, and if the veterans didn't believe in God and country enough, maybe the problem would be about God and country, not the veterans.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby dedalus » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:09 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
scrovak wrote:This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world.

It's evidence that both of those assertions ring very, very hollow.

2nded that. I'd define 'greatest' by a measure other then 'has the largest budget'.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

dedalus wrote:
Dream wrote:
scrovak wrote:This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world.

It's evidence that both of those assertions ring very, very hollow.

2nded that. I'd define 'greatest' by a measure other then 'has the largest budget'.

But that's the only quantifiable measure. Things like "protects the innocent most effectively" and "acts in humanity's best interests" and "live long, rich lives of caring and giving" don't pie-chart very well.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Dream » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
dedalus wrote:
Dream wrote:
scrovak wrote:This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world.

It's evidence that both of those assertions ring very, very hollow.

2nded that. I'd define 'greatest' by a measure other then 'has the largest budget'.

But that's the only quantifiable measure. Things like "protects the innocent most effectively" and "acts in humanity's best interests" and "live long, rich lives of caring and giving" don't pie-chart very well.

Nor, importantly, are they monetizalble easily.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Not A Raptor » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
dedalus wrote:
Dream wrote:
scrovak wrote:This is how the greatest country in the world treats the greatest coalition of armed services in the world.

It's evidence that both of those assertions ring very, very hollow.

2nded that. I'd define 'greatest' by a measure other then 'has the largest budget'.

But that's the only quantifiable measure. Things like "protects the innocent most effectively" and "acts in humanity's best interests" and "live long, rich lives of caring and giving" don't pie-chart very well.

Nor, importantly, are they monetizalble easily.

Not that money's the most important thing... It's just the thing that people tend to collectively care about the most. If there's money in it, everybody's looking at it. If we cared about the other things as much as money, perhaps we'd have a better method of quantifying them. Or maybe I'm just crazy for suggesting that they could be quantified.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Weaver » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:22 pm UTC

Thanks for posting this story - now I'm pissed off beyond belief.

I'm off to re-post this on a few military-related forums - and over at Richard Dawkins' and PZ Myers' sites. See how much trouble I can find.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:59 pm UTC

Okay, how many times do I have to tell people that Jesus is not FDA approved to treat anything?

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Dauric » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Okay, how many times do I have to tell people that Jesus is not FDA approved to treat anything?


At least the patent should be up on Jesus and people can get cheaper generic brands.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby lemmings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

You must understand. These are Conservatives, they care about the US deficit and having people claiming benefits in the first few years of their lives hurts the economy! You see, a 50 year old with PTSD costs the government only half that of a 25 year old with this condition.

In actuality, stop leading us into dumb**** wars! We have reached the point where we are considering whether it is economically viable to continue two wars on the other side of the planet against people who are at least century behind us in military technology. When our enemy became local resistance fighters just trying to get us out of their homeland, we should have realized we can no longer accomplish any more and this wasn't a life or death situation.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Okay, how many times do I have to tell people that Jesus is not FDA approved to treat anything?
To be fair, nothing's approved to treat PTSD. I have no problem with paying shrinks to talk religion to religious vets, since religion is probably the moral language most familiar to these people.

I do have a problem with calling vets with PTSD un-patriotic and criticizing an alleged lack of faith. That guy needs to be punched in the mouth. At the same time, we do need to investigate the cause of the increase in PTSD, if for no other reason than to be better equipped to help those who have it.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby podbaydoor » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:18 pm UTC

It's been a while since I fantasized about doing violence to anyone/anything (or at least screaming at them a lot), but this provoked an immediate reaction. What. The Fucking. Fuck.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
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a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:25 pm UTC

Seriously, did this guy just crawl out of the shallow end of the gene pool? Not only should anyone with a scrap of empathy or a pair of brain cells know better, isn't it his job to fucking know better?

I'm having pleasant imaginings of this man being suddenly struck by a bus. It's OK, though, Jesus'll heal that!
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Dauric » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:Ah, found what I REALLY meant to say:

The Great Hippo wrote:You know, there are times that I fervently wish there was a God - just so when people like this die, God would promptly seize them in a fucking sleeper hold and proceed to pile-drive them through a stack of bibles while screaming "YOU DID NOT READ MY BOOK! YOU DID NOT READ MY FUCKING BOOK! FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING SHITHEADS, I WILL END YOU!"


The problem with this is that God waits until they die, as opposed to screaming pile-driver-smiting the jackasses in the corporeal realm in public where others can learn from their horrible example.
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:40 pm UTC

Sounds like this guy needs a little therapy himself.

Bullet therapy.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby PossibleSloth » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

I seem to have missed The Effects of Patriotism/Religion on the Adult Limbic System(2009) and that sounds like one hell of an article.
Heisenberg wrote:To be fair, nothing's approved to treat PTSD.

There are a few drugs people are working on, but altering learning and memory in specific ways is a really tricky thing to do. I think psychotherapy is what's used now and with limited success.

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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Diadem » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:43 pm UTC

Apart from the utter stupidity of this, and yes the evilness, I have a question.

How can one man have so much influence? I can picture Bush thinking of something like this. Yeah. But he was the president of the United States. Surely he does not personally involve himself in every minor detail of government affairs? Doesn't he have people he delegates stuff to? Aren't things like programs for people with PTSD decided on a much lower level than presidential? Doesn't the entire army organization have to be made up of people who are bat shit insane, for something like this to slip through?
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Re: If veterans were REAL PATRIOTS, they wouldn't have PTSD

Postby Vaniver » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:51 pm UTC

It's a shame that this guy is a civilian, so he can't be court-martialed for dereliction of duty.

Diadem wrote:How can one man have so much influence? I can picture Bush thinking of something like this. Yeah. But he was the president of the United States. Surely he does not personally involve himself in every minor detail of government affairs? Doesn't he have people he delegates stuff to? Aren't things like programs for people with PTSD decided on a much lower level than presidential? Doesn't the entire army organization have to be made up of people who are bat shit insane, for something like this to slip through?
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