Letters to the Editor

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PTSD: Don’t repeat mistakes of Vietnam war

Letter by Susan R. Cornwall, Puyallup on March 16, 2012 at 9:11 am | 27 Comments »
March 16, 2012 9:54 am

Since we were lied into these never-ending wards, I have been questioning whether all the knee-jerk patriots with their yellow “I Support the Troops” stickers on their cars would be so “supportive” when the wounded warriors returned.

We are about to find out. We have the recent debacle at Madigan Army Medical Center about the soldiers having to fight for benefits for their diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome and wonder why so few of them seek help. Really?

As for the massacre in Afghanistan, we know little about the soldier who committed this act, but I have been waiting for the name-calling to begin. Our troops have been overextended for 10 years, sent back for tour after tour. Many have sent back into battle after traumatic brain injuries, and thousands suffer from PTSD.

I was an Air Force brat, hold no animosity towards the military and I have experience working for the Veterans Affairs system. The VA was overextended prior to these wars.

I read online comments by people upset by the financial cost of caring for these soldiers, and the name-calling and disbelief that PTSD is a real condition has begun.

This country failed the veterans from the Vietnam war, thousands of whom live in our state. They came back damaged and continue to need care. I have heard the label of “another crazy Vietnam vet” enough to fear that the Iraq/Afghanistan soldiers will face the same animosity and dismissal.

Shame on this country if we allow it to happen again.

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